Meet the dynamic duo of travel, Craig and Bryanna from Crazy Family Adventures, masters at crafting unforgettable travel experiences for families. If you're dreaming of the ultimate RV road trip, set your course for the Alaska Highway. While it's no quick journey, the miles are laden with the promise of wildlife sightings (if luck is on your side!), towering mountains, pristine lakes with crystal-clear waters, and landscapes that redefine the meaning of breathtaking. Brace yourself for an adventure-infused drive along sections of rugged roads, amplifying the thrill and excitement of the iconic Alaska Highway.
Embarking on the ultimate Alaskan adventure begins right here in Dawson Creek, BC, Canada, where every mile is a promise of awe-inspiring experiences. We kicked off our expedition at the iconic Mile 0 Alaska Highway sign, proudly standing in the parking lot of the Northern Alberta Railroad Station Museum. Nestled within this historical haven is the Tourism Dawson Creek Visitor Center, a treasure trove of brochures, maps detailing the highway's wonders, and delightful souvenirs – like our cherished 'I Survived the Alaska Highway' sticker, a hopeful premonition for the adventure that awaited us!
For a night of tranquility, we settled into the Mile 0 Campground in Dawson Creek. Though not extravagant, it served its purpose, offering a comfortable rest stop to rejuvenate for the journey ahead. After capturing picturesque moments with our RV against the iconic backdrop of the Mile 0 sign—an experience only enhanced by the vast parking lot, welcoming multiple rigs with ease—we eagerly set forth on the Alaska Highway, our compass pointing us towards the destination of Fort Nelson.
Driving from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson was smooth. The two-lane highway with a spacious shoulder had occasional passing lanes, and gas stops were few, so it's wise to refuel when you can.
The road had some 9 and 10% grades, but they were totally manageable. Our Verizon signal came and went along this stretch.
Fort Nelson, about 280 miles from Dawson Creek, greeted us with a gas stop as soon as we rolled in.
We set up camp at 3 G's Campground, a lively spot with a restaurant and bar. The kids loved the ice cream! Needing to do laundry, we found they accepted American dollars in exchange for loonies, although the rate wasn't exactly 1-for-1.
Mosquitoes became a bit pesky at dusk, but overall, we enjoyed our quick overnight stay. The next day, we hit the road again.
This part of the drive was stunning! Reentering the Rockies, we were treated to fantastic views, though the winding roads demanded some attention.
Testa River Lodge
Don't miss out on the legendary Alaska Highway Cinnamon Rolls at Tetsa River Lodge! Pay attention as you approach because our GPS almost led us astray.
Keep your eyes peeled for signs indicating it's cinnamon roll heaven. We arrived to find only a couple left, but the owner bakes fresh batches all day. Even if they're out when you arrive, the wait for a new batch is around 35 minutes. So, take a moment to savor the deliciousness.
They also have a campground, though our timing didn't align to stay. It seemed like a great spot, though!
Next up on your must-do list is Muncho Lake, a stunning blue lake. The first-come, first-served campground fills up fast; it was already full by 2 p.m. when we passed through. We opted for one of the pull-offs along the road to capture the beauty of the lake and snap some pictures before making our way to Laird Hot Springs for the night.
As for the road conditions, it was okay. The two-lane highway with a spacious shoulder had its share of ups, downs, and winding roads, so be ready for some twists and turns. We encountered some gravel patches near Tetsa River Lodge, but it seemed like they were working on fixing the road.
Keep in mind that Verizon coverage disappeared once we left Fort Nelson, so plan accordingly for any communication needs.
Laird Hot Springs
Our next destination was Laird Hot Springs, a spot we had wisely booked months in advance. Upon arrival, all the campground spots were taken, but luckily, there's an overflow parking lot across the street where you can boondock.
The campground, akin to a State Park setup, was lovely but lacked hookups. An electric fence encircled the site, ensuring wildlife stayed out.
Campground: Laird Hot Springs Campground
Whether you stay the night or not, Laird Hot Springs is a must-experience on the Alaska Highway. Among the hot springs we've visited, this one ranks high on our list. Don't miss the quirky tradition of adding a stone to the cairns by scooping up cold water and venturing into the hottest pool – you'll understand when you get there.
The hot springs are a short walk from the campground, so be prepared for that.
The next day, we hit the road early, grateful we had arrived the day before to leisurely enjoy the hot springs without feeling rushed. For the early birds, a morning soak is a tempting option.
The following drive treated us to breathtaking scenery as we navigated through forests and mountains.
Sign Post Forest
Make sure to hit up the Sign Post Forest on this leg of your journey—it's a must! If you can plan ahead, create or order a sign with your name, hometown, and the date to leave your mark. Rain or shine, we ventured out to add our sign to the forest, making it a fun and unique stop.
As for the road conditions, they were fine, though remote. Cell coverage, however, was mostly nonexistent for Verizon.
Next up was Whitehorse.
We stayed at Caribou RV Park the first time through and Pioneer RV Park on the way back. While Pioneer was cheaper and less fancy, it suited us for a one-night stay, being essentially a parking lot with hookups.
Dawson City beckoned next, and it's a recommendation we stand by. From cancan shows at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall to Sourtoe shots at the Sourdough Saloon (ask for Toe Captain) and gold panning during the day, it's a cool old-time town with wooden sidewalks, historic buildings, and stunning views. The drive involves dirt roads with potholes and construction, and the return through Destruction Bay is no picnic either. But hey, it's all part of the adventure.
You can backtrack from Dawson City to rejoin the Alaska Highway or take the Top of the World Highway (check for border crossing status). Though beautiful, be ready for an unmaintained road without guardrails. We did it, and we saw others in RVs doing the same. We suggest Top of the World on the way there and Destruction Bay on the way back.
Driving the Alaska Highway may sound daunting, but it's totally doable. Gas stations and grocery stores are strategically placed along the route, and warning signs are abundant for longer stretches without gas. An RV adventure on the Alaska Highway is a must-do, and the best part? Once you finish the road, you're in Alaska!