What better way to celebrate my hubby’s birthday than going on an adventure? We’re not your typical white-haired aging couple. We always wanted to see the greatness of Alaska, but the typical Alaska cruise wasn’t really for us. We wanted more adventure!
We decided on an RV adventure. It was going to be our very first kick at this can.
Where to go, what to see and most importantly, what RV to drive became our first thoughts. After speaking with many helpful RV owners who willingly shared their love for RV’ing along with their favorite places, we made up our minds. We had an opportunity to see various types of RVs, and we decided to rent a 23-foot class A motorhome powered by a Ford Super Duty 350. They definitely helped in our decision to explore the Yukon and Alaska in June of 2015!
Tripping planning from Canada to top of the world
We began in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, and continued on to Fairbanks, Alaska. We decided not to make too many firm plans so that we could be free to stay longer in places that piqued our interest. So we pre-booked our first three nights in Whitehorse to get accustomed to our RV and three nights in Denali National Park, Alaska, as we had read it’s sometimes difficult to get a campsite at the last minute. Our route planning came next. Again, “The Milepost” was quite helpful with its maps and detailed information on destinations and attractions. We ended up with a figure eight route, looping from the Yukon to Alaska and back to the Yukon.
Our favorite resources on the road
- The Milepost – an extensive guide book covering Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia.
- http://www.campgroundviews.com – where you can find RV parks and campgrounds but looking at thousands of videos and photos
- http://www.gasbuddy.com/ – a group of local websites which offers an online method for website visitors to post and view recent retail gasoline prices.
- Visitor centers, where available, were always our first stops and we found loading our GPS with their address helped us in getting from place to place.
Top of the World Highway
The Top of the World Highway was truly breathtaking with spectacular views. It is maintained only during late spring to early fall. The road is quite winding and narrow in places so we allowed plenty of time for travel and made sure to fill up at each gas station. We crossed the border into Alaska (elevation 4127 feet) which is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Time.
Our favorite places were Whitehorse, Dawson City, Chicken, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez and Skagway. Highlights were seeing a moose with her calves at our campsite early one morning and our first bear sighting as we began our drive on The Top of the World highway!
We even made some time for evening fun…
Wildlife galore, no Alaska cruise required
We feasted on halibut, Copper River salmon and crab, tasted Yukon Gold and Alaskan 49th Parallel beer and rode the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad which brought us to an elevation of 2,865 feet as we retraced the route taken by miners during the Klondike Gold Rush.
All in all, it was the perfect RV adventure and we discovered incredible natural beauty previously unknown to us. Our RV was so easy to drive, the roads (for the most part but just like life, small issues always come up) were in great condition and the weather lovely. The museums, hot springs, riverboat cruises, national parks, native heritage centers, the Iditarod headquarters, trail systems and festivals made this an experience we will never forget.
And in the end, we were right, the greatness of Alaska was much better getting to on the road and not an Alaska cruise.