My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

YukonHo! on the Alaska Highway

2013/08/13by Donna Hull

Updated 01.01.2014

Is driving the Alaska Highway on your bucket list? You might find it odd that the rugged road has been on my to-do list for several years, especially considering all this talk from me about being a travel princess. After all, camping and backpacking are just not my style, although I could go for a really nice 5th wheel. Alan, on the other hand, relishes the thought of dry camping—without me, of course.

But last August, when wildfire smoke filled the Bitterroot Valley (our Montana home turf), we started looking ahead to a “fire escape” for this year. Before long a vacation rental for a couple of weeks in British Columbia morphed into a journey on the Alaska Highway. “We’re not getting any younger” and “You never know what will happen to keep us from traveling” were our excuses to begin the planning.

This Alaska Highway trip is probably misnamed since we’ll only be driving the portion from where the Stewart-Cassiar Highway dead ends into the Alaska Highway to Whitehorse in the Yukon. Roads with names like Yellowhead, Stewart-Cassiar, Klondike, Top of the World, Tok Cutoff, Glenn and Seward are the routes that we’ll be exploring. You know how we like off-the-beaten-path travel experiences.

This road trip needed a special name, so we polled fans at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook as well as on my Facebook profile. It came down to Klondike Caravan, Yukon Ho! and North of 48. I gave Alan the honor of picking the winner and Yukon Ho! it is—thanks to Jennifer Buchanan for the suggestion. We’ve modified it to #YukonHo! to use as hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+ to make it easy for you to find our updates and photos.

YukonHo! road trip itinerary

Driving route from Prince Rupert, B.C., to Whittier, AK.

YukonHo! itinerary:

The route begins from our home base near Missoula, Montana, but we’re counting Port Hardy on Vancouver Island as the real beginning of YukonHo!

Port Hardy, B.C. (2 nights):  After spending one day exploring and hiking, it will be time for an early morning boarding on the Prince Rupert Ferry for what we are hoping will be a scenic ride up the inside passage to Prince Rupert. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and lots of whale sightings.

Prince Rupert, B.C. (2 nights): Since the ferry arrives around 11:00 p.m., we’ll sleep in, explore a little and wait for the second morning to being the actual drive, which starts on the Yellowhead Highway.

Stewart, B.C./Hyder, AK (2 nights): Stewart, B.C. will be our headquarters for viewing the bears at Fish Creek (actually in Hyder) as well as exploring Bear and Salmon Glaciers.

Iskut, B.C. (2 nights): Located on the ultra-scenic Cassiar Highway, Iskut offers hiking, flight-seeing and all sorts of water adventures.

Teslin, Yukon (1 night): a stop on the Alaska Highway on the way to Whitehorse.

Whitehorse, Yukon (2 nights): Besides providing an active adventure or two, Whitehorse is one of our designated “catch up on email, wash clothes, take a deep breath before driving on” destinations.

Dawson City, Yukon (2 nights): After exploring this historic mining city, we’re planning a day trip on the Dempster Highway to the Tombstone Mountains Interpretive Center. Of course this is just going to whet Alan’s desire to return one day so that we can drive the Dempster Highway across the Arctic Circle and into the High Arctic.

Tok, Alaska (1 night): After driving the treacherous Top of the World Highway back into Alaska, we won’t have any trouble falling asleep in Tok.

Girdwood, Alaska (4 nights): Another designated catchup destination that also offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, glacier trekking and a scenic drive or two. This is our 4-day bed and breakfast respite at the end of a long road trip.

Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA (4 nights): We’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Marine Highway on the last ferry of the season back to the U.S.

Once we’re back in the states, it’s a one-day drive to Montana headquarters.

Instead of a camper, we’ll be driving a RAM Truck. Lodging will include bed and breakfasts, lodges and sometimes whatever happens to be available. Although some of our journeys include complimentary stays, activities or transportation, YukonHo! is on our own dime. We’ll be experiencing the trip just the way you would, without any extra niceties that might be offered because we’re the publishers of a travel website for active boomers.

Want to keep up with us? Look for trip updates on the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.  And after seeing the photos on our Alaska Highway road trip Pinterest board, you’ll be inspired to plan you’re own adventure for 2014. Just follow the hashtag #YukonHo!

Read the entire collection of Alaska Highway road trip articles to plan your own trip. Boomer adventure guaranteed.

Have you driven the Alaska Highway or any of the other highways that we’ve mentioned? Share your tips with us in the comments. After researching this trip, we’re already talking about a return visit. There’s just so much to see!

A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim B August 13, 2013 at 10:34 am

Have a great time!! Sounds exciting.


Donna Hull
August 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Thanks, Jim. We’re really excited although I’m guessing that this will lead to even more Alaska road trips.
Donna Hull recently posted..YukonHo! on the Alaska HighwayMy Profile


sheryl August 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Bon Voyage!~ Your travels just keep getting better and better…


Donna Hull
August 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Thanks, Sheryl. We seem to be planning longer and longer journeys. You should see our plan for 2015 :-).
Donna Hull recently posted..YukonHo! on the Alaska HighwayMy Profile


Val DeWitt August 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

Hi there…we have recently traveled most of your proposed route and are now in Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula. If you were pulling a trailer or driving a huge RV I would warn you about the roads, particularly in the Yukon. The summer months are when all the road repair and construction happens, which causes slow and stopped traffic. We also traveled over many miserable gravel roads between Skagway and the Canadian border. Once you are into Alaska the roads get better, but construction is everywhere. Allow yourselves plenty of time on the road. Much of our driving took twice the time and twice the money than we expected. Know that the phone and internet are sketchy at best in Yukon and be prepared for emergencies. Oh…and did I tell you gas was over $6 a gallon? Once you are in Alaska, the trip will go smoother and you will see some beautiful country. It is starting to get cold and rainy now and you might want to get back out of Alaska before the end of September, when many of the roads close. I urge you to go south of Anchorage on your journey. Our favorite locations are all on the Kenai Peninsula. Have fun!


Donna Hull
August 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi Val, thanks for taking the time to tell us about your Alaska Highway road trip. We’re expecting rough roads but we are off-roaders so, although the roads will slow us down, we can deal with them. And, yes, we will be spending time on the Kenai Peninsula. Almost stayed at a place in Soldotna but ended up in Girdwood instead.
Donna Hull recently posted..YukonHo! on the Alaska HighwayMy Profile


Mark H August 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Sounds a dream trip. I love all that Alaskan coastline country.
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Donna Hull
August 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

We’ll be seeing coastline and interior on this trip, Mark. Can’t wait! I’m not sure when Alan and I have been so excited over a trip.
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Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer)
August 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Uh oh. From Val’s comment, it sounds as though Alaska is like Canada — having two seasons—winter and construction. I’ll be following along on your travels while we get ready for our trip to Santa Fe, Taos, Los Alamos and Albuquerque. I found your post about southwestern NM. Something tells me there must also be one to give me some ideas for our itinerary — other than checking in with the Santa Fe Travelers which we will also do. Safe travels — sounds like it’s going to be kind of bumpy.
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Jane Boursaw
August 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

What a cool trip! Hope you’re having a wonderful time, Donna and Alan. Can’t wait to hear more about it.
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Kelly Dunning
December 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Wow the Alaska Highway sounds like a great trip, I bet the scenery would be beautiful.
I think it’s something that I should add to my bucketlist too. :)
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Ken Holm December 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I have made the full Alcan Highway drive three times. When my Dear wife passed away five years ago I typed up all the trip memories, twenty nine pages. The reason I mention this is to show everyone
the adventures are awaiting for YOU, If you go you will have enough memories to write a book.
There are so many interesting and exciting things about visiting the Great Land I cannot mention
them in this short comment. All I can say is ” put this at the top of your bucket list.”


Donna Hull
December 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ken. Writing your memories of the Alaska trip with your wife was a smart thing to do. Now you’ve preserved them for all time.


January 10, 2014 at 3:39 am

I’ve driven the Alaska Highway and taken the Marine Highway a number of times. Love it! My advice…get up early to drive, you’ll see many more animals and you won’t encounter as many other vehicles. I love the ferry, too….one of my favorite things in the entire world. If you have questions, email me. Good luck!
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Adrian Tanase January 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

When I hear the word Alaska, sounds too cold for me.


Elaine January 20, 2014 at 2:00 am

Hope it was a thrilling adventure … next time, do the part through that includes the Liard hot springs in BC … awesome place!


Donna Hull
January 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Thanks for the tip. We’ve heard about Liard Hot Springs and it’s on our list for next time.
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