Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-02-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
When To Go To Alaska?

DW & I have been planning for some time to take a driving trip to Alaska & Northern Canada. We would drive up from California and see as much as we can. Maybe the Demster Hyw to the Canadian Arctic or the ALCAN into Alaska and down & return by car ferry. I have always defaulted to targeting June as the ideal time, it would have long hours of sunlight, winter snow/ice should be gone and maybe even some spring flowers left. Now my brother has worked in the far north a couple times and suggested late July or even August as the weather is drier and the insect populations are more manageable.

Anyone done the Northern Canada/Alaskan drive or lived there who can comment on best travel times? I guess the issues would be sunlight, snow/ice, flowers, insects and when that would balance with hopefully not the peak tourist season, since we can do this anytime.

DW clearly favored a low insect time but rejected a December trip even though it was guaranteed insect free
__________________

__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-02-2006, 03:12 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,577
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Your bro is correct. Later is better. Aug/Sept.
__________________

__________________
razztazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-02-2006, 04:50 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

September is pushing it for northern Canada and Alaska. You will see some snow for sure from time to time in September. I worked Alaska for 1.5 yrs. I would pick mid-July to mid/late August.
__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-02-2006, 08:01 PM   #4
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,163
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

We went in mid July and loved it.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-02-2006, 09:22 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

I drove to the Artic Circle in early July 2002.* It was a great trip.* But it was a little warm and still TOO MANY mosquitos.* On the Dalton highway, there could be as many as 30 mosquitos on each window as soon as I stopped my van!* People up there told me that late July would be better, cooler and less bugs.

Before I went, I knew the joke about mosquito being the Alaskan state bird.* After the trip, I no longer consider it a joke.* All in all, it's a great trip.
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 01:02 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Brrrrr... y'all save me a copy of the video. It's as close as I care to get!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 07:24 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Best time to drive up there is, as was mentioned, late April and return late July to early August. We lived there for 4 years, drove up and back. Anchorage and South is great areas but north the mosquitos are huge expecially around Mt. Mckinley. If you go north of Fairbanks I would try more towards June to do that as weather can be really cold up there late. If I were to go back for an extended visit/vacation I would fly to Anchorage, rent a Jeep or other 4 wheel vehicle and head out and fly back to the US when I finished. Driving up there and back, while interesting, is not the greatest road trip. May have changed but the roads are not interstate level and the trucks are tough. When I drove up and down I slept in the daylight hours and tried to most of the driveing at night to avoid the trucks and resulting traffic. Also if you drive be prepared for any emergency, it may have changed, but help is somtimes a long ways off (make sure your cell phone will work). Great country up there and I am sure you will enjoy it, good luck. Forget December unless you like -80 degree weather around Tok Junction and in the north.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 12:03 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,884
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

DW and I are considering a cruise of some kind next summer to Alaska. Would the mosquito problem also be previlent on a ship?
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 12:06 PM   #9
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,163
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

We cruised the Inside Passage in July.* I don't recall any mosquitos at all.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 12:14 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby
I don't recall any mosquito's at all.
I don't think mosquitos can keep up with 25 knots...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
 
Posts: n/a
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
DW and I are considering a cruise of some kind next summer to Alaska. Would the mosquito problem also be previlent on a ship?
no
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 12:42 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,884
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Quote:
We cruised the Inside Passage in July.
Can you recommend a cruise line or specific cruise ship Gumby?
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 01:20 PM   #13
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,163
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

We went in 2000.* I highly recommend Clipper Cruise Line.* Their ships are small (about 128 passengers max), so you can go to many places the big ships can't go, including, most importantly, right up to the face of the tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay.* Although the ship is small, the cabins are plenty spacious and they all have great outside views.

Of course, with a small ship, there are no Vegas-type shows, no casinos, etc.* But there is a fantastic library/lounge where the passengers gathered.* The crew included two naturalists who mingled with the guests, gave lectures, led hikes ashore and the like.* We also had people come onboard from various places to lecture and show slides.*

The passengers appeared to be in their late fifties to mid seventies, most retired, all physically fit (I don't think there was an elevator) and all interested in the natural wonders around us.* When we went ashore, everyone went hiking and exploring, often with others they met on the boat.* We found the other passengers to be interesting, intelligent, polite, and quiet.* I guess this type of ship attracts them more than the "party hardy, eat and drink all you can" crowd on the bigger traditional cruise ships.* There were no children on our cruise (and, frankly, the ship is not really set up for children).

The food was great. I believe that all their chefs are trained at the Culinary Institute of America or equivalent. There are no specified seatings.* *Some days, the wife and I ate alone, some days with specific people we met on the boat (With a small group. it is easier to get to know people), some days with people we had never met.* The dress was casual.* I wore a sport coat and tie once -- to the traditional Captain's dinner.

The service was fantastic.* The crew were all young Americans who seemed genuinely enthusiatic about their jobs.* While we were watching the glacier crumble in Glacier Bay, they set up a cocktail party on the foredeck, so we could sip cider and champagne.* Once, when we spotted a pod of Orca, the captain turned the boat around and followed them for an hour so we could all take pictures.* I doubt the Princess ship would do the same.

It can sometimes be difficult to book directly with the cruise line, because certain tour operators will book out an entire week.* We went through Tauck Tours and had no problems.

Best wishes for a successful trip.* I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-03-2006, 04:32 PM   #14
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,163
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

That sounds about right. We drive beater cars, don't have any toys, and otherwise don't spend a lot of money, just so we can take one really nice and expensive vacation per year. It is one of the things that keeps me sane while we slave away in the hope of early retirement.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-05-2006, 10:21 PM   #15
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Drove RV to Alaska in end of May to August...From mile "0" at Dawson Creek to Fairbanks mile "1575"..Absolutely beautiful. So much to see...In Fairbanks took a small tour bus to the Artic Circle because the 130 mile road is dirt! Then off to Anchorage and Homer...Then took the ferry from Skagway down to Bellingham Wa. It was like TWO vacations the Alaskan Highway and the five day ferry! Did not have any problems with bugs...Just watch out for bears!
There is a great Alaskan Highway book called the "MilePost"...very informative...Plan on going again next year...from Plymouth, Massachusetts...






__________________
pilgrim555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: When To Go To Alaska?
Old 09-06-2006, 07:59 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: When To Go To Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim555
Drove RV to Alaska in end of May to August...From mile "0" at Dawson Creek to Fairbanks mile "1575"..Absolutely beautiful. So much to see...In Fairbanks took a small tour bus to the Artic Circle because the 130 mile road is dirt! Then off to Anchorage and Homer...Then took the ferry from Skagway down to Bellingham Wa. It was like TWO vacations the Alaskan Highway and the five day ferry! Did not have any problems with bugs...Just watch out for bears!
* There is a great Alaskan Highway book called the "MilePost"...very informative...Plan on going again next year...from Plymouth, Massachusetts...
This is the best way to do the Northern Canada/Alaska tour. Drive one way and then hop the ferry for the other direction. Driving both ways would be tedious. I think most people prefer to do the driving part first, then relax on the multi-day ferry. DW and I didn't do that big of a trip, but we did start in Anchorage, took the ferry to Juneau and then to Skagway and drove from there to Whitecourt, Yukon through Fairbanks and back down via Denali to Anchorage, all back in 2001.

The roads are all paved except for the Dempster Highway to Inuvik in Northern Canada and roads north of Fairbanks. Mostly in good shape except for the permafrost heaves and breaks that occur each spring...which are all well marked.
__________________

__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need recommendation on local Alaska beer mickeyd Other topics 14 05-21-2007 05:35 PM
Alaska Cruise/Tour Question mickeyd Other topics 6 12-15-2006 09:43 AM
Alaska Ideas?? kz Life after FIRE 11 03-08-2005 10:39 AM
Alaska Cruise mickeyd Other topics 2 07-19-2004 06:48 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:31 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.