USA to the Yukon to the Arctic Ocean - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
armyRN
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USA to the Yukon to the Arctic Ocean

Road Trip!

A couple years ago (2012 actually) my buddy and I took a 98 Jeep TJ and little trailer up to Canada and Alaska. We had a blast. Here's a write-up on the trip:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f312/...nture-1371427/

This past September (2015) we intended to take my truck (96 Ram 1500 4x4) up to Alaska and Canada again - but Army stuff kinda got in the way. So we're going to try a different route next year (May 2016) and hopefully there won't be any issues for this trip (sometimes you just can't take leave when you want to). We'll be taking the 98 Jeep ZJ we've been building (4.0, auto, 242 transfer case, 3.5" IRO lift, 31" tires, True-tracs front and rear with 4.10 gears and a REAL Dana 44 in the back [thanks ECGS], winch, etc.). And pulling my little trailer (modified since the last time we took it up to Alaska and Canada). And actually, on this trip we might not even get up into Alaska; close - but not quite. Follow along with the verbage and the maps below (if you're really interested it might help to print the maps linked below before you start). We'll be starting off from Fort Hood, Texas (1600+ miles from Ft Hood to Great Falls Montana - it'll be a little bit of a sprint to get to the jump-off point). Of course the exact route isn't set in stone, but this is pretty much what we intend to do. My buddy and I are calling this the "A-Z trip" (to the Arctic Ocean in the ZJ).


The Route:

Map #1. Great Falls to the Canadian border (120 miles). Go to Calgary and hang a left and follow to Jasper. Go right, then left to Grande Cache, then to Grande Prarie and to Dawson Creek. Dawson Creek is the start of the Alaska Highway. Keep going relatively north to Fort Nelson, then left staying on the Alaska Highway.

Map #2. Find Dawson Creek, follow up to Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, and take the Campbell Highway to Ross River, and on to Carmacks. Go north on the Klondike Loop to Dawson City, then to the Dempster Highway to Ft McPherson.

Map #3. Find the Campbell Highway to Carmacks, Dawson City, and the Dempster Highway up to Fort McPherson and Inuvik, then fly to Tuktoyaktuk. Dip toes in Arctic Ocean; high-fives all around.

Now the trip home.

Map #3. Start backtracking from Inuvik; Fort McPherson, Dempster Highway, Dawson City, Klondike Loop to Carmacks. At Carmacks keep going relatively south to Whitehorse, Jakes Corner.

Map #2. Find Dawson City, Clondike Loop, Carmacks, Whitehorse, Jakes Corner. Follow to Teslin along the Alaska Highway to just before Watson Lake. Head south on the Cassiar Highway, and it will later change into the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George.

Map #1. Find the Cassiar Highway and then the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George. From Prince George go south along the West Access Route to Williams Lake, and then keep going SW on the Sea to Sky Highway to Vancouver, From Vancouver we go south to Seattle. I fly home from Seattle; my buddy will get back to Texas with the Jeep and trailer whenever he's done visiting folks in WA.

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Attached Files
File Type: pdf Alaska mileage_map_1.pdf (608.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: pdf alaska-mileage_map_2.pdf (618.4 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf alaska-mileage_map_3.pdf (621.6 KB, 11 views)

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post #2 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
armyRN
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The vehicle and trailer:

We'll be taking a 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ) with 225,000 miles on it. As mentioned above, it has the straight six 4.0, auto, 242 transfer case, 3.5" IRO lift (also with IRO front and rear adjustable track bars, IRO front lower control arms), Bilstein 5100 series shocks, 31" tires, True-tracs front and rear with 4.10 gears and a REAL Dana 44 in the back (thanks ECGS), Superwinch 9500lb Tigershark winch, etc. The winch mount is a Rough Country mount. We'll be pulling the trailer with a factory ZJ 2" receiver hitch using a pintle hitch.

The trailer is a Harbor Freight type 4' trailer that's been extensively modified. Still need to swap out the trailer axle for a 3500lb axle with electric brakes, and put a basket on top. Check out the trailer build at the bottom under the last picture.
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post #3 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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The dwelling(s):

Last time we went to the great white north we took a 10x13' tent and two over-sized Army cots. It worked well, but was a little time consuming setting up and taking down every day (since we rarely stayed at the same place two nights in a row). It's a great set-up once it is all set up, but we wanted to try something different for this trip. So we're going to use two oversized Tent Cots from Cabela's. I need to put a rack on top of the trailer for them. They are fairly large and heavy when folded up, but setting up camp should be a breeze. We'll also be setting up a 10' square canopy thing. Here's a picture of the tent cot.

Sadly (for my buddy; I'm happily married), I don't think the girl is included with the tent cot. Is it just me, or is a camping chick who would like to sleep in one of these things kinda like bigfoot or the loch ness monster; as in people swear they've seen them, but you can't prove they really exist? I know a bunch of (single) guys that if they came across one of those on-line dating site things and a half-way decent looking woman had a picture up of herself in jeans, hiking boots, a flannel shirt, and a Jeep cap and said she enjoyed Jeeping and camping... they'd be fighting each other to get a chance to meet her. Just saying ladies...

How did I get started on this tangent... oh yeah; the Tent Cot from Cabela's.
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post #4 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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The cost and mileage estimates for the A-Z trip:

Quick math and guestimates:

Copperas Cove TX to Great Falls: 1675 miles. 2.5 days driving.
Great Falls to Inuvik: 2500 miles. 6-9 days driving
Inuvik to Seattle: 2425 miles. 6-9 days driving
Seattle to Copperas Cove: 2250 miles. 4-6 days driving

Total miles: 8850. At 15 mpg (might be a little generous) burns 590 gallons. Round up to 600 gallons for easy math.

Gas at $2.25/gallon: $1350 for gas.
Gas at $2.50/gallon: $1500 for gas.

Since gas is more expensive in the Canada, and probably more so the further you get from civilization, add another 50% or so to the gas prices stated above for planning/budgeting purposes.

Three hotel nights up to Great Falls @ $65/night: $195 (round up to $200).

Camping 16 nights @ $20/night: $320

Four hotel nights driving from Seattle to Tx @ $65/night: $260 (round up to $300).

Food (roughly) $40/day (both of us): $600-$800.

Haven't priced a plane ticket from Seattle back to Ft Hood (flying into either the Killeen airport or into Austin)

Doesn't include buying food and "stuff" before the trip, bush-flight from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk to dip into the Arctic Ocean, etc.

Memories: priceless.


Check this out from the official Yukon tourist folks:

http://www.travelyukon.com/?utm_camp...go&ad_code=650

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post #5 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Another thing for the trip is food (guys gotta eat). For some reason, my camping cooking starts tasting better the longer we're away from home. One thing we learned on our last Alaska/Canada adventure, was eating out is expensive when you're outside a town. So we packed enough MREs so we pretty much could have an MRE for one of our meals every day if need be. And it was kinda (not kinda; it was very) nice pulling over in the middle of nowhere and eating an MRE. I buy them at the commissary, and we pick-and-choose the ones we like. You can also toss them in a back pack if you're going hiking. Since we'll be gone about 21 days, we'll bring about 36 +/- MREs with us. I picked up three today. They're about $8-9 each. Sometimes you can pick them up at Army Surplus stores, and places like Sportsman's Guide will sell them by the case.
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post #6 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 03:26 PM
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Sounds like fun,I did this back in the late 90's,had a blast,spent close to a month up there.
Don't forget their gas is the Imperial gallon not US gallon and it ain't cheap.

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I.U.O.E. - 18
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post #7 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenworks View Post
Sounds like fun,I did this back in the late 90's,had a blast,spent close to a month up there.
Don't forget their gas is the Imperial gallon not US gallon and it ain't cheap.
Oh yeah; gas not cheap up there, and it gets worse the further you get from civilization. We'll be taking the Dempster Highway all the way up and back, and I'm sure gas will be a killer. But that's the price you pay for an adventure. When we could we put gasoline on a credit card to conserve our cash.

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post #8 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 07:02 PM
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I'm looking forward to following your planning and eventual execution of this trip. Have a blast!
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post #9 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 07:14 PM
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Take at least 2 spare tires.

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post #10 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 08:43 PM
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Gas is about $1.00 (CAN) per liter right now on average which works out to about $2.66 (US) per gallon (US).

The Canadian Dollar has been on a downward spiral lately too and is worth about $0.70 US so that'll work out very nicely in your favor.
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post #11 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 09:25 PM
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Count me in for another grand Jeep adventure while living vicariously.
I can hardly wait!

***Chris***

"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."


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post #12 of 148 Old 01-14-2016, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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The plan:

The plan is to be on the road 21 days. We'll be leaving the Ft Hood, Texas area (day #1/21) the end of May, and getting into Seattle about 21 days later. I'll be flying back to TX from Seattle; my buddy will be driving the Jeep and trailer back to TX (about another five days of driving for him). If anyone is interested in joining us, send me a PM and let me know (and we'll talk). We'll be leaving Great Falls MT on Sunday, 29 May (for us it will be day #4/21) heading north. If you are interested in going with us, a few things you should know:

1. Regular convoy rules apply.

2. Gotta have a hard-mounted CB radio and antenna (or a good magnetic mount antenna) that works.

3. Gotta have a full-size spare in good repair. If pulling a trailer, the trailer needs a matching spare (if different from tow vehicle).

4. Gotta have a tow strap (they're not expensive) and dedicated tow strap attachment points (i.e. tow hooks, D-ring mounts, etc.) front and rear (a 2" receiver fits the requirement at that end).

5. When we stop for gas, everyone gets gas (don't be a mathematician). Recommend carrying extra fuel.

6a. Unless we decide otherwise in advance (as in the night before), wheels are rolling by 0900 every morning. That means we're moving; you're packed, ate breakfast, gone to the bathroom, and ready to go by 0900.

6b. Everyone wears a wristwatch (see 6a above). Yes; I know your cellphone has the time on it - so does mine. But where we're going there won't be signal, you'll get tired of carrying your phone (or the battery will die) and you'll be like "I didn't know what time it was". You can buy a nice Timex Expedition watch at Wal-Mart or Kohl's for under $40. Everyone (that means "everyone") wears a wristwatch; if you don't own one, go buy one. If you don't like to wear a watch, or you're not used to wearing a watch, find one you like, that is comfortable, and start getting used to wearing one. Everyone wears a wristwatch - you're not special, or an exception.

7. This isn't public school; I don't cater to the lowest common denominator (see #6a & 6b above).

8. Gasoline powered generators at campgrounds are Satan's tool; I hate them (they ruin the peace-and-quiet). Don't bring them; even if you paid $4000 for some Honda generator or other expensive generator that's advertised as "whisper quiet" - you're fooling yourself - it isn't - we can still hear it - I don't want to hear it. My buddy has to sleep with a CPAP machine, and it has a 12-volt option; we clip it to the Jeep/truck battery at night.

9. I don't deal well with drunks at all; drink in extreme moderation if that's your thing (even I like a little Baileys when sitting around the campfire sometimes). If you think you can't have fun unless you're wasted, and your cooler is filled with nothing but beer, consider a 12-step program (sorry).

10. No drugs/no drinking and driving.

11. Camping is not an excuse to "let it all hang out" and be loud and stupid and obnoxious (see #9 & 10 above).

12. Canada does not allow handguns; and they're not messing around. Don't try to sneak one in - it isn't worth getting your vehicle confiscated or losing your weapon at the very least. You can bring rifles and shotguns (but have your paperwork ready at the border). Make sure what you want to bring in isn't on the restricted list (i.e. barrel length, etc.). Bear spray is highly recommended (and I wouldn't go cheap; figure around $50 per can for the good stuff - and you want the good stuff).

13. We will be covering a lot of miles over a relatively short amount of time on this trip. We won't be stopping and spending the day in every little (or bigger) town we go through. What we'll be doing in less than three weeks you could spend months doing and still not see everything. The object of this trip is to make it to the Arctic Ocean at the end of the Dempster Highway, and still have a little time to enjoy the trip back to Seattle.

14. A lot of the roads will be in poor repair, for literally hundreds of miles (the Dempster Highway itself is 400-something miles each way). Your vehicle and trailer should be in good repair (and since this is a Jeep Forum if your vehicle isn't a Jeep, it should at least be a sturdy 4WD SUV or 4WD truck). Trailers should be on the small side and not strictly biased for street/pavement use.

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post #13 of 148 Old 01-15-2016, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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The two Jeeping guys:

That's me (armyRN) sitting in the Jeep, and my buddy's standing beside the Jeep. Picture was taken as we were heading out on one of our many Jeeping/camping adventures; this one was in Washington State.

Obviously I'm an Army Nurse (specializing in critical care nursing) and my buddy is a computer hardware and software kind-of guy. We're both total gearheads. Between us we currently own six four-wheel-drive vehicles, including a bobbed deuce-and-a-half, and a 46 Willys flatfender.
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post #14 of 148 Old 01-15-2016, 11:40 PM
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Subscribed for this one too. Can't wait to live vicariously through you. If I could swing it I would love to go too. But being a teacher I wont be out of school yet. Have Fun and be safe!!
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post #15 of 148 Old 01-16-2016, 12:25 AM
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I live in Whitehorse, and I've driven most of that loop for work countless times. Late spring is GORGEOUS up through that loop, and you'll miss the real crunch of tourist traffic too (June-August get pretty ridiculous with RVs).

Take it easy on the Alaska Highway between Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay though. That road turns into an absolute ****show in the spring with the permafrost heaves, expect to be moving pretty slow through that stretch. Unless you want everything inside your rig to be empty and upside-down by the time you stop for gas at Talbot Arm.

One slight correction though:

Quote:
12. Canada does not allow handguns; and they're not messing around. Don't try to sneak one in - it isn't worth getting your vehicle confiscated or losing your weapon at the very least. You can bring rifles and shotguns (but have your paperwork ready at the border). Make sure what you want to bring in isn't on the restricted list (i.e. barrel length, etc.). Bear spray is highly recommended (and I wouldn't go cheap; figure around $50 per can for the good stuff - and you want the good stuff).
You CAN bring a handgun into Canada, and they're perfectly legal to own, you just can't carry it around with you. You just need to fill out an Authorization to Transit (ATT) Form and follow the rules for storage while you're in the country. That being said, a handgun is pretty useless to have around for that kind of trip anyways, if you feel the need for self-defense, a shotgun with bear slugs is the way to go anyways.

But, yes, trying to sneak one in will make your day very, very bad. People are arrested literally every day trying to pull one over on the border guards. Doesn't matter if it's disassembled and scattered all over your car, if they find a part and you don't have the form, you are going to be in for a very bad time and a ruined vacation.

"Buying a Jeep for on-road handling is like downloading porn to savor the cinematography."
-TTAC

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2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport-OME HD Lift, ProComp bumper, 32" BFG TA K/Os
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