We just completed a 4000 mile trip to Alaska and are located in Skagway. It occurred to me that I have some experiences to share from the trip..just in case some of you are planning a trip to the " great North" this summer.
The trip really begins when you cross the Canadian Border. Passports are not yet mandatory, but they will ease the path. Read the many dos and dont's of crossing the Canadian Border. If you want to make it easy, just do not bring weapons, spring loaded knives, fresh produce, more than a liter of booze and anything to sell. Those are the questions and if you can honestly answer "no" to all of them, your passage will be much easier and faster.
Fuel prices are in liters. Yes, it is more expensive in Canada. Around Calgary and Edmonton the prices were around 50 cents a gallon higher than in Montana when we came through there. The further that you progress the higher the prices. We paid nearly $6.00 per gallon for Diesel in Ft. Nelson, BC. Fuel is available all along the Alaska highway, but it is advisable to never let your tank get below half full. We installed an auxiliary fuel tank and were glad that we had it. It allows you to buy your fuel in places where the prices are a bit more reasonable and available. Prices in Alaska are cheaper than Canada. I paid $4.85 for Diesel in Skagway yesterday.
RV parks are different here. My experience is that they are mostly dirt or cinder parking lots with hookups. If you want to stay in scenic places, plan on the Provençal parks. They have limited services, but they are beautiful and in beautiful locations. Most parks are opening now. Between the 1st of May and the end of May all of the Parks will be opening and traffic will pick up.
The highway between Sweetgrass and Edmonton is excellent. It is a mixture of two and four lane and some is freeway. Beyond Edmonton it is still a very good highway to Dawson Creek. From Dawson Creek to Ft. Nelson is two lane, small shoulders, but good pavement. Ft. Nelson and beyond is two lane. Some of it is very good, some is pretty primitive for towing, but it is very doable.
Things to watch out for,
1. Animals on the highway after Dawson Creek. Lots of them and they will not move. Slow down and try not to travel a dusk or dawn.
2. Frost heaves. Most are marked, some are serious hazards. Wen you see a sign, slow down and watch the pavement.
3. Truck drivers make this trip every day and they are just a bit impatient with those of us that do not. They will pass anywhere..be prepared to get out of the way.
4. The road between Ft. Nelson and Laird river is very narrow, steep, and rough. If I had a choice, I would plan that part of the trip on a Sunday when the traffic (truck) is much lighter.
5. It is still freezing here at night, but frozen pipes and valves should not be much of an issue now.
6. Carry some water in your tanks. Some of the water in the parks is excellent, some I would not use because of the minerals (iron).
We enjoyed the trip up here and will be here for the summer. I encourage anyone that is thinking about the trip to make it. Buy a "Milepost" at the local bookstore or in Dawson Creek and then hit the road. It is truly a magnificent trip and a beautiful part of the world.
Jeanie and I have posted photos of the trip on our web site and Jeanie has kept a blog that will contain some useful information to travelers.