As anyone done a road trip Canada East Coast to Alaska

Travel Forums North America As anyone done a road trip Canada East Coast to Alaska

1. Posted by jeanie99 (Full Member 165 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

My husband and I have our 50th wedding anniversary coming up next year 2020 and thought a road trip would be a great idea. Probably would be our last long trip, We are experienced travelers and have been travelling from the 1960s.
Would love to hear from anyone who as done a similar trip and can make suggestion for an interesting route and main do not miss areas.
We'll be travelling in Summer June July into early August if need be.
Coming into the East coast of Canada.
Thank you

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 373 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Quoting jeanie99

Coming into the East coast of Canada.

Are you flying into and out of the East coast of Canada? If so, where? The Maritimes? Toronto?

Are you driving into Canada from the U.S.?

Is this an out-and-back road trip, or a one way road trip? Knowing all these things will definitely be helpful to anyone who wants to offer advice.

If this IS an out-and-back trip for instance, someone can offer up alternate routes for you to see on the way back to your starting point. If you are flying into, say, Toronto and driving to Alaska, it may not make sense for someone to offer suggestions in the Maritimes.

I am just trying to figure out where you'll be coming from - your profile doesn't offer a hint.

Come on back!

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1784 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

The only part of that I've done is Alberta - Edmonton through to Jasper and Banff. Edmonton is in the flatlands and while a nice enough town could be skipped. Jasper is a great base for a week of stunning days out if you like looking at mountains, glaciers, hot springs.

From there the Icefields Parkway is a little long for a daytrip back to Jasper - I'd suggest going down to Banff, seeing things around there and returning to Jasper before continuing westwards. There is lots to see along the parkway - plenty of 15 minute walks to viewpoints.

Lake Louise is the most famous draw here, and overrun with visitors. It’s very pretty, and if you're up for a hike the walk up to the teahouse (I think the hill it was beneath was the Beehive or similar) is lovely and takes probably 3 hours return. We got there at 8am when it was quiet - by lunchtime when we got back to the car it was mayhem.

4. Posted by jeanie99 (Full Member 165 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Thanks so much for your responses, yes bit of a wally not providing sufficient information.
We have never visited Alaska and thought we might add on another road trip thru Canada, flying into Montreal(not been there) as the start to the trip.
My initial thoughts were to fly from the UK to Iceland then onto Greenland and then Montreal but the costs were prohibitive.
We did a road trip some years ago coast to coast in Canada. This time visit all the interesting places we missed then (Canada is a huge country).
List of places we have already stayed in include if memory serves (brain not as young as it used to be)
Quebec,Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,St Johns, Prince Edward Island etc.
Victoria, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Toronto, Banff NP, Jasper NP, Calgary, Lake Louise,
Harrison Hot Springs, Chase, Knouff Lake, Canmore, Waterton Lakes NP, Niagra Falls, Columbia Icefield.

Say we fly into Montreal (not fixed in stone) and make this the start.
Obviously trying to keep costs down,

accommodation hostels,budget B&B,AirBnB

Transport, coach, train, River travel (I guess this will be extremely expensive)
Comments advice and suggestions on this would be appreciated.

This is a one way route taking us into Alaska, not sure after this, maybe fly back from here.

We are talking 2020 so plenty of time for research.

Would love to hear any suggestions and advice on an interesting route for a couple in their 70s still reasonably fit and still have a sense of adventure.

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1289 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

If and when you get to Alaska, get a copy of "Milepost" magazine. It gives you a mile by mile breakdown of services, facilities and sights. It's kind of the Alaska Bible for road travelers.

Assuming you are renting a car, be sure to check about driving it into the USA from Canada. There may be extra insurance costs. We had our own car so I'm not sure about it but the rental agency should know. Also if you are doing a one-way trip, you may find it cheaper to rent the car only in Canada. Then when you enter Alaska, rent another car in the USA. That would take care of the insurance issue and probably be cheaper than dropping off in a foreign country.

Have a great trip.

6. Posted by Dymphna (Full Member 194 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

I would go in June rather than later. In June you are less likely to run into fire dangers. 2 summers ago I know they about burned down BC and many roads were closed. Because the Yukon, Alberta, & BC are heavily forested, you want to do it early in the summer.

Many areas on the western side of the country can be hard to find hotels. We really had a hard time because we had a dog. It is best to have a plan as to how far you are going to go and reservations at the hotels. Some of the better hotels do fill up because they are so scarce. And don't allow your tank to get too low, it may be a LONG way between gas stations starting in Saskatchewan.

Which port of entry are you planning on entering Alaska? My daughter and I did between Montana and Anchorage a couple of summers ago. We do recommend getting bear spray, if you are going to do any hiking, after getting into country. We saw about 3 bears a day along the road. And being a runner she was almost eaten twice...

If you plan on renting, you might as well just buy one and ditch it on the other end for less than it would cost you to rent it one way. There are no places close to the entrance or exit of Canada to switch vehicles between countries. We came into Alaska from the Yukon and I think we drove better than 100 miles before reaching a town in Alaska. We had driven a fair distance to get to the port of entry. And the likelihood of either of those places having a car rental ... not good.

Check your plan for your phone. We were able to make calls, but my daughter was silly enough to access her data and got a bill for several hundred dollars.

7. Posted by MAd4travel (Respected Member 25 posts) 37w 1 Star this if you like it!

I have lived and travelled extensively in Canada, East and West. I know the country quite well and have done road trip do several months. The lastest one was to drive from Vancouver to Yukon . There are 3 blogs which describe our adventure and in one of them there is a map showing the wild fire all over BC and how it affected our travels.
You have 3 months and are planning in advance. This is good news. But you will be travelling in the most touristic seasons. Alaska and Yukon are very popular during these months and pricing reflect that. There are a limited number of mid range and decent accommodation you can stay. Book in advance. As much in advance as you can.
How much of Alaska do you want to do?
I would not recommend driving from Montreal to Alaska. I would do a road trip in the East and then fly to the west and start another road trip from there. Look at taking the inner passage ferry to cut driving time and it is also a really beautiful way to travel. I am not talking about doing the cruise but the ferry.
Someone before mentioned the Mile Post. I also recommend it and I have use it. It is worth its price.
I am planning another north Canada road trip for 2020 as I promised a friend of mine I would take her there for a 50th. And I plan to book everything a year in advance.
Canada is a beautiful country and Alaska is quite amazing as well but as you said it is a vast place. Research and planning will really made this trip more enjoyable.
Happy travels
Anne from Mad4travel

8. Posted by DJunelowe (Budding Member 2 posts) 28w Star this if you like it!

Have you looked into flying into Kelowna? I would suggest spending time in the Okanagan valley to spend time at the lakes and vineyards. From there you could start your travels to Alaska. I personally wouldn't drive up the centre of the province as it isn't as scenic as going coastal. Have you looked into taking the inner passage ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert? I did that trip in September and it was stunning (also saves you from some driving). If you choose that route I strongly suggest paying for a cabin on the ferry. Since you have so much time it could be a cool detour to go to Haida Gwaii before heading up to Alaska, you can take the ferry there from Prince Rupert.

Hope that helps! :)

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

9. Posted by jeanie99 (Full Member 165 posts) 28w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

Some good suggestions and advice and I'm printing all this off for reference.
The bear suggestion spray does sound a good idea, we encountered bears when we were camping near Jasper and do take this very seriously.
Yes June may be the best time to start off although I'll be checking out the forecasts.
We are considering car rental (we wouldn't consider buying) as I've read there can be problems driving into some of the National Parueks and you need to use their bus/shuttle service, not really sure how this works.
We'll need to take trains and use the coach services available as well as some short driving as hubby can't drive for the long periods he used to in the past now he has a replacement knee.
This is quite a complex trip as the transport part alone will take time to sort out.

I remember from our earlier trip when camping in Canada that we experienced more mosquitoes there than anywhere else in the world.
Got up one morning for breakfast, they were in our ears, mouth and nose it was horrendous, had to cover up and drive to the nearest cafe to eat.
Anyhow thanks again.
Happy traveling.
Oh off subject but:
just got back from Hungary, if you ever get the chance it's a wonderful country to visit and although Budapest is a beautiful city the rest of Hungary is so well worth seeing.

10. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 148 posts) 28w Star this if you like it!

We'e travelled several times from Vancouver to Whitehorse or vice versa, and from Yellowknife to Vancouver, or a circle from Whitehorse to Anchorage and back. But we always travelled by RV, which made it easier.
As you know the eastern part of Canada you know that there is not much scenerey. So I'd suggest flying to Vancouver and starting from there.