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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 12 Jul 2010
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Alaska highway or Stewart-Cassiar highway

In August I'll be heading from Alaska down to Jasper. Which route would be "nicer"? Would you advise going down the Alaska highway,through Dawson Creek to Prince George OR down the Stewart-Cassiar through Smithers?

Also, is it worth taking the detour from Tok North East to Dawson City and then down to Whitehorse. How navigable is this road? The Lonely Planet suggests the Canadian side is fully paved and the Alaskan side is OK unless it rains!

Thanks
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Old 12 Jul 2010
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I like the Stuart Cassiar, not least because I like Telegraph Creek and Stuart/Hyder. I like the Top of the World highway, too. And Dawson. Maybe I just like stuff indiscriminately....but I positively hate RV´s, and I´ll organize a trip so as to avoid as many as possible.

Hope that helps.

Mark

(from El Salvador, where there are no RV´s whatsoever)
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Old 12 Jul 2010
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I actually like them both, and either is fun and beautiful. As for the Chicken to Dawson loop, it is lots more dirt(hardpacked) then shown on maps, easily done, but the as mentioned the motorhomes are in the road crown and it is very dusty and next to impossible to see around them. Passing is a chore too. Worth it? YES! Fun trip and we enjoy Dawson City for its touristy feel.
Allen.
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Old 12 Jul 2010
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I just returned from Alaska/Canada last week.

I prefer the Cassiar over the Alaska Hwy. However, if you have not been on either one, then either one offers plenty to see.

I have traveled the Cassiar the 3rd time now since 2007. It is in it's best shape I've seen so far. There were only two constructions between km 500 and 650. One construction site is 5 miles long the second was 3 miles long. All firmly packed dirt with some gravel. Nothing challenging. I rode it two-up.

Cassiar






Definitely take the Detour via Dawson City, YT. IMO, it is well worth it. The US side is firmly packed dirt. The Canadian side is a mix of paved with long sections of small size gravel. This year was definitely more gravel on the Canadian side than in 2008. But, ride-able without problem. Again, I did it two-up on a GS and I'm by no stretch an off-road expert...

Top of the World / Dawson City








Enjoy, it is a awesome ride
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Last edited by T.REX63; 13 Jul 2010 at 01:13.
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Old 13 Jul 2010
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As I wanted to see Hyder and the bears and salmon, then the Cassier was the only way back down.

I did most of the Alcan in bits and pieces, but not all in one go. The road from Tok to Dawson City was a good ride, yes it was bumpy but who cares. Unfortunately, during my time there last August, Alaska was burning, so the views were limited due to smoke, that said it was still new and fun.

The road south of Dawson then the dirt east to Laird River and then Watson lake was great, just take extra fuel

If you have never done any of them, then do what you feel comfortable with, there will be RVs on the dirt, but you can go around them. The main highway was a lot greener and I saw more Moose and other traffic hazards, so the choice is yours.

Have fun
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Old 13 Jul 2010
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Between the two I'd definitely choose the Cassiar with a side trip to Telegraph Creek (gravel) from Dease Lake. Another neat side trip is to Stewart and into Hyder Alaska, get Hyderized and then thake the gravel road through New Ayansh to see a geologically recent lava field. This spits you out halfway between Smithers and Terrace.

From there head east on the Yellowhead highway (hwy 16 to Prince George and Jasper). The Icefields Parkway to Banff is gorgeous.

The downside of taking the Cassiar is that you'll miss Liard Hotsprings, but definitely more interesting IMHO.


...Michelle
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