Originally Posted by dislocator3972
We're heading north out of Denver to Grand Teton National Park, then to Glacier, then we'll take the East Access Route through Banff and Jasper until we get to Dawson Creek. Then it's THE highway all the way to Fairbanks! I've got a map and itinerary posted on my travel blog.
I'd really like to tent camp as much as possible as we missed most of our winter camping opportunities due to morning sickness and general first trimester woes, so I'm ITCHING to get out and play in the woods.
We drove from AK to UT (and back again) last summer. I hope gas prices have come down since then, but yeah, last june the gas prices in yukon and northern BC were over $6/gal (that was CAD... like $1.40/liter...so whatever that translates to in USD!!) I know everybody had expensive gas last summer, so hopefully it's down...but yes, I second the advice to get gas at every chance, because you literally may not have another chance for 200miles...and there is literally NOTHING between them.
The wildlife up there is impressive...we saw buffalo, mountain goats, sheep (dall sheep are they called?), elk, deer, moose, lots of black bears (including some cubs, awwwww!) and even a bobcat! (we just saw him disappearing into the bushes...) All along those roads the trees and bushes are completely leveled for about 20ft on either side of the road, which makes it easy to see wildlife on the edges, but I also suspect it's so that you have enough time to slam on the breaks if a moose is runnign across!!!
Oh, we crossed the border from skagway into CA at like 11:30pm (Because the ferry got in at 11), and there were porcupines EVERYWHERE up there...we kept seeing them scatter from the headlights. It was hilarious.
BTW, our drive from Skagway to Utah was, um, about 50 hrs I think? We didn't go quite straight...we took a couple of jogs to one side or the other to see family in Idaho, but we did go through Banff/Jasper and also Glacier NP. One thing about seeing those three places in the same week--they all kinda look alike.
They are beautiful, but very similar. The road through Glacier was closed (so we could go in on one side, then had to go back out and around an back in from the other side) and that was the first week of June... In Banff and Jasper most things were open but some trails and whatnot were still under snow so we couldnt' go up there.
We didn't have any trouble with winter weather/snow on the roads (except for the mountain road in Glacier), but like I said there were some portions of the parks that were closed. We were tent camping, and it did get cold at night, but bundle up and you should be ok. (Also, if you haven't camped in bear territory before, make sure you listen to and follow all the rules!!!!)
the one frustrating thing about the tent camping was that you're not allowed to bring your own firewood (they're worried about a particular type of beetle getting into the province), and the bundles they sell there in the park are pretty pricy... you might want to consider the charcoal route, or a propane stove or something...
Everything in Banff and Jasper is expensive...that's just sortof how it is. We camped in Jasper (the north one) on our way south, but then we didnt' stay in Banff--we stayed at a state or county campground that was just a few miles beyond the southern edge. It was about 2/3 the price, they didn't charge for wood, and there weren't so many people.
One thing though--you mentioned that you'd need to stay in hotels sometimes? Both Banff and Jasper are tourist towns (the town of Jasper is actually inside the park), but in both places there are residents that will let you rent a room from them and stay in their home--MUCH cheaper than the hotels, and I bet a lot of them still have wi-fi or that sort of thing. We didn't go that route because we were traveling with our dog, but you might want to look into it. I don't remember the link, but you could google for it I'm sure.
The ferry is quite pricy if you're traveling with a car, but if you go without a vehicle it's not a bad way to get back south... another option is to drive to Prince Rupert and take the ferry from there (saves a day and a half and several hundred $$)...we've explored a lot of these price options in the last two years
btw, I'm watching this thread with interest...we've lived in rural southeast for the last two years, but are moving in just a month...only we don't know where,
Anchorage/Mat-Su is likely, but there's a possible job opportunity in Fairbanks that if they offer the job we'll almost certainly take it, so hey, maybe we'll be neighbors!! (I'm 11wks pg, so just a month or so behind you it sounds like? what fun what fun!_