Start of the Alaska Highway!

We made it!  We spent the day today traveling the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, BC to Fort Nelson, BC!  We have had some amazing experiences over the last few months and wouldn’t trade any of them, but the summer in Alaska has always been the goal for our year of travel and it feels so great to be on our way!  For years – and we mean a lot of them – we have dreamed about Alaska and traveling the Alaska Highway, so this has been years in the making.  We are so excited for all the adventure to come!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Alaska Highway is one of several routes you can take to get to Alaska.  It runs from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, AK.  The highway was built in the 1940s as a military road in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Japanese threat to Alaska and Pacific shipping lanes.  It was not opened to the public until 1948.  It is probably the most popular route to Alaska because it has the most services along it, passes through multiple towns, and has decently maintained roads.  That said, it can still be very remote.  Cell service is spotty, at best, and fuel stations can be few and far between.  Even today, on our first day, we experienced this.  We had planned to stop for fuel at one station that turned out to be closed when we arrived.  Luckily, we were still ok, but the next fuel station was 110 miles away and it forced us to push the limit a little more than we like.  Planning ahead and being prepared is vital.

Anyway, our much anticipated first day on the Alaska Highway started out kind of icky.  It had rained for a solid 24 hours straight and the campsite we were in was a bit muddy.  That would not dampen our spirits.  We packed up in the rain and headed straight over to the Alaska Highway sign and historic mile 0 milepost for some photos.  Then we got on our way.  The first stretch of the highway isn’t the most scenic stretch, but it was still great!  We saw lots of hills, rivers, creeks, so many trees, the still-smoldering remains of a wildfire, two foxes (or maybe they were coyotes…it was hard to tell), and even two bears!

Our plan was to spend the night at Buckinghorse River Wayside Provincial Park which is located right along the river, but we were met by a closed gate when we arrived.  The Milepost, which is an essential travel guide that contains mile-by-mile information about all the routes to Alaska, said this campground is typically open from May to September, so we didn’t consider that it would be closed, but we think it is probably because of the wildfires in the area.  At any rate, we were forced to carry on down the road and ended up in an RV park instead.  We are quickly learning that being flexible on a trip like this is key.

Tomorrow will be an early morning for us since we are hoping to get a first come, first served campsite at Muncho Lake Provincial Park.  There aren’t a ton of sites there, so we need to get there as early as possible to have any chance at getting a site.  Check back soon to see if we got one, and hopefully, to see some photos of what we hear is a gorgeous lake!

Until next time!

6 thoughts on “Start of the Alaska Highway!”

  1. It sounds like the strategy will be to fill up at every gas station that you come to. 110 miles to the next one, after you find one closed could be cause for concern!

    How much traffic is there on the highway? Is it two lanes the entire way?

    1. We were lucky we hadn’t cut it too close already and were able to make it to the next station. We have kept quite a close eye on it since then!

      There is actually more traffic on the highway than we expected. We thought we would go hours without seeing another car, but it is only minutes, at least for now. It is kind of comforting to know that others are around since there is no cell service or way to call for help, if needed. At least this way we know someone will be along soon! The road is mostly two lanes with an occasional passing lane when going up-hill. And so far, we have only hit a couple of patches of gravel and the road has been in pretty good condition. We are told that will change within a day or two.

        1. Not usually. If there is a particular destination in mind (like we had with Muncho Lake) we go by that, but usually we just stop when we feel like it. We are taking our time, so we never drive more than 5 hours or so. We are really enjoying the leisurely pace and being able to stop and take it all in.

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