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Tacoma vs. Alcan Highway

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by TADD3RS, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Jun 9, 2011 at 1:54 AM
    #1
    TADD3RS

    TADD3RS [OP] Master Yota

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    Tad
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    I just bought my sweet 2011, TRD Sport, 6 Speed Manual, Access Cab Tacoma! I am heading down to Oklahoma on an epic road trip. The Air Force likes to move people around.

    This thread is being created to offer Tacoma owners, or any car owners for that matter, a forum to discuss the drive from either to or from Alaska on the Alcan Highway. First, some background info on the highway.

    I think that we can all agree that the Alcan Highway is one the most badass highways in North America.

    The Alcan Highway (Alaska-Canadian Highway), originally built during WWII as a supply line. Side note, the Japanese actual invaded Alaska, a little forgotten fact. The highway spans roughly 1400 miles from Delta Junction, Alaska to Dawson Creek, Canada. The road is paved, but is only a two lane road. There can be significant gaps between fuel and lodging stations; although, this is less of a concern during the summer months, as additional businesses open. The biggest risk is simply driving the giant distance with limited access to maintenance shops and roadside assistance.

    For the most part, the Alcan Highway is not a huge challenge these days. Although most big-city pansies from places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, well... maybe all of Californians for that matter (unless you own a toyota truck) would wince at the idea of the drive. ;)

    To recap, this thread is for those who would like to post advice, tips, tricks, and secret stop spots (restaurants, sites, etc) along the way. Comments should be aimed at informing thread readers of ways to make their travel easier, safer, and more enjoyable!

    I will be posting pictures of my trip, and will update this thread with things I encounter, both good and bad. I can't wait for my trip, I know it will be really great. Any advice for me and any other thread viewers is much appreciated.

    Thanks all,

    -Tad
     
  2. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM
    #2
    Tmill

    Tmill Well-Known Member

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    Just did the ALCAN up from Seattle, it was a great ride. I recommend trying to get gas in the larger towns because it gets really expensive in small areas. I paid $1.55 per liter at one point. If you have questions throw them out while my mind is somewhat fresh.
     
  3. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM
    #3
    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    If you can, post a pic of your route, such as on google or something...I'm making this trip in a week, headed to the Seattle area. How long did it take you? I'm shooting for 3-4 days in Canada....Am I having pipe dreams? What about snow? Did you encounter any?
     
  4. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM
    #4
    especk

    especk Nothin' Special

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    I did the drive from CA to AK. It was a great trip. Tons of animals along the way too. I like the Yukon best.
     
  5. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:11 PM
    #5
    especk

    especk Nothin' Special

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    3" OME lift with 885 coils on nitrocharger 90000 shocks with 5mm trim packer on driver's side, TC UCAs, Rear OME Dakar leafs with nitrocharger shocks, All-pro U-bolt flip kit and 3* Toytec shims, extended rear brakelines, 16" Raceline Rockcrusher 887 wheels with 3.6" backspacking, BFG KM2 305/70/16 tires, Doug Thorley header, Doug Thorley catback exhaust, Volant CAI with ram air, Weathertech floor mats, Kicker 12" sub, Kenwood 500W RMS amp, Relentless Fab front and rear bumpers, 4.88 gears, custom flatbed with swing out tire carrier
    I made it to AK from CA in 4 days. But it was with 2 drivers so we drove most hours of the day.
     
  6. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM
    #6
    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    I have one driver, I'm planning on 12 hour days or more...
     
  7. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM
    #7
    especk

    especk Nothin' Special

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    3" OME lift with 885 coils on nitrocharger 90000 shocks with 5mm trim packer on driver's side, TC UCAs, Rear OME Dakar leafs with nitrocharger shocks, All-pro U-bolt flip kit and 3* Toytec shims, extended rear brakelines, 16" Raceline Rockcrusher 887 wheels with 3.6" backspacking, BFG KM2 305/70/16 tires, Doug Thorley header, Doug Thorley catback exhaust, Volant CAI with ram air, Weathertech floor mats, Kicker 12" sub, Kenwood 500W RMS amp, Relentless Fab front and rear bumpers, 4.88 gears, custom flatbed with swing out tire carrier
    That's going to be tough but not impossible at all. It was about 3500 miles for me. So we did 800-1000 miles per day. I would recommend planning it out in miles per day because it gives you a better idea of what you can really do.
     
  8. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:26 PM
    #8
    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    My trip is looking like 4000 miles total...from Homer AK to Windsor CO...

    1525 miles from White Horse to Bellingham, 539 miles from Homer to Tok and google maps won't let me check the distance from Tok to White Horse. I'm guessing about the same distance. So considering its a rough estimate of 2500 miles, let say 850-900 a day, 3-4 days. I can do that, lol actually I have to do that!!!
     
  9. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM
    #9
    n0rth

    n0rth Well-Known Member

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    I have made the trip from the lower 48 to Fairbanks AK or vice versa 11 times 6 times in my Duramax and 5 in my Tacoma. I generally used the Cassiar as I liked it better and felt it was faster than the Alcan it is shorter mileage wise but towns and fuel stops are more limited. I don't recommend this but with one driver (myself) and the goal of averaging 1000 miles per day roughly 16 to 17 hours and sleeping in the truck while traveling through Canada I could make it 5 days from southern New Mexico to Fairbanks AK roughly 4800 miles.

    One of the best tools for planning a trip through Canada is the Milepost http://www.milepost.com/ Hope this helps and safe travels.
     
  10. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM
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    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    I have the milepost and I will be sleeping in the truck...prolly taking cat naps when I get tired and then driving more.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM
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    n0rth

    n0rth Well-Known Member

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    Nice, you should make it no problem in 4 days. I always felt I lost miles in Canada but would make them up in the US. My favorite route is Tok to Whitehorse to Watson Lake hop on the Cassiar south down to Highway 16 "Yellowhead" east through Banf National park to Calgary and head south to Great Falls MT, Wyoming, Colorado then New Mexico.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2011 at 7:02 PM
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    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    I have family along I-5 north of Seattle that I wanna visit before heading to CO, so I will be coming down from Tok to White Horse, and then down to Prince George and taking the Sea to Sky Highway past Whistler into Vancouver. Should be a sweet trip!
     
  13. Jun 11, 2011 at 7:10 PM
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    n0rth

    n0rth Well-Known Member

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    That will be a sweet trip, I have family around Seattle and came down that way in 2005.
     
  14. Jun 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM
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    TADD3RS

    TADD3RS [OP] Master Yota

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    Good tips so far! Still haven't heard anything about restaurants. Anyone discover a hole-in-the wall joint that has the best chicken wings in the world?
     
  15. Jun 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM
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    KodiakToyTRD

    KodiakToyTRD Well-Known Member

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    Lol, I heard to stop at the hotel in White Horse, get a hair cut and then go across the street to the bar. I guess there's free condoms at the door and I was told to use them...prolly not gonna happen.

    Heres the quote:

    LOL!!!
     
  16. Jun 11, 2011 at 7:41 PM
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    especk

    especk Nothin' Special

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    White Horse was definately a coold town.
     
  17. Jun 11, 2011 at 11:10 PM
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    Tmill

    Tmill Well-Known Member

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  18. Jun 17, 2011 at 9:28 PM
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    AKTACO420

    AKTACO420 Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember which roads we took but we went from Ak to FL and back 3 different times. We vistied all 48 states they were very long awesome trips though. The one thing I always remember is the constuction on the alcan. We saw one of those big dump trucks roll over which was crazy the whole load blocked the highway for 20 mins
     
  19. Jun 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM
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    lamericle

    lamericle Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently traveling the Alaska highway on my way from North Carolina to Anchorage. Bringing the whole fam damnly (Wife, Baby and dog) so we are taking our time and enjoying the trip. Stopped in Haines junction for tonight. Gas hasn't been a problem as there is a place to fill up about every quarter tank that i burn. Food stops however are tricky. Some towns only have one restaurant, if that. We packed some coolers to make sandwiches and plenty of snack foods. The road is pretty easy traveling although there are some rough sections that sustained perma-frost damage so watch out for loose gravel. Other than that enjoy the trip and don't forget to take in the scenery!
     
  20. Jul 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM
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    Russellstiltskin

    Russellstiltskin Oldie but a Goodie

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    I'll jump on this wagon. I have driven the Al-Can up and down 2 times by myself (between the ages of 20 and 23). In my 1999 Tacoma. I remember coming home (north) in early March the 2nd trip i did, and i ran out of gas at Watson Lake and had JUST enough gas in my gas can (3 gallons) to get me IN TO the town of Watson Lake, only to find the gas stations were closed (this was at 1am). The temperature was -40f, and i didnt want to spend money on a motel JUST to wake up again in 5 hours when the gas stations opened. So I slept outside of the motel in the parking lot, in my extended cab (im 6'2) back seat on top of suitcases and guitars, curled up in a ball. (which was actually KIND of comfy) and having to wake up every 35 minutes to warm up the truck (and engine for that matter). THAT was when i woke the next morning and thought, "Damn! This will be a cool story to tell my kids". Not near as cool as the stories i have from the family road trips down the highway from North Pole, AK. 5 kids, and it was actually at the time CHEAPER to DRIVE outside to visit family, so every few years mom and dad would pack us kids and drive straight through. I DO remember distinctly leaving North Pole on a Friday morning, and making it to Disneyland on that following Monday. My dad was a speed freak i think. haha. I get my ability to drive 16+ hour days from him, not to mention my love for the open road.
     
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