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Old 03-04-2018, 08:10 PM
1 posts, read 562 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everyone. I just made an account to get some insight from others for an upcoming trip in April. My friend and I received a seasonal job to work at Denali National Park and we have to be there exactly on May 1st. We have been deciding how we would like to get there and we strongly prefer to take my 2017 Toyota Corolla from Orlando, Florida to Denali. (I would, of course, be getting my car detailed before we leave, etc).

A huge problem is I have a trip from April 16-20th with non-refundable tickets. We would HAVE to leave on the 21st of April giving us exactly 10 days to get there. We do not plan on making any stops to sight-see or any of that. We are just trying to get from Point A to Point B straight with the obvious stops for sleep, restroom, food, etc. Is this doable at all?

8 1/2 hours of driving a day doesn't seem too terrible and I've done intense drives like this before solo, but have never gone THIS far.

What to expect? Tips? Honest advice? Links? I'd like to hear it all. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:29 PM
Status: "Living the good retired life." (set 27 days ago)
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,859 posts, read 3,139,843 times
Reputation: 11824
Read my three posts in this thread...

Moving to Anchorage in January any advise

If you want to make it in 10 days or less, plan on driving a lot more than 8.5 hours a day. As for detailing the vehicle, do that after you get up here, not before. It will get really dirty.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:46 PM
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,905 posts, read 11,690,350 times
Reputation: 5559
You can make it in 10 days. Like Erik said it'll be long driving days. When I drive down and back I usually plan on at least 10 hours driving time per day. Sometimes 12 hours depending on road and weather conditions.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:53 PM
Location: Anchorage
841 posts, read 609,996 times
Reputation: 911
It's not the number of hours per day but the number of miles per day that counts.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:11 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,300,817 times
Reputation: 13696
You can make it in less than 10 days!
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:59 AM
686 posts, read 363,878 times
Reputation: 2255
Take the time to educate yourself about the process to enter Canada.

It is not like going into another US State. The laws in Canada are , in some ways, quite different than you are used to. In general, be prepared to identify yourselves, and be prepared to have your vehicle searched. Be truthful. About everything.

link to CBSA website.

Travellers - Visitors to Canada

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Old 03-05-2018, 08:16 AM
3 posts, read 1,150 times
Reputation: 10
I can make it in 5 days from here, and you're a long 2 from me, so 10 days should be no problem. But...drive considerably longer days when you can, probably early in the drive, to make up for potential weather delays later once you get to the mountain passes in B.C. We lost most of a day the end of May last year, so I have to think earlier will be trickier. And we had 4 WD as well.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:07 AM
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,557 posts, read 3,927,693 times
Reputation: 1918
Originally Posted by chmdi View Post
8 1/2 hours of driving a day doesn't seem too terrible and I've done intense drives like this before solo, but have never gone THIS far.
There's 24 hours in a day. There's two of you. Swap out drivers every 8 hours and stop only for fuel. That's how I've always done it. You'll save money on hotels. Have a cooler of food with you and you'll save on restaurants too.
Order a copy of The Milepost | Since 1949, The Bible of North Country Travel . In my opinion it's the essential guide to the drive.
Know what it takes to get into Canada legally.
Do NOT leave Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Beaver Creek, Tok, Glennallen or Wasilla without a full tank of gas. You'll need a full tank to get to the next town.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:43 PM
Location: on the wind
4,123 posts, read 1,535,580 times
Reputation: 14716
Plan to do as much of your drive in daylight hours as possible especially once you get to CA (check the sunrise/sunset times for the time zones and days of your trip). Take spare wear parts that might be car-specific (serpentine belt, fan belt, some sturdy repair tape), don't bother detailing the car, get it serviced/checked over by a shop. Your car is new...check for repairs/service that could void the warranty. If there's routine maintenance coming due, do it before you leave. Consider doing another oil change/service before you reach the park. Not much at the turnoff. Check for Toyota service options in larger towns (depending on which route you take...Tok, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Glenallen, Talkeetna). Hwy 8 looks like it conveniently cuts off a lot of miles, but be aware sections of that road can be very rough/potholes, rocks, etc. Carry water, antifreeze, oil, other car-specific consumables, wiper fluid, sleeping bags, multitool, food for yourselves in case you get stuck someplace. Credit cards and cellphone that can be used in CA.

Last edited by Parnassia; 03-05-2018 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:22 AM
Location: Airports all over the world
5,840 posts, read 6,027,062 times
Reputation: 98262
Driving by myself it took me 5 days to go from Southern Washington State to Anchorage, Alaska. With 2 people driving I would think you can make it from Orlando in 10 days.

Before getting to Canada and in Southern Canada I would try to drive as much as possible as most of the time you will be on good 4 lane highways.

Winter usually tears up the Alaskan Highway so by April the highway could be somewhat rough. Not sure when they start repairing the winter damage to the highway. However, the road will still be drivable.

You probably should get a full size spare tire. Space saver spares and the Alaskan Highway are not a good match.

Be prepared to show proof of financial responsibility when going into Canada. Not sure how much the require nowadays.

It has been posted many time but I will say it again. You need to be pretty squeaky-clean to get into Canada. Any kind of arrest record or major hits on your driving record will keep you from getting into Canada.
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