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Alaska! Let's talk cool stuff and must see.

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Hey all of you high experienced travelers. I'm working on planning a trip to Alaska for 2024. Will likely head that way on May 1 for a two month excursion. I'm an adventurer and am looking for all of the things that most people might overlook in a on week trip. we'll travel all over and have no problem boondocking where needed. Just have to follow the P's. Proper Planning Prevents Poor RVing. Or something like that. 

So tell me some stories. And give me some ideas of what to do and what NOT to do. I want some fresh crab and fish. need it. Hunting and fishing is not off the table either. You know Alaska? Bring it...

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I went to Alaska in ‘76 with my parents, we are planning on going in ‘25. The one thing I do know is , if you can adjust your time frame it might be better to go later in the year, May and June might be a bit early from what I understand, we went for the month of August in ‘76. Expect a fair amount of rainy weather and I believe the earlier you go the more rain there is.

fwiw we’re planning on July thru September.

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1 hour ago, Jdw12345 said:

I went to Alaska in ‘76 with my parents, we are planning on going in ‘25. The one thing I do know is , if you can adjust your time frame it might be better to go later in the year, May and June might be a bit early from what I understand, we went for the month of August in ‘76. Expect a fair amount of rainy weather and I believe the earlier you go the more rain there is.

fwiw we’re planning on July thru September.

Great point. Unfortunately, I have a non-profit event to feed lunch to 2,500 people in my town for Thanksgiving. I don't think I can take a leave of absence in late summer and still keep up with the event.  Originally wanted to go in July-September.

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We have driven to Alaska three times now. Each time we arrive in about the middle of May and leave no later than the third week in September. Alaska has two seasons, Winter and Summer. I have two sons and grand kids that live in Alaska so when we go there I spend two months with each one.

If on the Alaskan Highway, stop at the Liard Hot Springs for a good soaking. Be careful of the Bison along the stretch of road from there to Watson Lake.

There will be a stretch of road that will have frost heaves starting just north of Destruction Bay and can go for 50 miles or so. Some are marked and some are not. Trust me, you want to drive that area no faster than 20-25 and even slower when you see a frost heave. If you hit those going 55 you will shorten your trip significantly and probably damage your coach and toad.

There is always a large section of the Alaskan Highway before you arrive at the border to Alaska that will be under construction too. Don't expect the oncoming truckers to slowdown or ones that overtake you going in the same direction. They will scatter gravel so be prepared for a possible windshield stone chip or crack.

The road from the border to Tok isn't all the great either.

You will only be able to explore about 5-10% of Alaska in the time-frame you have allotted. Some places to visit would be Seward and take a Fjord National Park Boat Tour. I recommend using the Kenai Fjords Tour Company for your trip. I usually take the 6 hour cruise but there are others to choose from. Drive out to Exit Glacier to see how much that glacier has receded in the past 35 years or more. I was appalled when there in 2015, again in 2012, 2010, 1996 and initially in 1991. It has receded hundreds of feet.

If you want to fish I recommend going to Homer Spit and book a fishing charter, either Halibut or Salmon. I always book fr a Halibut trip. I always use North Country Charters which is very close to the Homer Spit Campground which is walking distance to the charter office. If you want to fish for Halibut, I highly recommend Captain Ben who now has a new boat called the West Cape. I was last there in 2015 and caught myself a 126.5 lb Halibut plus another one around 20 lb's. You were allowed two back then, one any size and one 20 lbs' or under. See photo.

Also, while on the Kenai Peninsula, take a short trip over to Anchor Point which is the furthest west point accessible by road of North America.

Definitely plan a bus trip into Denali NP. We always take the 11 hour one that goes all the way into Eielson Visitor Center . No guarantee that you will get to see the top of Mount Denali or even get to see any of it. They post a calendar for each day as to what portion of the mountain is visible. 70% of the time or even more, the mountain is NOT visible due to weather changes.

Fairbanks has a old paddle-boat river cruise called Riverboat Discovery. They sell a to die for smoked salmon called Captains Jim's Smoked Salmon. I purchase it in 3 pack 6 oz can containers. Add a little cream cheese to a can and enjoy it over crackers of your choosing.

A trip out to the Chena Hot Springs is always on my list of things to do while in Fairbanks. Great place to soak away your troubles.

If you have time, stop in to the Pro Music Shop at 300 Front Street right on the Chena River to say hi to my younger son, Craig, who is the owner. He even has gold mining equipment that you can purchase to pan for gold. Don't miss the Ice Sculpture Museum that is downtown. Those are sculptures from the past winter that would created and displayed out at the fairgrounds last winter.

Way too many places to visit and things to do so this is just a drop in the bucket.

Enjoy the trip. We found that the best part of the trip is the drive up and back to Alaska as we normally do that when the wildlife is waking up from the winter.



Fw_ Fairbanks Ice Festival, Fairbanks, Alaska! (1).jpg

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All great recommendations Richard! So much to do, so little time.

We have to mention another favorite place is Seward during the Fourth for their celebrations.  We spent two weeks there this year on Resurrection Bay municipal campground. Some of our favorite activities:

  • Mount Marathon race
  • Small boat harbor daily catch “show & tell”
  • Fishing charters
  • Bear Creek fish ladder 
  • Fireworks at midnight on the 3rd
  • Exit Glacier walk
  • Kenia Fjords cruise
  • Sea Life Center tour
  • Fourth of July beach walk
  • Kayaking on the Bay
  • Tosina Creek trail
  • Good Friday ‘64 movie at library
  • and of course, Seward Alehouse
Edited by Jim Pratten
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17 hours ago, JDCrow said:

I know one user just got back from AK a month or so ago. Let me try and remember who it was 😂

That would be us. Oh, the stories I could tell! Take a THICK WALLET!  What an adventure- a bucket list thing! We spent a month in Alaska.  The highlights of the trip were the plane tour over Denali and landing on Ruth’s Glacier! Also the boat excursion from Seward. We saw 3 different species of whales, two glaciers that were calving, and many many species of birds and otters and seals!
We opted to explore the Artic Circle and chose to drive ourselves in our 2000 Toyota Echo. Since it was a nice day  we had no problem, unless you want to include the windshield chips from passing vehicles. The real damage to the Echo was on the trip across th Alcan Highway. We sustained chips and I rode over a rock about 5” in diameter and took out the exhaust, not thinking of the ground clearance of the Echo, I only figured the RV (silly me)!  We chose to take the Echo for this journey knowing that the trip would be harsh on it because we figured that the vehicle was reaching the end of it’s life. It was LOUD after the exhaust debacle but it never let us down! We had already bought a replacement vehicle (2013 Honda Fit).before we left.
We also opted to leave the state via Chicken, AK and Dawson City, YT. That route included about 120 miles of dirt roads. And there was more dirt roads due to construction in Yukon Terr. 
Our repair list is extensive but I suspect that the parts failures may be due to both vibration and age, since our rig is almost 22 years old, but it was soo worth it! We also experienced our first “breakdown”. It turned out to be the cutoff switch for the chasis battery.Once diagnosed, it was an easy fix!

Go for it!


PM me if you would like more of the details

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Got back about a month ago from our third trip to Alaska.  I prefer Whitehorse to Dawson City - ferry across the Yukon River to Chicken then Tok, that way I only experience that awful Destruction Bay to Tok section only once on the way south.  But some people are afraid of the Top of the World highway.  I think that gravel road is in better shape than the Alcan between Destruction Bay & Tok, however Chicken to Tok has some pretty good frost heaves & cracks outside of Chicken.

At Whitehorse visit the Lumel studio and blow some glass ornaments. Side trip to Skagway or hit Haines & Skagway from the other side.

At Homer I've used Inlet Charters for both Halibut fishing and bear viewing flights.  Several options on bear viewing... seaplane or wheeled, the Falls or beach... etc

Boat cruise: Columbia or Meares ... I prefer Meares where you can watch it calve into the water.

While going down the Kenai peninsula take a side trip through the Whittier tunnel.

Several options and places to catch a helicopter ride to a glacier...and a sled dog ride on the ice.

Side trip to Stewart/ Hyder and my favorite glacier ... the Salmon glacier

While at Denali book a Canyon Run rafting trip with Denali Raft Adventures

Your time will just fly by.

PS, hang a sign at Watson Lake sign post forest.

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So I have a Mining Engineering degree and learning about the history of mining in the US is an interest of mine.  One thing I regret on our AK trip was that we couldn't make the trip to the Kennecott Mine site in Wrangel NP.  It is an old historic mine that NP has developed and turning into an historic site.  They do not recommend RV to travel the road and we didn't have a toad at the time.  https://www.nps.gov/wrst/learn/historyculture/kennecott-mines-national-historic-landmark.htm

If I ever went back to AK this would be on my list of must do's. 

This isn't for everyone but there is lots of other interesting places in AK.  We spent a month traveling clockwise around AK.  Very memorable. 

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