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Old 10-15-2010, 01:50 AM  
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The big village, Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 69 | Kudos: +12
Paved the whole way.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:20 PM  
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anchorage, Alaska
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8 | Kudos: +10
its all paved.. i drove from tucson, az to anchorage alaska.. all paved and i was in a little 08 lancer gts lol watch out for the frost heaves though. they will mess up your suspension
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:58 AM  
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Lewistown, Montana
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 13 | Kudos: +10
Thanks for the warning about the frost heaves. I'm thinking about putting slightly bigger tires on my travel trailer for a little extra clearance. Possibly spray some Industrial Polyurethane (truck bed liner) in the trailer wheel wells too for added protection from gravel, but maybe not since road is paved all the way.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:34 PM  
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Lewistown, Montana
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 13 | Kudos: +10
Has anyone posting here driven from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay? If so, what's it like? Also, I've been told that in some or all areas Alaska doesn't allow camping with tents or soft-sided travel trailers (like the Coleman pop-up tent trailer or similar types) because of bears. Is this true?
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:08 AM  
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The big village, Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 69 | Kudos: +12
Haven't driven the haul road yet (Dalton Highway), but would like to someday. As far as camping in tents or other easy access sleeping quarters, go for it people do it all the time. Be smart about it, don't keep food with you, hang it high up in a tree outside camp. And bring some sort of bear protection with you.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:24 AM  
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Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppenga View Post
Has anyone posting here driven from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay?
I've driven it 3 times - once in winter, twice in summer. It's a nasty, crappy, gravel road that is very hard on your vehicle (I got 4 flats on one of the summer trips - and that was in a 4wd vehicle with good tires). Furthermore, there really is no reason to go driving on it unless you're being paid.

Quote:
If so, what's it like? Also, I've been told that in some or all areas Alaska doesn't allow camping with tents or soft-sided travel trailers (like the Coleman pop-up tent trailer or similar types) because of bears. Is this true?
Yes, it's true. No soft-sides in some places. However, law enforcement is very lax. You're welcome to do what you want and take your chances. You're very unlikely to get any kind of ticket. Whether you survive the experience is a different matter entirely.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:30 AM  
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Lewistown, Montana
Join Date: Oct 2010
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[QUOTE=WaterBoarder;28036]I've driven it 3 times - once in winter, twice in summer. It's a nasty, crappy, gravel road that is very hard on your vehicle (I got 4 flats on one of the summer trips - and that was in a 4wd vehicle with good tires). Furthermore, there really is no reason to go driving on it unless you're being paid.

Hmm. Mostly I want to see what the landscape is like and also to go as far north as can be driven via established roadway. Sounds like it wouldn't be a good idea to haul the fiberglass travel trailer over that route. So if I do the drive to Prudhoe Bay, I'll see if I can park my travel trailer on Eilsen AFB (I'm retired AF). Thanks for the info. (One question: You said "there really is no reason to go driving on it unless you're being paid" but you also noted that you've driven it 3 times. Were your trips work related or recreational? Not trying to be a wise guy here, just curious.)
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:50 PM  
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Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
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Posts: 35 | Kudos: +10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppenga View Post
Hmm. Mostly I want to see what the landscape is like
More or less like the moon, but with lichens and some grass.

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and also to go as far north as can be driven via established roadway.
...and frankly, that's really the only reason to do it. It's why I did it. The first time anyway.....the second two times, someone else wanted to go.

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Sounds like it wouldn't be a good idea to haul the fiberglass travel trailer over that route.
I'd avoid it if possible.

Quote:
One question: You said "there really is no reason to go driving on it unless you're being paid" but you also noted that you've driven it 3 times. Were your trips work related or recreational? Not trying to be a wise guy here, just curious.)
Hey, learn from my experience. No one told ME it was a waste of time, gas and money to go before I did - so I did it. Just trying to pass that experience along to help someone else out.

Honestly - it's a nothing trip. Unless you have multiple drivers and drive straight through, count on at least 4 days. 5 or 6 is more reasonable. You can do a lot of OTHER things in Alaska with that same time. Most people are limited on time, and this is just not a great way to spend it. But if you have virtually unlimited time (most retired people seem to), then I guess it doesn't matter.

It's basically nothing from Fairbanks until you get to the Yukon River. There is a little store there where you can pay way too much for gas, get some bad food, and buy some over-priced souvineers. After that, it's nothing until you get to the little Arctic Circle pullout. There is a place to picnic there, and camp of you want. There is a big sign you can get a picture of. If you're going to drive to Fairbanks up from wherever anyway, it's worth driving up to that point, just for the picture of yourself in front of the sign if nothing else. It's about 250 miles around trip.

After that, it's about 150 miles of nothing until you get to Cold Foot. Nothing to do there but pay WAY WAY too much for gas, get your tires repaired as needed, get some good (but expensive) food, and sleep/camp as necessary. It's just another pit stop - popular with truckers.

After that, it's another 240 miles to Deadhorse. Now, this stretch of road does have some nice mountains to drive through - but by the time you've gotten this far, you've already driven through plenty of mountains on the way to Alaska anyway. One more mountain range isn't really worth all the time, money and effort to keep going. But in any case, there is NOTHING in terms of services for the next 240 miles. Be sure you're ready - extra gas, water, AT LEAST two spare tires for anything you are rolling down the road (4 is better), food, clothing, shelter, beer, cigarettes, porno mags - whatever you may need to avoid being stuck for a while, or at least enjoying yourself if you are. God help you if you need a tow from BFE nowhere back to Cold Foot. Take a few thousand dollars in cash with you, just in case you do.

Once you get to Deadhorse - there is absolutely nothing to do except gas up, get whatever provisions you need from the little minimart store, turn around and go home. You can stay at the "hotel" if there is space and you don't mind spending a huge amount of money for a crappy place to stay (I slept in my truck, even in the winter - but that was a bit on the cold side, given it was -50˚F at the time - but hey, poor college student and all). Keep in mind the ocean is in a restricted area and you will not be able to drive up to it, without taking hostile fire from the oil field security people. Anyway - get your provisions, buy some silly souvineers that will let everyone know you have been there, and start the return drive. Remember it's 240 miles just to get to the next gas station, so be ready.

The return trip tends to be a lot faster. After having driven some 500 miles (80 paved, 400+ gravel), you've got some tolerance and developed some confidence with respect to driving on the crappy road and avoiding being run over by the truckers driving right smack middle down the road (by the way, they have the right away, are usually barely under control, and will happily run you over rather than driving themselves off the road - so watch out!). So, you can expect to drive quite a bit faster than you did on the way up - unless of course, you're doing this in winter - in that case it is white knuckle through the mountains the whole time - esp. during the 45 mile "do not stop - avalanche danger!" zone, where you look up and see a mountain of snow ready to come down any second on one side, and look down and see nothing but a bottomless abyss of snowy death on the other side. It gets unpleasant, esp. when there is a trucker coming from the other direction and he is headed right at you because, of course, he is driving right smack in the middle of the road and is not about to move for your convenience). But I digress.

By the time you get back to Cold Foot, you may be thinking, "crap - another 250 miles to go!" - probably while you're getting tires fixed, or possibly some other car repair done. Eventually, you've got to hit the road. If you keep going, you'll stop again at the Arctic Circle, this time just to take a piss and stretch your legs - dreading the thought of getting back in and driving down that damned gravel road, looking through the windshield that has most certainly been busted by up various rocks and so forth. If you're lucky, you will not have a HUGE crater in it, from some small boulder chucked up by one of the passing truckers.

An hour or so later, you'll hit the river. Another place to piss. Another place to get some gas. Come on, let's go - dammit.

An hour later, if you're paying attention, you'll get to the "Welcome To The Fairbanks North Star Borough" sign - usually a sight for sore eyes - and you'll know that you have only an hour or so to go before you get back to that hole of a town Fairbanks. But at least the road is paved - and it will seem like brand new interstate driving compared to the last 900 or so miles. Your ass will feel a strange lack of rumbling and grumbling from your seat, and the lack of ambient noise from gravel flying all around will be disturbing to you. "What strangeness is THIS?!" you might ask to yourself. If you are driving alone, you will definitely be asking yourself - but it will be just the latest in a long, one-sided, possibly non-sensible conversation you have been having with yourself for the last several days.

But now, you have made it! You have been to the edge and back. You didn't get to see the Arctic Ocean, which is lame. You will likely need to replace your windshield, which is also lame - and it is recommended that you don't even bother until you get back to whatever state you are from, complete with its even lamer vehicle inspection laws. But hey, now you can tell people you have driven to Deadhorse, Alaska, and you have the souvineers to prove it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:08 PM  
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Juneau, Alaska
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 11 | Kudos: +11
haha, thanks. I needed that as the thought had crossed my mind to do that drive.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:17 PM  
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Minot, ND
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,722 | Kudos: +57
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personally that drive sounds like a blast, although i do enjoy things like that...
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