Monday, July 11, 2016

ALCAN Road Trip Itinerary

We are officially one week away from heading out on our next big adventure. Cody, Specks, Luna, and I will be driving off at sunrise on Monday, July 18th.  This will  be our third time driving to or from Alaska, and I anticipate that it won't be our last.  The more times we do it though, the better and more well prepared we are for the trek.

  
The first time we drove to Alaska we took I-70 across the Midwest and into Colorado, and then jumped on a few more highways (heading through Utah and Oregon) that would eventually deposit us in Bellingham, Washington. In Bellingham, we jumped on the ferry and spent three days touring the Gulf of Alaska and eventually ended up in Juneau.  This trip was our shortest in terms of road time, but it was also the most stressful because we'd both never done a trip of this caliber on our own before.  The ferry was my favorite part of this particular trip.  We slept outside, watched the northern lights, and toured a bunch of tiny towns in SE Alaska.



The second time we took a big Alaskan road trip, we were leaving our home in Juneau and heading for Michigan. We drove the ALCAN highway for ten days.  First, we took the ferry from Juneau to Haines, and from there we headed through Canada and entered the United States in Babb, Montana. The drive was longer, but we were much more prepared and relaxed about the travel.  Our car was full of less stuff, we were able to stop and take a ton of pictures, and we got to do some camping (which we'd been to nervous to do the first time around).


Both trips had their pros and cons, and both were completely wonderful adventures in their own unique ways.  This time, we thought we'd try it out a bit of a different route and drive through Canada the entire time.  We will be adding two extra Canadian provinces to our itinerary this time around (Ontario and Manitoba). Our thought behind planning this specific route was that we wanted to camp on the north shore of Lake Superior and spend some time in either Banff or Jasper National Park. Both of these goals were possible with the adjusted itinerary. Here is our tentative schedule:

Day 1: Holland, MI to Wawa, ON (Border Crossing)
Day 2: Wawa, ON to Thunder Bay, ON
Day 3: Thunder Bay, ON to Winnipeg, MB
Day 4: Winnipeg, MB to Moose Jaw, SK
Day 5: Moose Jaw, SK to Lake Louise, AB
Day 6:  Banff or Jasper National Park
Day 7: Banff or Jasper National Park, AB to Grand Prairie, AB
Day 8: Grand Prairie, AB to Fort Nelson, BC
Day 9: Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT
Day 10: Watson Lake, YT to Haines Junction, YT
Day 11: Haines Junction, YT to Tok, AK
Day 12: Tok, AK to Anchorage, AK

This schedule is tentative, and it puts us in Anchorage about five days before our flight leaves for our new home in Pilot Point, Alaska. I anticipate we will want to take at least one "rest day."  Our rest days usually consist of getting a hotel room, binge watching cable television, and ordering room service. This schedule also allows us to camp roughly every other day, which we've found to be more fun and MUCH cheaper.


If you're ever interested in driving through Canada and Alaska, and more specifically driving the ALCAN, I highly suggest picking up The Milepost. The Milepost, also known as The Bible of North Country Travel, is a travel guide that gives detailed highway information, community profiles, hotel and campground suggestions, gas station updates, tourist attractions, and so much more. It is updated yearly to keep it relevant. This kind of information is highly valued on this drive because there are long stretches without cell service, gas stations, hotels, etc. It's a beautiful and dangerous trek, which should not be done without proper preparations. Plan ahead, book hotels in advance, keep an emergency car bag with you (medical supplies, tools, etc), make sure you have everything you need to change a flat tire, and be hyper-aware of wildlife.


 If you're prepared, this drive across the vast northern countryside can be the adventure of a lifetime. And, if you're lucky like us, maybe you'll get to do it more than once. 

Your turn...What are some of your top road trip tips? 
Currently listening to... Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones

16 comments:

  1. Those pictures are so beautiful!! Breathtaking. I'm not much for road trips, but I've wondered what it would be like to visit Alaska.

    Jeanine
    http://www.dailyspiritualpractice.net/storybook-blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very cool place! This will be my third time calling Alaska home, but my first time in this particular village.

      Delete
  2. You live such an eventful life. I'd love to visit Alaska, not sure I'd want to live there. I need a trip there to find out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bit too eventful sometimes, haha. Things will definitely quiet down once we get to our new home.

      Delete
  3. That looks like a lot of fun. Alaska in on my bucket list, my aunt and uncle lived there briefly when they were young, before they had kids, and they say it's beautiful there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know a few people who spent time living there before kids. That is kind of what we are doing too, but we'd like to settle there long-term this time around.

      Delete
  4. You must be so excited about starting a new adventure. I've never had the pleasure of visiting Alaska but it is on my bucket list. Thanks the information on Milepost. I'll definitely check it out. Best of Luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very excited! The Milepost is AMAZING. It's a lifesaver if you ever plan to travel through AK or western Canada.

      Delete
  5. Wow, what a great experience. I would love to plan a road trip like this with husband. We hardly ever spend time alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'd be a super fun couples trip! I know some people who have done it with kiddos too, but it's a pretty long trek for little ones.

      Delete
  6. We drive to Florida and that is enough adventure for us. I love how you broke everything up so you can have fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely try to break up the boring-ness of driving for that long. We always set a couple of goals or "must see" places to help us stay excited for the trip.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Don't worry, Mom. We will check in often! :)

      Delete
  8. Great adventure and lots of fun indeed. What an amazing road trip experience.

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a comment :)