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Thread: Did I Miss The Last Frontier?

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    Default Did I Miss The Last Frontier?

    Hello

    I am intending to head north to AK in mid June - but am getting a little worried that I have missed the last frontier - what I mean is, I realize there is an endless wilderness off of the beaten path, but I am not intending to leave my vehicle & small camp trailer - yet my idea of going to Alaska isn't being packed like a sardine in an RV park with a giant fiberglass Yogi Bear or Paul Bunyan. I am looking for a level of solitude - dry camping only, and wilderness. A few camping neighbors is fine, but I don't need or want the amenities of RV parks - & all I see are photos closely resembling a Walmart parking lot. Am I worried for nothing? What really can I expect to find?

    Thanks

    MAW

  2. #2

    Default few roads

    You are right to be concerned.

    Go to: http://511.alaska.gov/alaska511/mappingcomponent and really look at that first page you get. Look at all that land vs. so few roads. Compare that to a Western State in the Rocky Mountains region (you pick which), and you'll see a huge disparity; they have tons more roads than we do here.

    MAWard, don't get me wrong - I'm not "un-welcoming" you here; Alaskans are a very welcoming people - but look long and hard at what roads are available. Buy a copy of the "MilePost"; any of the last few year's editions will do; likely you can get one a few years old for almost free on ebay or amazon; the MilePost has every mile of every road described. Read up.
    Last edited by FamilyMan; 03-26-2012 at 23:17. Reason: P.S. Welcome to the forums! You'll find a lot of info here too.
    Dear whatever doesn't kill me, I'm strong enough now. Thanks.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    You are right to be concerned.

    Go to: http://511.alaska.gov/alaska511/mappingcomponent and really look at that first page you get. Look at all that land vs. so few roads. Compare that to a Western State in the Rocky Mountains region (you pick which), and you'll see a huge disparity; they have tons more roads than we do here.

    MAWard, don't get me wrong - I'm not "un-welcoming" you here; Alaskans are a very welcoming people - but look long and hard at what roads are available. Buy a copy of the "MilePost"; any of the last few year's editions will do; likely you can get one a few years old for almost free on ebay or amazon; the MilePost has every mile of every road described. Read up.
    There are tons of places where you can get off the beaten path a bit. Plenty of little camp grounds that don't provide the full service amenities that the big Class A super coaches are looking for. There are even some "dead" campgrounds that have no upkeep but still physically exist. Get a milepost and start researching. Get on the phone an call people, not just the parks but also the ones providing tours etc. Frequently they will have insight into good places to stay that are off the well beaten path. Avoiding holidays is helpful too as the 700,000 Alaskan residents join the 1.2 million tourists to pack everything to the gills!

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    Thanks for reply - I just got the 2012 MP this week. Yes it does seem like there are limited roads in AK - so what you're saying is, it's hard to leave the hoards of RV'ers behind -- with such limited roads??

    Ps just saw 2nd post - ok thanks also for input

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    http://www.adn.com/2012/03/26/239161...-pinch-of.html <-- According to that article, it's a lil' less crowded than it used to be, comparatively speaking.

    I "dry camp" frequently, and as Lujon stated, there is more to Alaska than a roadmap will show. The Milepost is a good guide, stopping in at lodges/gas stations/diners etc. along your route and politely asking questions will help.

    The Last Frontier hasn't existed up here for quite sometime, but there are lots of good spots to camp without having a crowd around you. Spend some time exploring the forums, contribute where you can, and folks may pass along a gem or two. Fill us in a bit on what your intended route is and what area(s) of the State you are focused on, and perhaps some of us can be of help.

    Be warned tho', some folks here claim to be experts on Alaska, when in fact they've been here for a very brief time and have always just followed the crowd, their "advice" will be worth exactly what you paid for it.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAWard View Post
    Thanks for reply - I just got the 2012 MP this week.
    Good call on getting the most recent edition, not much changes up here from year to year, however when it does it can throw a wrench in your plans. Once you get a route figured out, start checking out google earth, it might be a bit more useful than just the road map.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAWard View Post
    Thanks for reply - I just got the 2012 MP this week. Yes it does seem like there are limited roads in AK - so what you're saying is, it's hard to leave the hoards of RV'ers behind -- with such limited roads??
    That issue is aggravated by the timing issue. May popular locations are popular for a very short time; you have to know to be there THEN. For example:

    - choose the best double-low tide (you can get two limits of razor clams, one before, and one after midnight) on the West side of the Kenai penninsula; and you'll see 10,000 people there that day; what are their per year of those during warmier climes? 3/year? 4?. Choose a diffferent day/tide and you might see only 100 people; go back in the winter and you might be alone.

    - Choose the Kenai or Kasilof mouths during their dipnet-heyday in July; I've been caught in actual "real life" gridlock, where my vehicle could not be moved in any direction until the tide when back down many hours later (leaves more room for vehicles then).

    - Ditto the King Salmon run, silver run, etc.... along any road accessible or quick walk accessible area to any stream/river.

    If you're there when Alaskans think thats the right time to be there; you'll be overrun and think you're in downtown Detroit (well, except the people are nicer here )

    But also, as Lujon says, there are some out of the way places you can drive to; its pretty hard to find info on them; they're kept pretty close, by most. One post on here about some easy to get to great place with no people, will no longer be at least one of those things....
    Dear whatever doesn't kill me, I'm strong enough now. Thanks.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    If you take the ferry to some of the islands you can find thousands of miles of old logging roads.You can see people or not your choise around here.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Back, just after the US purchased Alaska from Russia folks said..'that's the end of the last frontier'.

    Then, in the 30's when they bought the farmers to the Matsu.. folks said.. 'that's the end of the last frontier'.

    Then, at statehood folks said...'that's the end of the last frontier'...

    Then last month when Brwnbr bought a helmet folks said...'that's the end of the last frontier'.....

    But really, it's a mind set, and you will find it if you look. It's still here, alive and well, and always will be since.... well...it's the last one!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Stay off the Glenn, Parks, Seward and Sterling highways, and you'll have better luck. The Steese, Taylor, Elliot, and McCarthy road are all less traveled but you'll still see people. If you break down, you might wish you were on one of the busier ones! If you want real peace and quiet, I'd zig instead of zag and head for the Northwest Territory or northern Yukon in Canada.
    "– the stars, the snow, and the fire. These are the books he reads most of all." ~John Haines

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    If you really look for it, you will find what you seek.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Stay off the Glenn, Parks, Seward and Sterling highways, and you'll have better luck. The Steese, Taylor, Elliot, and McCarthy road are all less traveled but you'll still see people. If you break down, you might wish you were on one of the busier ones! If you want real peace and quiet, I'd zig instead of zag and head for the Northwest Territory or northern Yukon in Canada.
    yeah, but all the folks over there speak Canadian!

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    This is a list of campgrounds managed by the State of Alaska in the general area we call Southcentral. Click on the dots for individual campground info.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/mappage.htm

    Kenai Peninsula Information only:

    If you come to the Kenai Peninsula, which you probably will, I would suggest you check out some of the ones in this link managed by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Most are free, and surprisingly have available sites during the summer. I like these.
    http://kenai.fws.gov/VisitorsEducators/visiting/camping/cmpchart.htm

    Also available on the Kenai Peninsula are campgrounds managed by the Chugach National Forest and these locations are available from that land manager.
    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/alaska/chugcmp.htm

    And your Milepost will give you several listings of privately owned campgrounds in case you decide you would like to hook up to utilities for a while.

    No, you do not have to camp like packed sardines. However that means you will have to avoid the high use areas during salmon runs.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    yeah, but all the folks over there speak Canadian!
    OK, hoser, what aboot it, eh?
    "– the stars, the snow, and the fire. These are the books he reads most of all." ~John Haines

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    Thanks all -- your replies make me feel better - yup - I'll probably do some zigging & zagging on my way up -

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    Bookmarking these sites - thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    This is a list of campgrounds managed by the State of Alaska in the general area we call Southcentral. Click on the dots for individual campground info.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/mappage.htm

    Kenai Peninsula Information only:

    If you come to the Kenai Peninsula, which you probably will, I would suggest you check out some of the ones in this link managed by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Most are free, and surprisingly have available sites during the summer. I like these.
    http://kenai.fws.gov/VisitorsEducators/visiting/camping/cmpchart.htm

    Also available on the Kenai Peninsula are campgrounds managed by the Chugach National Forest and these locations are available from that land manager.
    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/alaska/chugcmp.htm

    And your Milepost will give you several listings of privately owned campgrounds in case you decide you would like to hook up to utilities for a while.

    No, you do not have to camp like packed sardines. However that means you will have to avoid the high use areas during salmon runs.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Ahhh - a picture is worth (more than) a thousand words - I take it a midnight run for Tums would not be easy-- ?

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    MAW you will find what you are looking for along the Denali Highway, about midway between Paxon and Cantwell.
    When confronted with multiple solutions or hypotheses, the simplest is usually the most correct (Occam's Razor) and Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (Hanlon's Razor)

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    I'm with Erik! as soon as I read this post the Denali highway came to mind. Wildlife everywhere and beautiful views... And not as many people seem to know about it. Although I may have been lucky the times I've gone...

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