View Full Version : Alaska 2019

09-11-2018, 08:13 AM
Am planning an Alaskan trip in 2019. Never been there but would like to spend at least 3 months, May, June, July or June, July and August. Have purchased a Milepost magazine for info but would like suggestions from RVers who have experienced Alaska first hand. How long would you suggest staying in each area like Fairbanks, Anchorage, Denali, etc? As always, thanks for suggestions.

09-11-2018, 09:03 AM
Are you going to the rally next week? If so, some of us are going to be presenting information about going to Alaska. If you are not going to the rally, then I can pass along a few bits of information here. We went in 2016.

Fairbanks has the best visitor center of any place we have ever been. They have lots of information, free wifi, and also there is an attached museum. It depicts what it is like to live in Alaska. We found this to be very informative and interesting.

As for how long to stay in any one place, this is very personal. Everyone is interested in different things to see and do. Do some research online on what there is to see and do in various places, decide what interests you, and figure out how much time you need based on that. We wanted to see the place near Fairbanks where you can see musk oxen, but they were closed on the day we wanted to go, and we already had a reservation at Denali. From Fairbanks, you can drive up to the Arctic Circle. We did not go, but one suggestion is to not go when it's wet. The road is not paved.

We stayed outside of Denali Park at a campground located behind a strip of tourist shops and restaurants. It was very tight, but it worked. The wifi sucked, as is usual in most campgrounds, but we were lucky enough to be parked behind a cafe and used their wifi, which worked well.

Some places we found interesting:

Valdez - the road going there is very scenic, Valdez has an interesting history, and the Worthington Glacier was neat to see up close. You need to take a path beyond the boardwalk area and walk up to it.

Whittier - do some research on the place before you go. Some interesting history and buildings there.

Dawson City, Yukon - very historic and interesting.

Top of the World Highway - great trip, but take your time!

Some campgrounds are just gravel parking lots with water and electric. This worked fine for us. The RV is like a hotel for us, so easy in and out is best.

DO NOT stay overnight at Walmart in Anchorage. We heard horror stories of people being kicked out and fined in the middle of the night. We stayed at the Golden Nugget.

A current copy of the Milepost is a must. I wish they information that detailed about the roads in the rest of the U.S. and Canada! Our copy was the previous year's, which meant the road construction information was then two years out of date. The most current copy has the most current information as they are constantly updating it.

We plan to go back next year.

If you have any more questions, I am sure there are lots of people on this forum besides me who can help.

09-11-2018, 09:41 AM
When we were in Fairbanks, we took a flight up to Cold Foot and a small bus back. Was interesting and different seeing some of Alaska from the Sky., a little pricey, but no wear and tear on our TV. The Bus back made a stop at the Artic Circle marker so you could get your pictures to prove you were there.
In Cold Foot, there was a big sign on the Diesel Fuel tanks advising that it was the last fuel stop for Low Sulfur fuel that all the newer trucks need, pass there you were on your own.

09-11-2018, 09:46 AM
Fairbanks and Anchorage are just cities...just a few days would be my suggestion.

Fly over to juneau... love the flight.

Top of world highway, a night in chicken

09-11-2018, 10:53 AM
Fairbanks and Anchorage are just cities...just a few days would be my suggestion.

Agree. Great places to stock up on supplies but still, they are just cities. We drove up on the Al Can and back on the Cassier Highway. Homer was one of our favorite stops. Lots of tours leave from Homer. The spit has some no hook-up campsites which we loved. There is so much to see and do but you must choose what interests you. I would plan on June as the beginning month only because the May weather can be unpredictable. You need Milepost to help you along, just don't count on it always being accurate. We found some dump stations were non-existent for instance.
Best advice we received, slow down and take your time. Road construction will slow you down, frost heaves will damage your rig if you drive too fast.
Do plan on seeing some of Canada's wonderful parks, Banff, Lake Louis, Jasper.

AZ Traveler
09-11-2018, 02:12 PM

Don't spend much time in the cities. All the little museums are great. Do the Cassier Highway on the way back to catch the bears feeding off salmon in Hyder AK. Don't miss Wrangle Elias NP - tough drive but worth it. Only place you really need reservations is Denali - 3 days is plenty there. Take your time, ask a lot of questions along the way. Couple of campgrounds we really liked Blueberry State Park outside Valdez and Sourdough in Tok. Definitely spend some time on the Kenei. Make sure you are set up to handle boondocking a day or two at a time. Watch your speed - moose will jump out in front of you and you will find some unmarked frost heaves.

The best trip we have ever done. We had a plan but it changed a lot as we traveled.

Capt Kidd
09-11-2018, 02:15 PM
Has anyone driven all the way to Prudhoe Bay? With or without your RV?

09-11-2018, 03:09 PM
I did the fly/drive to cold foot - very nice trip. While in Fairbanks do the buffet at a downtown park. Don't remember if it is daily or not. You can try 3 kinds of salmon and a couple of other fish. We didn't know which salmon we liked, do we found out - but now don't remember!!!! Also while there (I never made it but wanted to) there is a place about 70 miles north or east where there is a 'ice restaurant' - all made in an 'ice house?'.
As for drive the top of the world, I did it and wouldn't want to do it again. The Canadian side was a nice, pretty smooth gravel road. Once over the border, the USA gets your hopes up with 7 miles of pavement. Then it becomes a road on top of whatever the earth contain. Boulders underground showing thru the surface, narrow - can barely pass another vehicle. I like mountain and dirt roads but this was ROUGH!
Slow down for every red/orange flag on the side of the road. My first one, I slowed to 20-25 mph, but was not bad. So next one I slowed to 40 and about got shook out of my clothes!!!
Have fun

09-13-2018, 09:07 AM
Now is the time to plan an Alaska trip. You can see our trip in 2007 at Tripjournal.com/millingtontravel
If you have trouble with this site, let me know.
We traveled from San Antonio for about 4 months with 2 months in Alaska. One of our objectives was fishing for salmon and halibut. We did that with a 30 day stay in Soldatna. In addition we planned ahead and removed a recliner and put in a 5 cubic foot freezer that returned with a full load of fish--probably 100 lbs. Out trip journal will show where we went and what we did. One suggestion is to leave the RV parked at a RV Park and drive to a place of interest--stay in a B&B. We did that for visits to Seward--to take the kayak delivery boat into Kenia Fjords NP and to Dawson just to see it and drive the TOW. Still driving the same Montana we took up the road but have a new truck. Happy Travels.

09-26-2018, 02:23 PM
Am planning an Alaskan trip in 2019. Never been there but would like to spend at least 3 months, May, June, July or June, July and August. Have purchased a Milepost magazine for info but would like suggestions from RVers who have experienced Alaska first hand. How long would you suggest staying in each area like Fairbanks, Anchorage, Denali, etc? As always, thanks for suggestions.

I just moved from Alaska after living there for 35 years and can tell you that June, July and August are the better months.

In Anchorage, the Golden Nugget RV Park is a nice spot. It's quieter than Ship Creek or Midtown and I do recommend this park for security reasons as well. Fair warning: the rates are high regardless of where you go.

In Fairbanks, Riverview RV Park is definitely nicer and out of the way. This park has quite a few amenities that would make your stay pleasant. Same thing as Anchorage, the rates will be high regardless of which park you choose.

Because Denali is just outside of Fairbanks, you may be better off staying in a Fairbanks RV park and doing day visits to Denali. It can get very expensive staying at the park itself and the swarms of people during the tourist season can get a little aggravating.

Because you are going up there for the summer months I'd like to also suggest heading down to Seward. Stoney Creek RV Park, Bear Creek RV Park and Waterfront RV park are all options for you and honestly it's incredibly beautiful there and a definite MUST SEE. If you can manage to reserve a space at any of the RV parks there for 4th of July, I seriously recommend it.

I hope this has helped you, and if you have more questions PLEASE feel free to ask!


09-26-2018, 02:31 PM
Excited for you. We did two months last year and will add another in 2020. Many of the info offered above by others was good. (I will take a few notes for our next trip.

Depending on where you enter Canada. Banff and Jasper should be enjoyed. The road between them is stunning, 93, and has several great sight seeing items.

We were rather pleased with the Canadian highways. The Yukon had the frost heaves, once you learned to appreciate the warning signs your were fine. Fuel was never a problem, my truck holds 36 gallons and we carried two 5 gallon cans but never needed them.

Enjoy each little town, your jumping from one to another - 2-300 miles per day for us.

Seward is a must. Do a boat trip out into the peninsula. We did the dog sledding tours as well here. Homer is a must, stay on the Spit if possible for a few days. We took a plane to Lake Clark to see the bears, GREAT. We took a water taxi to Kachemak Bay SP. Saw one of our biggest black bears and our dog swam with icebergs.

We, too, did Hyder and Stewart. The bears don't come hunting Salmon till late July or early August. Be sure to eat at the Bus in Hyder, great seafood.

Enjoy it all and safe travels.

Anchorage was our least favorite places.

09-26-2018, 02:31 PM
Stationed there twice, once at Cold Bay and second time Fairbanks for a total of 2 1/2 years. Drove to Fairbanks & back in a camper van. Like most everyone else said, cities are interesting, but get out and see the wilds. Bring a case of heavy duty bug repellent as no words can tell you how bad mosquitoes and gnats are. I found fishing to be over rated - water's so cold most don't fight. First time out I caught an 18" rainbow that acted like a piece of wood until it got in the bottom of my boat. Northern Canada & driving around Lake Kluane is beautiful. You might see some sheep if you're lucky. Denali is beyond awesome but you'll need that luck to actually see it.

09-26-2018, 02:34 PM
We will be there about the same time.

09-26-2018, 03:35 PM
We just got back after spending those months through BC, YT and Alaska.
Your second best bet after Mile post is the Alaska Tour Saver. You can order the coupon book or get digital to your phone. Digital is easier to share with others, no coupons to tear out. Coupon book you have to tear out in front of easier or it is invalid if torn out ahead. If interested in using digital, I can inform you how to share with someone.
You have to go to Whittier through 2-1/2 mile tunnel, tram in Glacier Port, salmon fishing in Valdez, stay 4-5 days in Valdez. To much .ore to mention. Have fun.

09-26-2018, 03:43 PM
We flew into Fairbanks and rented a class C two years ago. Loved the trip but want to do the highway through Canada so will take the fiver this time. Thanks for the tips.

09-26-2018, 04:01 PM
Agree everyone has different interest. One of our favorite stops was in Keni Fords. If you stay there, be sure and take the day trip on the boat. Well worth it.

09-26-2018, 04:02 PM
Loved this post. We, too, are heading to Alaska next year. Plan to leave Ohio the first part of June.

09-26-2018, 06:34 PM
1. Be sure to purchase the "Tour Saver" booklet. If you keep watching the site, they will go on sale.
2. In Fairbanks, we stayed at Pioneer Park. There are no hookups, but there is potable water available. A dump station is just a block away for when you leave. The park has free admission, a nightly salmon bake (referred to earlier), a great aviation museum, a nightly play (tour saver), a river boat to walk through, and several other attractions. It is free to enter the park, and there is nightly entertainment in the bandstand. It only costs $15.00 or so to camp there, and there are usually several campers there -- pretty safe, I think.
3. In Denali, we stayed in the park. The advantages are a ranger talk every night, it's half price if you have the lifetime national park pass, moose in the park, and a nice atmosphere. Cons: no hookups, you need to get there early in the morning to pick a site as some are a bit small. There are two sizes of sites -- to get the large one, you need to reserve early, but remember that you are not guaranteed a specific site, so you need to get there early in the day to be able to select the best site. We reserved about a week out, could only get into the park nearest the gate (which was fine) and a smaller site.
4. We stayed at Ship Creek RV in Anchorage. They take Passport America. It is close to Ship Creek (naturally), and it is a great place to walk and bike -- lots of fish to observe, ducks, and beaver. It's also close to the train station, and I'd suggest taking the train down to Seward. (Tour saver will get you two for one.) Cons: It is close to the homeless shelter, but we had no issues.
5. Homer is great -- we stayed on the Spit in the no hookup site, right on the water. There is a dump station across from the post office for $5.00.
6. Don't miss Valdez. Great drive down there. We took a tour with Lulu Belle, and it was very good.

09-26-2018, 07:07 PM
we just got back from a two month trip in July. Other than all the tips on the forum the only thing I could add is make sure you have your rig set up for a good amount of boon-docking unless you want to spend a fortune on campground fees. The provincial parks through Canada are great but no amenities. Top of the world highway is a true test of RV and driver but manageable if caution is used. You won't be disappointed with the scenery!

09-26-2018, 10:48 PM
Everything I've read is spot on except the travel guide. Milepost is Ok to get you thru the Canadian Rockies to Alaska, but after that the only guide to use is Alaskan camping by Terrie and Mike Church. I call it the Alaska travel Bible. We went last year for 3 months and had an obsession to drive every road in Alaska without taking a ferry to Juneau or Ketchican, take a picture of the town sign at the end of the road then turn around and go back. We left central NY and traveled 17,700 miles. Total cost of the trip was $10,000. The biggest cost was Diesel which was cheaper than Gasoline $4,500. The best scenery was from Glenallan to Valdez in Alaska. Best on the trip was the Canadian Rockies.

09-26-2018, 11:21 PM
I just remembered a restaurant in Fairbanks. I think it is called the Pump House. Very nice place on the river with a patio overlooking the water. It is named after it's original purpose. I think we ate there for our anniversary.

09-27-2018, 07:35 AM
Late June 2008 we toured Alaska with Road Scholars Tour. Took the Alaskan Railway from Fairbanks to Denali NP & saw beautiful landscape, moose & caribou.

Rode bus into Denali Park to Kantishna Road House. On bus ride saw all "big 5" (moose, caribou, grizzly, wolf & doll sheep). Kantishna (https://www.kantishnaroadhouse.com/) was a cozy cute single cabin. Temperature dropped to 38 when we left.

Coopers Landing rafted us on the Kanai river to Kanai Backcountry Lodge (https://www.kenaibackcountrylodge.com). We stayed in Yukon tents with propane lantern. Community shower is piped from mountain water, cold drinks in canal, 3 awesome meals/day prepared by professional chef. Beautiful hiking trail up the mountain, had to watch for moose & bears. All supplies are carried in by boat.

In Seward we took a tour boat to Resurrection Glacier, watched a glacier calve, otter sleeping on top of the water, humpback whales & dolphin.

We were told about the huge mosquitos but it was overcast most of the time & never experienced bug bits.

Returning to Alaska with our Monty is on my bucket list.

09-27-2018, 07:44 AM
. The best scenery was from Glenallan to Valdez in Alaska. Best on the trip was the Canadian Rockies.[/QUOTE]

Iíll have to second this comment. Second was the drive between Banff and Jasper.

09-27-2018, 06:05 PM
After being in and thru the US Rockies many times, I was disappointed in the Candadian Rockies. Not very high or mountainous in my opinion. Now the drive south of Tok, AK for a day was beautiful, but the mountains were 100 miles away (or so). That area is the longest stretch of ice fields (memory failing here on that name) in Canada or maybe North America. Drove the whole day and still could see it.

10-17-2018, 05:08 PM
1. Be sure to purchase the "Tour Saver" booklet. If you keep watching the site, they will go on sale.

OK I'll bite. What is a tour saver booklet and what site do I keep watching to see the sale?

10-17-2018, 05:50 PM
OK I'll bite. What is a tour saver booklet and what site do I keep watching to see the sale?


Try being just a tad less cynical. This will save you money.

10-17-2018, 07:40 PM

Try being just a tad less cynical. This will save you money.

Thanks for the link. I never heard of the site before. I was asking the question for others who might have had the same question. There was no previous mention of the site or term "tour saver" in the thread.

How is that cynical?