Thousands of Australians travel through Western Canada and Alaska to marvel at the spectacular scenery.
That experience for me was embellished several times over as I drove a motorhome through continuing magnificent landscapes, stopping wherever I liked to marvel, ducking off the highway to watch an ice flow on a river, or a waterfall, or pulling up to watch a family of bears playing in the grass 20 metres away.
My experience was really special because we drove over 5,000kms from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska in a motorhome with a group of other Aussies and Kiwis, on a tour organised in Australia.
It’s all true – “No hotels, no packing and unpacking, no bus schedule, no timed stops and meal breaks” – we just felt “so free”.
The road trip was 21 days and was organised so you would drive each day from one prebooked campground to the next, four to five hours away. How long you took was up to you.
It’s not a convoy tour, so some left early in the morning to spot animals feeding, and saw plenty. Others drove straight through to the next stop.
On our route there are over 200 river crossings, and one couple would have lunch and a siesta beside a river every day.
The campgrounds were key.
Every afternoon we would have Happy Hour where, apart from socialising, we would compare notes and tell each other our plans for the next day.
All the way up, the campgrounds (RV Parks) were very satisfactory. Some had better facilities, but all had power, showers, laundries and wi-fi. (We had one night of free camping by a lake – it snowed and it was fun).
Our 23 and 30 foot units, mostly on Ford 350 and 450 chassis (automatic with petrol engines) came from a company in Seattle. They are well fitted out with bedding, cooking and eating gear.
They have a generator (if needed), plus gas for fridge and stove. Each has a bathroom and toilet and a large sewerage tank. (Some parks have a dump point at each site, others have a central dumping area. Dumping is done via a hose connected to the black/grey tank).
Driving is very comfortable (it takes a day or so to get used to left-hand drive, but everyone manages it). Travelling north through British Columbia into Alaska is limited to a couple of highways. Generally, the road is two lane and good.
Over nearly 20 years, hundreds of people have done the Alaska Highway Adventure by America and Canada Motorhome Tours. Apart from the wonderful driving experience through the Canadian Rockies into the Alaskan Wilderness, we also get to the iconic destinations like Banff, Jasper, Whitehorse, Fairbanks, Denali National Park or Anchorage.
There are several opportunities to experience the attractions along the way, including the renowned Athabasca Glacier, the White Pass & Yukon Railroad trip, Dawson City Yukon, a flight onto Mt McKinley (the highest mountain in North America), just to mention a few.
You can also go dog sledding, gold mining and fly above the Arctic Circle to the top of Alaska. And to top off this well thought out itinerary the return to Vancouver is via the renowned Inside Passage Cruise.
An ideal way to do a trip of a lifetime.
Grey Nomad Members now have the opportunity to win six 750ml eco flat bottles of Pinot Grigio (total value of $96) from Banrock Station.
The new eco-flat wine bottle is made entirely from Australian-sourced 100% recycled PET plastic, which is 83% lighter than a glass bottle. The slimmer, flatter profile allows twice as many bottles to fit in a standard wine case.
It’s lighter to carry, takes up less space in your van, is easy to store in your fridge or esky, and is great for life on the road.