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Help!! Driving from Seattle to Talkeetna, Alaska!

Help!! Driving from Seattle to Talkeetna, Alaska!

Old Mar 26th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Help!! Driving from Seattle to Talkeetna, Alaska!

Hello!

I am driving from Seattle to Talkeetna (Mt. McKinley) in late April and I really need some input on what to do/where to stay! Here are some of my thoughts so far:

We are wanting to stop by a hotsprings on the way, maybe Liard Springs? Other good ones?

Also, should we take the Alaskan Highway the whole way or I have heard that there is a Coastal Highway?

Any suggestions for Mt McKinley? We have heard that either a bush plane or a helicopter touor is the way to go if you are strapped for time (we are!)

What about: Dawson City and Skagway? should we go there?

Thanks- I really appreciate your input!

matt
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Purchasing a copy of "The Milepost" would be a good idea, it has a mile-by-mile listing of all the routes thru Canada and in Alaska, with info on what to see, where to stay, where to eat, etc.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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There is no "Coastal Highway" to get to Alaska. You may be thinking of the "Marine Highway", which is the state-run ferry system along the SE Alaska coast.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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The shortest route would be via the Cassier Hwy. The last portion of your trip into Alaska would be on the Alaska Hwy but you would not travel the southeastern portion of it. Micrsoft Streets and Trips shows that route to be 2,308 miles.

If you are not familiar with it, the routing would be north from Seattle/Vancouver to Prince George, BC via I-15/Canada Then, WNW on the Yellowhead Hwy, C-16 to Kitwanga. North on the Cassier Hwy, BC-37 to the junction with the Alaska Hwy and then on into Alaska.

I've driven most of that route several times and it is seriously scenic. Have a great trip.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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The route to Prince George should have read "via I-15/Canada Hwy 1."
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 09:50 PM
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We did this in April several times in the 70's---before there were alternatives (like the Cassier Highway). It's a great trip if you have the right attitude.

You absolutely need a copy of the Milepost to know where the gas stations, etc. are.

And Liard River hot springs is a great place to stop. They have a beautiful hot pool---you could spend hours in it. It is a good idea to plan on staying (camping) right there.

Both Dawson City and Skagway are off the main route. Both are nice places, but what is your goal?
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Old Mar 27th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Also recommend knowing where all the gas stations are and when they are open. Family member made a marathon drive a few years ago Anchorage to NH about the first of May. Just made it to one station before closing. Slept in the parking lot of another (driving a gas hog and pulling a trailer) a different day.
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Old Apr 14th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for all the input!! We did get a copy of the Milepost and maps from AAA. The plan is to take the Sea to Ski Highway out of Vancouver and connect to the Cassier Highway and then the Alaskan Highway.

We have been told to fill-up at every gas stations bc they can be far and few between. I am hoping that we can hit-up a hot-springs. Liard River is a bit out of our way- do you know of any good one on our route?

We also plan to hike and fish a good bit- suggestions?

I leave thursday for Seattle- cannot wait.

i will update yall on the trip when I get back- End of April. Please let me know any other thougths that you have- I will check here before I head out!!

Thanks again
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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When will you be coming back? It's too early for the salmon run driven bear sightings now but if you come back in mid-July or later, a detour to Hyder is worthwhile. It is, IMO, the most reliable place on the Alaskan road system to reliably see large numbers of bears.

Hyder is about a 35 mile detour from the Cassier Hwy, about 80 miles north of Kitwanga and the Yellowhead Hwy.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Be aware that the Cassiar has about 50 miles of gravel and is overall not maintained to anywhere near the standard of the Alaska Highway - it can be very rough during Spring breakup (which is now). Liard is the only hot spring worth stopping at on the way to Alaska.

Murray
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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I just re-read your comments about what you're doing, Matt. It doesn't appear that you realize that nothing visitor-related is open this time of year (its still winter here) - no flightseeing, for example - and most hiking trails are still closed by snow.

Murray
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:02 AM
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BEST TRIP EVER!!!

Thank you all so much for your feedback. The trip was great!! WE took the Sea to sky highway out of vancouver and then a few other roads until the Cassiar. The Cassiar connected with the Alaskan Highway!

Great things:
1-Sea to Sky Highway was almost unbelievable- it was so pretty!!
2- Hot Springs right outside of Whitehorse- so great!!
3- Strectch of highway once you enter Alaska was unreal. beautiful frozen lakes and mountains!
4- Flight to Mt. McKinley from Talkeetna- one of the best things that I have ever done. We landed on the Glacier and picked up a couple of climbers at their base camp-WOW!!!
5-We stayed in Hostels the whole time and they were really great!
6-Skiing at Alyeska-Really Cool!

Things that I wish would have been different/didnt like:
1- Anchorage was a big let-down. Not much character and it seemed really dirty.
2-We didnt get to fish or see too many animals (we saw moose, elk, caribou, foxes, rabbits, lots of birds, seea lions, walruses, seals-just no bears or whales!)
3- The hospitality in Canada was pretty weak. We had a credit card stolen, lots of rude employees and we were double charged for an oil change...

All in all- so amazing and I would recommend this trip to anyone!!
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