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Thread: Alcan Hwy is Great Today

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Alcan Hwy is Great Today

    I'm just out of Whitehorse today, heading north from Portland to Kodiak in Mid-March and am stunned by the Excellent driving conditions, been a warm winter by locals reports and as you can see with these pics the roads are dry and skies clear,

    Of course this could all change, but thought I'd throw some pics and reports of this drive up for those planning a drive soon.

    As you can see I am driving a low clearance rig, Saab 9-3 and as for all the tire warnings I have not hit a pothole deeper than 2 inches, REALLY the road is in excellent condition. I'm doing I-5 Portland to Bellingham and the border, which this time of year was only a ten minute wait to cross, then Can hwy1 east and north on 97 thru Cache Creek heading for the Alcan at Dawson Creek



    The roads in British Columbia were all dry versus the Blizzard conditions I remembered from another winter drive in the past.

    Gas is averaging 1.05 per liter so around $.20 a gallon in lower BC

    Some pretty cool wildlife around, Kicked this guy up from his nap in the afternoon and had to grab some shots





    This is north of Watson lake as the road smooths out and straightens out all the way to Whitehorse. As you can see it's real nice traveling and I honestly have seen this as the norm, No Gravel yet and very easy on the tires as far as Potholes.


  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default further North

    Got a little out of order there, here is south of Watson Lake, which is maybe a tougher part of the drive depending on what you are driving, gets fairly curvy and if icy would be tough. Ads it was for me just entertaining and really nice scenery,



    Gotta love the Canadians and their Graphics, didn't see any sheep tho



    Did run into a bunch of Elk, and these were posing for me,



    And then this nice young Bull, check out those rack buttons developing in spring


  3. #3
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default On to Whitehorse

    On north to Whitehorse this afternoon, but one more of that Bull munching on the road side. Trying to appreciate the wildlife after years of realizing it is easy to become "used to" or complacent to how cool it is to live up here. Got to strain to pull over to photograph rather than blow on by and it is always worth it to take time and appreciate this country.



    I have only hit on one stretch of icy roads, after hearing of all the blizzarding up north while on this trip I expected to get hammered and once i hit this stretch south of Whitehorse I thought, it's all white from now on,

    but no, only fifty miles of it and back to dry and crunchy....



    and Here it is North of Whitehorse, AMAZING, and notice the traffic. No tourists this time of year makes for easy driving with no stress of passing Motorhomes etc. There are a few Big Rigs passing throwing gravel but it's not as bad as other times of year for sure



    Ok, I'll keep posting to this as I finish out thru Anch tomorrow and to Homer by Saturday. Been an Excellent trip much nicer than expected,

    OF COURSE THIS COULD ALL CHANGE BUT.....

    Gas prices at the remote stops can get over 1.25/liter or approx. $5.25/gal so plan your stops well. It was back down in Whthse but with poor exchange rate in Canada, get your extra stuff in the states, even your bag of chips and stuff, or you'll get hit pretty hard in Northern Canada

    Oh Yeah, DO NOT MISS Liard Hot Springs no matter how much it doesn't fit your schedule, I planned it for a 7pm arrival and found my way back in the dark with a flashlight,(about a 1/4 mi walk on a boardwalk) and it was so worth the time and was, as I barely remembered Fantastic. I mention as it would be easy to blow off if you stopped by in a mid day but stop anyway, you''ll love it for sure.

    Ok any questions, i'd love to help with recent drive experience to those planning or wondering.

  4. #4
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default That's $4.20 a gallon gas

    I missed a number in first post that's $1.05/liter or nearly $4.20 a gallon

    I haven't figured out the fine details but heard the exchange rate is nearly non existent as in Canadian dollar is equivalent to US dollar and the liter is nearly an exact quart (1 liter is 1.05 quarts) so four is a gallon, close enough for my math

    Hope that is not too far off but this much is true

    GAS - EXPENSIVE in CANADA

  5. #5

    Default Gas

    Yeah, when I went down in November and up in December, the gas prices were high, but not quite what you are seeing. I was regularly getting $.99 or $.97 / liter in the larger towns. It definitly was a lot higher in the small, remote areas, but if you planned ahead, you could miss most of those. Sometimes you have to fill up when you are only down a quarter tank to make the next long stretch for a big town though.

    Watch for the frost heaves on the north end of your trip, closer to the border (probably already there by now though). Your car should do fine, but they can throw you if you aren't paying attention.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing along the way. I love that drive. went down and back a little over a year ago in a car. I usually drive a pickup, but it was so nice even in a subaru. I bet your Saab is great fun. They have made that road so easy now. when I went I forget for sure but I got hit I think as high as 1.60 liter. I was driving at the all time oil high. That's the only part of the trip thats not fun. Our weather here in south central has been like spring time so you should have smooth sailing.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    I have seen it $1.55 Ca a liter in 2006 but I also remember .62 a liter in 2000 in Whitehorse. In perspective I also paid $65 a night in Norther Rockies Lodge in 2000 and they are near twice that as well. I have figured (from my math and stops) it is twice as expensive to travel the ALCAN in 2010 as 2000 (and that is without the exchange rate, which was another 1/3rd more for you US $).

  8. #8
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    When I first drove the Alcan in 82 I came up the road with a pickup loaded heavy,a boat on top, pulling a travel trailer behind,loaded to the max and it cost $600.00 to drive that time. A year ago in a subaru not over loaded it was $600.00. It will be interesting to see where it will be in 25 years.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    When I first drove the Alcan in 82 I came up the road with a pickup loaded heavy,a boat on top, pulling a travel trailer behind,loaded to the max and it cost $600.00 to drive that time. A year ago in a subaru not over loaded it was $600.00. It will be interesting to see where it will be in 25 years.
    that sounds like a group of us in the military going from Nc area to the base at Fort Ord ca for training and all of us piled into a military van pulling a trailer loaded with our stuff ..we made in like three days of saight driveing with one person a wake with the driver and the rest of us sleeping in the back on the floor or in the one seat that was in the van ,.We stoped for gas and food and bathroom breaks where side of the road when we had to ..
    We had so many days to get there and we wanted to go to the beach first and have some fun before reporting in ..

  10. #10
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    hope you make it with that crappy car!
    Semper Fi!

  11. #11
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Made it with "that car"

    I made it. to Anch anyway, pressin' on to Homer for Ferry tomorrow, I get to ride on "The Kennicott" into Kodiak so got the Cadillac cruise all the way.

    "That Car" hit 35 mpg for a while on the cruise into Ak and was a blast to drive, last time I drove was with a '78 Ford F100 stepside in '03 getting around 20mpg with the straight six 300 tuned as well as I could. So was thinking it was around $500 then should be about $750 now but the Swedes make a good car and I spent $364 in gas (547 gal from Portland OR to Anch, 2618 miles), $315 in Hotels, and another $50 in stuff like a spare Jug for gas and Oil chg etc.

    The Welcome into AK as far as roads pictured below was Fantastic and good to be back to $3.90 in Glennallen and $3.52 in Anch (yes, I did buy 91 Octane gas, but with that mpg i figured it was worth it???) Not for long probably

    Anyway figure accordingly to the average of 33mpg for my trip, even in Southern Canada I didn't see anything less than $1.05/liter for Canadian gas (tops was $1.35/ltr or $5.40/gal in Toad River due to poor planning or a psych out on the remoteness there)and the exchange rate is $98.24 US to $100 Cdn according to my ATM withdrawal somewhere along the way.

    Good To Be Almost Home, Check out the weather just across the border bound for Tok Jct.



    And "That Car" happy driver with car built in Sweden (can't help it I'm half Swede and Half Finn by heritage)



    WELCOME BACK TO ALASKA yeah



    I didn't take any pics of the arrival in the Valley or Anchorage, sorry it wasn't that pretty

  12. #12
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Excellent Pictures and thanks for posting this info.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I make the trip from Yellowknife to Cooper Landing each fall after the "regular tourists" have left. It really is one of the nicest drives around. The frost heaves North of Whitehorse can be pretty bad and the section between the borders in no mans land can be pretty rough too.
    During the high oil price period I ended up paying $1.799 in Northern BC. That works out to $6.81 a gallon.
    I leave for Alaska on the Labour Day weekend and the drive is excellent with little traffic and when I return home in eary October it's even better.
    The traffic on the rivers in AK is lighter too.

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