Following the AlCan North to Alaska — a Fun-Filled Itinerary

See our ongoing coverage of the Alaska Highway’s 75th birthday in the coming days.

Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway is in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Just getting to this starting point, however, is a memorable journey unto itself. The fun-filled itinerary below takes RVers on a journey from Calgary, Alberta, to the AlCan’s starting point. It then snakes along the AlCan all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska, an epic trip that encompasses some of Canada’s most amazing attractions.

 

Taking the long road to Alaska

Drive 2,053.6 miles • 43 hours, 51 minutes

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1. Calgary

Starting Point • Entertainment, History, Outdoor Recreation

Although the 1988 Winter Olympics have long come and gone, Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park is still operational and open to the public. The sprawling facility hosts summer activities that include mountain biking, zip lining and miniature golf. During July, the Calgary Stampede lives up to its rowdy reputation as the world’s largest rodeo. Pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy the city’s Peace Bridge (below), which spans the Bow River.

RECOMMENDED STOPOVERS

Bow RiversEdge Campground – Cochrane, AB – (403) 932-4675

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2. Jasper

254.5 miles, 5 hours, 35 minutes • History, Nature, Outdoor Recreation

Jasper National Park is one of Canada’s most popular attractions, but the small town that sits at the park’s entrance has lots of charms of its own. Check out Pyramid Lake (below) near town, a popular spot for picnicking and boating. Nearby Patricia Lake inside Jasper National Park was the site of a secret World War II aircraft carrier experiment. Also in town is the Jasper Visitor Centre and the boarding point of the Jasper Skytram, Canada’s longest and highest aerial tram.

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RECOMMENDED STOPOVERS

Hinton/Jasper KOA – Hinton, AB – (888) 562-4714

3. Grande Prairie

251.7 miles, 5 hours, 21 minutes • History, Nature, Outdoor Recreation, Sports

Known as “Swan City” because of its position near the migratory route of trumpeter swans, Grand Prairie has plenty of biking and walking paths, some of which span the circumference of nearby Crystal Lake. Additional attractions include the lovely Dunes Golf and Winter Club just south of town and Jurassic World, one of the world’s most abundant dinosaur bone beds and site of the recently launched Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.

RECOMMENDED STOPOVERS

Camp Tamarack RV Park – Grande Prairie, AB – (877) 532-9998

Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association – Grande Prairie, AB – (866) 202-2202

4. Dawson Creek

83.9 miles, 1 hour, 54 minutes • Entertainment, History

At the very start of the Alaska Highway (Mile 0, to be exact), the little town of Dawson Creek is a popular stopping-off point for travelers making the journey north. The downtown area features a number of cultural attractions, including the Dawson Creek Art Gallery in a repurposed granary, a pioneer museum, a railroad museum and the Alaska Highway House, which recounts the story of the construction of the famous highway.

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5. Watson Lake

601.4 miles, 12 hours, 44 minutes • Nature, Quirky

An interesting break from the region’s numerous tree-filled woodlands, Watson Lake offers its own kind of timberland: a Sign Post Forest (above) that features some 77,000 signs with the names of places from across the planet. Most of these signs have been contributed by visitors. Other attractions include the Northern Lights Space and Science Centre, which features simulated versions of the Northern Lights in the summer months.

6. Whitehorse

273 miles, 6 hours, 3 minutes • Entertainment, History, Nature, Sports

The capital of Yukon and the province’s largest city, Whitehorse has earned the title of Canada’s “Wilderness City” because of its beautiful natural surroundings dominated by mountains and lakes. The little city also has plenty of festivals throughout the year, including the Adäka Cultural Festival, which focuses on the arts and traditions of the region’s First Nations people and the Yukon Quest, a 1,000-mile dogsled race between Yukon and Alaska.

7. Fairbanks

589.1 miles, 12 hours, 14 minutes • History, Nature, Outdoor Recreation

You’ve made it! Fairbanks is the end of your journey to Alaska, but only the beginning of a host of adventures, including Denali National Park and Preserve, the Chena River State Recreation Area and several local museums. Visit during June to enjoy the Midnight Sun Festival.

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3 comments

  1. Anonymous

    we will be taking our third rv trip to Alaska from florida.

  2. Anonymous

    Hope to make the trip next summer, 2018.

  3. Anonymous

    We stayed at Camp Tamarack in Grande Prairie, AB last summer on our return leg from Alaska. Great park, highly recommend it. We enjoyed it so much, we stayed an extra day. Our Alaska trip was so much fun. Do it if you can!!