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Old 01-04-2009, 02:43 PM   #1
GodWhomIsMike
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Default How many weeks to drive from NYC to Alaska, see Alaska, and drive back to NYC?

I would love to drive from New York City across parts of the US and Canada (Especially the Yukon), and head to Alaska. My heart is in the mountains, and absolutely love the winter (my favorite is the winter up in the mountains when I used to spend 2 weeks up there each winter).

Question is: How many weeks to drive from NYC to Alaska, spend a few days seeing Alaska, and drive back to NYC? I would most likely like to stop and sleep at motels overnight to freshen up and get a few hours of sleep.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:44 PM   #2
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Three weeks if you want to enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Bad idea to do this trip in late December 2009 into early January 2010?
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodWhomIsMike View Post
Bad idea to do this trip in late December 2009 into early January 2010?
No idea. I've never done it myself. I'm just guesstimating the time based on other road trips I've taken.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #5
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Would have a new set of winter tires installed for the trip. I assume that would be a bare minimum.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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I would say that you don't want to do any of this drive during the winter, and of those 3 weeks, two would be entirely driving, sleeping, and eating. Just doesn't seem worth it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Bad idea to do this trip in late December 2009 into early January 2010?
Horrifically bad idea.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodWhomIsMike View Post
Bad idea to do this trip in late December 2009 into early January 2010?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LastResort View Post
Horrifically bad idea.
Based on what?

You just need to be prepared. New winter tires is definately not the bare minimum. The stretches of highway through Northern BC and the Yukon will be the longest, loneliest stretches of highway you will probably ever see. You need to be prepared... good sleeping bag, warm clothes, candles... everything you need to survive in extreme winter conditions (There is a good chance you will be seeing -40 to -50C temperatures). You will also want to make sure your antifreeze mix is good for AT LEAST -60C. -35C is just not going to cut it.

Expect to pay quite a bit for hotels/motels along the way, but probably not extreme compared to NY. Mid-winter is one of the best times to visit the Liard Hot Springs along the way. You will also see lots of Caribou, Sheep and Goats in the winter.

I suggest driving further west first and making the northern trip up through BC. Not that we don't all love Alberta () but the drive up from Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie is flat straight freeway that is rather boring. You will have seen a lot of flat country by that point, so you might as well maximize you mountain time by driving up through central BC.

As long as you are prepared, and also prepared to lay over extra days if theweather/roads are iffy, it would be a good trip. Just don't under estimate the extreme conditions. It gets cold.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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Based on what?
Reduced service at the gas station, high probability of snowfall through out the entire trip, not traveling in a group etc. I would have suggested late February/March to reduce the probability of finding myself stuck and waiting for a snowplow to clear the road. Besides, I think the Northwest is best seen in the summer. Or find out if the Alcan5000 is running again, and join that.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Who the hell wants to go through all the ass pain of driving across canadia, only to go some place where it's -40 at night?

I lived in AK for 3 years, and I hated every minute of it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastResort View Post
Reduced service at the gas station, high probability of snowfall through out the entire trip, not traveling in a group etc. I would have suggested late February/March to reduce the probability of finding myself stuck and waiting for a snowplow to clear the road. Besides, I think the Northwest is best seen in the summer. Or find out if the Alcan5000 is running again, and join that.
I used to do route planning the AAA and doing that drive in the winter is generally a very bad idea. If you get a run of bad weather the roads could be closed for weeks at a time, maybe longer.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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Apparently, according to a certain Sarah Palin, if you see Alaska, you must also see Russia. I'd allow a couple of months.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:31 PM   #13
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When I was 7, my mom was transfered from Alaska to Maryland (Airforce). We chose to drive rather than fly, and it took us about 2 weeks and almost 5000 miles. This was with a 7yr old and a 3yr old. How my parents are still together I have no idea.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #14
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I drove from Edmonton to Winnipeg - 1,300km (800miles) - in one day once. It's easy to do because it's flat, straight and boring, and the speed limit is posted at 120kmph (75mph) on the Yellowhead.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodWhomIsMike View Post
Bad idea to do this trip in late December 2009 into early January 2010?
Depends how much you like possibly freezing to death. Of course its possible, but you better be extremely well prepared.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:46 PM   #16
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I've made the drive from new hampshire to alaska and back. It took ten days driving out, and nine driving back. I was also in my truck pulling a trailer the whole way, so you should be able to shave a day or two off of that. Like people have already said, it is a tough drive especially in the winter, and not something to be taken lightly. once in the yukon, you will literally go HUNDREDS of miles without seeing anything but trees. pack warm clothes, extra food, signal flares, and maybe one of those GPs emergency beacon things les stroud is always plugging on TV, because you won't have any cell service. once in AK plan on at least a week. if you want more info or want to talk to someone who has made that drive and has lived in AK feel free to PM me.
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