Dream Trip To Yukon and Alaska By Road, To Anywhere Else By Any Means At All

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The Route Chosen Going From Washington DC To Above The Arctic Circle -- (Dream Travel Trip Anywhere; Yukon-Alaska Road Trip)

Alaska and Back: Did The Guides Work? > Getting Ready to Leave

My route to Alaska and back...

The first thousand miles or so from Washington DC to Fargo, North Dakota, was all interstate, and largely boring.

But from there, off the beaten path I went, seeking the Lewis and Clark solitude of our country’s history along old US Highway 2.

That two laner is starkly beautiful as it cuts across hundreds of North Dakota and Montana miles, hugging the Canadian border and leading to the heart of the Northern Rockies and Glacier Park.

From there, it was north to Lake Louise, further north along British Columbia's Icefields Parkway, and then on to fabulous Dawson City in the Yukon.

Turning west and south along The Top of the World Highway, I crossed back into the US at one of the world's highest and northern-most border crossings, stopping for lunch in Chicken, Alaska (Ya' gotta see downtown Chicken to believe it!).

I finally reached Fairbanks and then headed north, crossing the Arctic Circle, navigating the most challenging road I have ever driven: Alaska's Dalton Road.

Next came Denali National Park, followed by a breathtaking journey southeast back into the Yukon, then southwest to Skagway and boarding the neatest ship I've ever seen, Alaska Ferries'
MS Columbia. Our scheduled ports of call, all in Alaska save the last, were:

  • Haines, AK (7 pm, Tues., 8/28)
  • Juneau, AK (12:30 am, Wed. 8/29)
  • Sitka, AK (Wed. 11 am 8/29)
  • Petersburg, AK (Thurs. 1:30 am, 8/30)
  • Wrangell, AK (Thurs. 5:30 am, 8/30)
  • Ketchikan, AK (Thurs. 1:30 pm, 8/30)
  • Bellingham, WA (Fri. 8 am, 9/1).

Dwarfed by all the 15-story cruise ship highrises, the far-more-modest
Columbia took four gentle days to sail down the coastal waterway.

Beautiful surprises lay in store as I visited Vancouver for a day, and then headed across the Cascade Mountains in Washington State to Idaho.

From there, it was down through territory that I knew from trips past: Montana's Gallatin Range, Yellowstone, and east out of Yellowstone Park along the
amazing US 212 skirting the Montana - Wyoming border.

This leg of US 212, known as the Beartooth Highway, was the late Charles Kuralt's top-rated byway in all the US and shows up on just about every other list of America's top ten scenic roads.

At its highest point, you're at about 11,000 feet and can see 360 degrees around you - a view worth the drive from anywhere in North America. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch.

Night(s) of Where I Stayed...
Aug 9 Fargo ND
Aug 10-11 Glacier National Park WY**
Many Glaciers Lodge; Glacier Park
Aug 12-13 Lake Louise BC**
Deer Lodge
Aug 14-16 Prince George BC
Aug 17 Dawson Creek BC
Aug 18 Fort Nelson BC
Aug 19 Watson Lake YT
Aug 20 Whitehorse YT
Aug 21 Dawson City YT**
Bombay Peggy's
Aug 22 Tok AK
Aug 23 Fairbanks AK
Aug 24 Coldfoot Camp AK Above Arctic
Slate Creek Inn (exceptional
simply because it was there!)
Aug 25-26 Denali Park (Healy) AK**
Earthsong Lodge
Aug 27 Beaver Creek YT
Aug 28-
Sept 1
Skagway AK & Ferry**
MS Columbia
Sept 1 Concrete City WA (via
Sept 2 Kellogg ID
Sept 3 Big Sky MT (via Gallatin Gateway)
Sept 4 Yellowstone**
Old Faithful Inn
Sept 5 Cooke City WY
Sept 6 Gillette WY via US 212
Sept 7 Sundance WY via Devils Tower
Sept 8 Austin MN
Sept 9 Back in Washington DC
**Indicates named lodgings were

After the descent from my sky-high meal on this top of the world, it was on to Devil's Tower National monument in eastern Wyoming.

I then had lunch at the very special Higbees Cafe in Sundance, Wyoming, moved on to the awesome Missouri River crossing at Chamberlain, South Dakota, overnighted at Austin, Minnesota, and did the all-interstate return to Washington DC.

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....................................Copyright 2007-8, Clifford L. Brody

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