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Driving to AK from the Lower 48?

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  • Driving to AK from the Lower 48?

    If I was moving to AK and planning to drive my family and stuff up from TN to the Soldotna area, what would be the last month of the year I would want to try and make that trip safely and still have time to get settled in before all the snow hit?

    Thanks in Advance!
    G3 Guy
    "...with God all things are possible." - Mark 10:27

  • #2
    Originally posted by G3_Guy View Post
    If I was moving to AK and planning to drive my family and stuff up from TN to the Soldotna area, what would be the last month of the year I would want to try and make that trip safely and still have time to get settled in before all the snow hit?

    Thanks in Advance!
    You can safely drive the road year round, you just would want to take added precautions the later into winter you go. If your target is to beat the snow in Alaska, you could probably use Halloween as a date for the first snow. Often, there will be some before, but more often recently, we haven't gotten much of anything until then or even a bit later. As far as the condition of the road, many (myself included) would claim the road is actually better to drive in the winter. Potholes are filled with snow and ice so there isn't as much of that kind of stuff to deal with. The big concern is just that as you get further into late fall/winter, the available resources if something goes wrong start to dwindle.

    If you are traveling with kids and are looking to start a new school, you might want to also factor in the school schedule (just throwing the idea out there just in case). I think it starts sometime around the last week of August.

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    • #3
      Snow in the mountains in Canada would be a bigger concern. Early snow tends to be wetter and thus more slippery when it comes in from the coast. You will be having sporadic snow in the Yukon any time after mid September, it will melt off quick most the time.

      I second the school start date being a more important concern than the snow. I moved a lot as a kid and starting school in April, November, etc was a PITA.

      Also I recommend a summer drive to take advantage of the daylight. Mid September and things are going to get frosty in the mornings and you will start having less than 12 hours a day. With all the large critters on the road it is best to drive in the daylight as much as possible.

      You are also spending a huge amount of money to drive through some of the most stunning landscape you will ever see. Why do it in the dark?

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      • #4
        I say don't leave TN after 1 Sep...
        Though the road may be a bit better in the winter, risk of getting caught in a storm; driving in alot of darkness; and availability of help has me agreeing AK Ray!

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        • #5
          I agree about Sept. Last year I left Alaska for the lower 48 on Sept 26 and drove in snow from west of Glennallen well into the Yukon before it turned to rain just before I hit Whitehorse. As for services, I carry 200 gallons of fuel so I can make it from one big town to the next - ones that have services year round, so I couldnt tell you about the mom and pop stations in the sticks. This time of year, even without snow, is cool, so I doubt you'd have trouble running hot with the plow provided you carry it low. Then again it could be 70 in early sept, so tough call.

          As I type this today, diesel,is over $4.50 in Tok and probably $5.50 in Ft Nelson.

          Here's the pics

          Sept 26 near Tok


          Sept 27 close to Whitehorse

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          • #6
            I drove down in feb of 2010 pulling a uhaul trailer behind a two wheel drive van I saw way more road maint. vehicles than travelers. The kept the highway beautiful, but then again I am fearless
            Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
            Unknown author

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