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Old 11-06-2016, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,433 posts, read 3,552,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaschuerman14 View Post
Hi all, Ive been reading many posts regarding the drive on the alcan to Anchorage. my scenario is this : leave New Mexico on January 7 and give ourselves about 7-9 days to get to anchorage. we will be driving a 2015 Nissan Titan towing my rogue on a trailer behind us. Where to stop is my major question but any other or more advise will be so appreciated.
Do you have The Bible of North Country Travel - The MILEPOST yet?
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
741 posts, read 467,998 times
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Get a new copy of "the milepost". It is a must have!!!!!
Did not see AKStafford's post before typing this.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,849 posts, read 1,842,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaschuerman14 View Post
Hi all, Ive been reading many posts regarding the drive on the alcan to Anchorage. my scenario is this : leave New Mexico on January 7 and give ourselves about 7-9 days to get to anchorage. we will be driving a 2015 Nissan Titan towing my rogue on a trailer behind us. Where to stop is my major question but any other or more advise will be so appreciated.

Once on the highway you can get gas and lodging all winter at Ft St John, Ft Nelson, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Beaver Creek and Tok. There are other places that are open year round, but those are the major ones, and you should be able to make each one without any difficulty, especially if you have a large gas tank. I wouldn't waste my time or money on studded tires or chains. You probably can't get them in NM anyway. I would have an engine block heater installed so you can plug in at night if it gets really cold. If no one in NM has one or knows how to install, you can get it done in Montana. You could also have it done in Canada, but it would be a lot more expensive. But check the weather in Tok, Beaver Creek, Haines Junction and Whitehorse first. You won't need one if it doesn't get below 0 degrees. Carry cold weather gear. A cold weather sleeping bag for each person wouldn't be a bad idea. If you have Verizon, get their Canada/Mexico plan. Two dollars for every day you use it in Canada. Every time you fill up, get the regional brochures. They will have advertisements for motels that aren't listed in the Milepost. Get your Milepost on Amazon for a little over $20, otherwise you'll be paying over $40 Canadian when you finally find one, which is usually Ft Nelson. If you have credit cards you won't need much Canadian currency. We have never spent $100 in cash on any trip. Make sure your cards have chips, as every place has a terminal with a chip reader, even the smallest podunk place.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,337 posts, read 30,929,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
If you have credit cards you won't need much Canadian currency. We have never spent $100 in cash on any trip. Make sure your cards have chips, as every place has a terminal with a chip reader, even the smallest podunk place.
Be sure to tell your bank that you'll be driving through Canada, it's a different country and they'll think your card is stolen.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:27 PM
 
936 posts, read 724,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I wouldn't waste my time or money on studded tires or chains.
This is terrible, terrible advice. You might not ever need those chains but carry them regardless because you just never know. And without studded tires or at least Blizzak-style tires, especially pulling a trailer...dog help you.

Edited to add: FWIW, I've done the AK and Cassiar highways twice this year and the Cassiar is in much better shape. However, it's not for everyone as it's more remote and much less traveled. Be ready for some serious frost heaves up north (past Whitehorse and through Tok), though they were working on the Destruction Bay stretch (as usual) last time I came through so you might get lucky there.
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,337 posts, read 30,929,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzile View Post
Edited to add: FWIW, I've done the AK and Cassiar highways twice this year and the Cassiar is in much better shape. However, it's not for everyone as it's more remote and much less traveled. Be ready for some serious frost heaves up north (past Whitehorse and through Tok), though they were working on the Destruction Bay stretch (as usual) last time I came through so you might get lucky there.
The highway was built in 1942 and construction hasn't finished yet.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,849 posts, read 1,842,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzile View Post
This is terrible, terrible advice. You might not ever need those chains but carry them regardless because you just never know. And without studded tires or at least Blizzak-style tires, especially pulling a trailer...dog help you.

Edited to add: FWIW, I've done the AK and Cassiar highways twice this year and the Cassiar is in much better shape. However, it's not for everyone as it's more remote and much less traveled. Be ready for some serious frost heaves up north (past Whitehorse and through Tok), though they were working on the Destruction Bay stretch (as usual) last time I came through so you might get lucky there.
Nobody uses chains in Alaska except for the Post Office. Studded tires are a waste as the streets are clear almost all winter long. All they do is rut the roads. And because you're driving on pavement almost all winter long, studs only last a few years. I've been driving Alaska roads since I was 16, and I'm retired now, so I've got just a little experience on our roads. As for the highway, I drove it just over a month ago. The worst stretches are Destruction Bay to the border and Tok to the Richardson Highway.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:11 AM
 
936 posts, read 724,286 times
Reputation: 2275
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Nobody uses chains in Alaska except for the Post Office. Studded tires are a waste as the streets are clear almost all winter long. All they do is rut the roads. And because you're driving on pavement almost all winter long, studs only last a few years. I've been driving Alaska roads since I was 16, and I'm retired now, so I've got just a little experience on our roads. As for the highway, I drove it just over a month ago. The worst stretches are Destruction Bay to the border and Tok to the Richardson Highway.
A) the majority of the Alcan is in Canada and we do in fact use chains there
B) no one in ANCHORAGE uses chains, except for the people who live in Rabbit Creek and Bear Valley sometimes. But rest assured, chains are in fact utilized in Alaska when needed. Fire trucks are routinely equipped with chains and APD carries them in their SUVs.
C) It is incredibly foolish to drive in the remote Arctic or Boreal landscapes without erring significantly on the side of caution in your gear and preparation.
D) Advising people with little winter experience and little trailering experience to drive the Alcan in the winter without chains or studded tires is foolish and negligent advice.

Most of my 35+ drives have been just fine, but every now and then a really hairy situation has arisen with little warning. Every doofus who bumbles over that road without running into problems thinks they're the expert having made it once, but get out there in the dead of winter without really good gear and you can quite quickly be in grave danger.

When I drive in the winter I buy a full set of chains from 6 Robblees and if I don't have to use them, I return them when I'm done. They add a little more weight in the back of the truck which is needed.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
741 posts, read 467,998 times
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Almost all of the school buses in Anchorage are equipped with a device in front of the back tires that deploy chains when needed.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:22 PM
 
936 posts, read 724,286 times
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My father, who is just as experienced at winter driving and Alcan driving as I, said that the last time he drove it in the winter (which he has done a dozen or so times) he was caught so by surprise by sudden bad road conditions that his truck did three 360s right in the path of an oncoming semi which barely missed him, and he was so frightened by what had happened that he had to pull over for ten minutes to stop shaking, and then drove, slowly, to the next place he could get a hotel room and stayed there until Provincial services could get out and gravel the road.

Last time I drove it in the winter I drove half a day in northern Alberta on roads that were skating-rink ice, but had been sanded and graveled before I got there. The ditch carnage was unreal. From the conditions the day before I'd never have guessed what I was driving into.

Winter driving in the Arctic is no joke. Be prepared.
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