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Friday, February 08, 2019


We towed our 26' 5th wheel to Alaska in 2000. We spent a full month there. Top of the World highway was one of the highlights of our trip. It was awesome.

Linda, we'll keep Top of the World Highway in mind. Though it's not on the radar now, we certainly can be convinced. :)

Wow. That is one comprehensive review! We flew from Chicago to Anchorage and picked up our rental Class C. With Almost 24 hours of daylight, you can get a lot in in a day. BTW, I don't recall if you mentioned this, but you will want something to block the light so you can sleep.

We left home in the Chicago area mid-May, drove our motor home on every road possible in Alaska and returned home mid-September. We learned a lot from other people's blogs as to itinerary and pace. Ours is at: http://www.mytripjournal.com/wiseman26

Awesome job Howard! This may be apart of one of your posts to come. One thing a lot of people do not condsider when making there plans is the regional weather Like weather in southeast is raining most always. But to see the Denali and the interior the best months are june July. As August is the interiors rainy season. But I am impressed with your research. Again outstanding job. Can’t wait to see you in Alaska!

For those interested, there is absolutely no issue taking a big 5th wheel up or down The Cassiar (BC Hwy 37) highway. What the milepost said is somewhat true, but it is just not an issue. We've done it twice and so have many, many others with big 5ers. Don't be concerned, in our opinion. It's really no different from places on the Alcan. Besides, that route sets one up for the Ice Fields Highway in BC which is spectacular.

You want to do the Top of the World highway. It’s fine. I paved but very well maintained...we had no trouble with our 40 foot New Horizons. Dawson City is well worth it. We had several mid 40 foot class A’s on our trip and all made it just dine. The roads are much better than you think. We followed the same route that caravans take and it’s about 5000 miles Dawson Creek to Prince George. About 250 or 300 miles of that was unpaved...but again well maintained and speed of 30-40 was fine. Worst road was from Tom to Glennallen...and it was paved nd well patched. It had a lot of frost heave bumps as it goes across the muskeg in the tundra... up again 30-40 was fine. Your rig will have no issues at all with the roads...we’ve been on many worse roads out west and in New England than in AK.

Thanks Bill & Neil for the comments. But it would help if we could get some elaboration about what makes Top Of The World Highway worthwhile. What is special about that route that makes it worth taking?

WOW!!! What a great post!!! We wish we could go to Alaska in 2019, but it is looking like 2021 for us. So we will be watching and reading closely. Once again, thanks for all you do for all of us:o)))

Thanks H&L We're planning on AK in '20 so your input is perfect timing. We're hoping to ferry up to Haines and drive back to catch Northern lights and salmon runs (4-5 months total) We took the ferry last year from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert - Inside Passage was an awesome trip. Headed east from there to Maritimes (7K miles). You guys have been an inspiration to us for years, in fact our FT life was started when I found your FB page. Thanks for all the work you do.

Great blog Howard! Wish we had this info before our trip as we just winged it. Highly recommend doing the Top of the World hwy. The scenery is spectacular especially when the fireweed is in bloom. Dawson Creek was a blast. I even tried the World famous Sour Toe Cocktail! The Cassiar hwy was not an issue at all. If going to Hyder continue on to the spectacular Salmon Glacier. Lots to see and do in Whitehorse too. Don’t forget the
https://www.toursaver.com Cheers!

I'll let Neil comment on the Top of The World Highway in addition to Colibaba's. But as to the Cassiar highway, if it is an issue to someone then they better not go to Alaska, IMO. There are parts of the Alcan that are no better. My comments are based multiple trips with big 5er's as you know. Just not a problem.
IMO and experience the toad is what will have issues from debris (rocks) from the motorhome if actually "towed." Less with a smaller Class C then a Class A - especially if the "rock guard" on the motorhome is NOT removed. (PM me if you want details.)
As you know, we took our 40' 2006 KZ Escalade 5er all the way to Inuvik, NWT on roads that made the Cassiar look like an Interstate. The Escalade is still in service with James & Cindy. Looks great and still doing fine. We were with them last week in FL.
All just our experiences.

5 years ago we did an inside passage cruise, & 2 years ago we flew to anchorage & drove in a rental SUV for 10 days (a much better adventure). Just so much to see, as you know, so just do the best you can. The highlite of the trip was flying from Talkeetna and landing on a glacier in Denali (a must do, if you don't mind adventure flying.)


Ok…Bill can't really comment on the ToW because he didn't make it there as their had some issues…so I'll tell you. There are several reasons to go there…starting with routing. As you've noted in the blog…the ferry is really a non starter mostly so most folks end up leaving Dawson Creek and heading up the AlCan. That gets you to Tok basically then you tour AK. When coming back…you can drive 1500 miles back down the AlCan…or you can head across via Chicken and the ToW to Dawson City. Road first…the ToW is unpaved except for about a mile right at the border…but it's…like many of AK's unpaved roads…just fine. Nicely graded and really no issues at all with grades or curves…there are a few but nothing to serious. The views are fantastic…some of the best we saw on our entire trip. You're mostly out in tundra sort of landscape…not forest or steep mountains. The real treat about the ToW…other then being in a rarely traveled place for most RVers…is that you get to Dawson City at the end…and Dawson City was the best town we visited on the entire trip. After taking the ferry across the Yukon…you're right in downtown and there's plenty to do there. The show Gold Rush is filmed there…and there's lots of gold mining in the area with both placer mines and dredges to visit and tour. There's the quaint little 1800 era western town…with plank sidewalks and unpaved roads. There's the hotel with the bar that has the Sour Toe Cocktail…a must do in our opinion. There's the climb up to the top of the mountain overlooking the town for more beautiful views. There's the tour guides that dress in 1800s era clothing and take you around and show you the town. There's Robert W Service…the poet…he of "The Cremation of Sam MacGee" fame…his cabin is in town and there's a reenactor in period clothes that recites some of his poems and ballads. There's the dance hall/old time bordello/saloon…can't remember the name off the top of my head but it's a great place to have a drink, dinner, and show. There's hiking and such sort of things as well. And then when you leave Dawson…you head back down via Stewart Crossing and intersect the AlCan but you haven't had to schlep all the way back down the road your drove up. From the intersection…which is pretty near White Horse…you can then head back down the rest of the AlCan to Dawson Creek or take the Cassiar down to the Prince George/ Vancouver area. Most folks take the AlCan up and the Cassiar back down…or vice versa…just so you see different stuff and not the same road again.

From Connie and my standpoint…the highlights of the entire trip were (a) the flight up to Anaktuik Pass to Gates of the Arctic NP, the trip down to Katmai NP for the brown bears (me only, she didn't go on that one), Denali, and Dawson City.

As Bill said…the roads are just fine for big 5vers as well as 44 foot DP class A rigs…so yours will be just fine. The Cassiar is no worse than any of the other roads. In our opinion…the worst road on the entire trip was one of the paved ones…from Glenallen up to Tok…I think that's what's called the Tok Cutoff. It was paved…and all the potholes were patched…but it goes over the muskeg/permafrost/tundra so it ends up not being a smooth road. I rated it as about the equivalent of a sea state 3 on the submarine…it's just a rocking and rolling road even though it's paved and patched. We were actually happy to get to Tok and head out on the unpaved road to Chicken…it was better than the road from Glenallen to Tok by a long shot.

There's more detail and photos in our blog back from 2015…the ToW was probably around mid to late August…but you can review from starting in late June when we left Dawson Creek…there's lots of detail on the various stops and things too do.

Or you can drop me a line via email if you've got other questions…I know we're in your address book or at least your "previous recipients" in your email program.

Outstanding writeup. Really excited for you and excited to read about your adventure...plus see the pictures of course!!

We went to Alaska in 2014 in our 40' motorhome. We took a month to get there (traveling up the east side of the Canadian Rockies), spent two months exploring Alaska, and then took another month to return to the US via the Cassiar Hwy. Wonderful trip. Thinking of doing it again. 8^)

-- jc&bev

Good to see the Cassiar is on your radar, it is a spectacular drive both from a scenery and the wildlife point of view and I wouldn't be so quick to discount the Top of the World Highway, we have taken our 40' Class A over that route and although we did have to go slowly for part of the road between the Can/USA border into Chicken we had no issues. Dawson City really is a must see for that part of the world. In fact the Yukon is great all over and the Yukon Territorial Campgrounds are well designed, clean and although they have no hook-ups will fit any size of rig, and when we went the firewood was free.

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