If you’re behind the wheel, steer north by northwest toward the top of the world. The highways through Canada and Alaska offer breathtaking scenery and the freedom to explore at your own pace. Most travelers choose the Alberta to Alaska Highway route or the British Columbia-Yukon route. Expect potholes and flying gravel. View details about these roads at www.northtoalaska.com.
Regardless of your approach, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the natural beauty and wildlife, yet close to amenities necessary to make the trip comfortable and memorable. The highways are open year-round, but the best time to travel is from late spring to early fall. More facilities are open, the weather’s friendlier and the wildlife plentiful.
The drive is at least 2,000 miles from the Lower 48 so plan, plan and plan before you leave. First, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. If you’re pulling a heavy load, upgrade the shocks. Second, secure an atlas and road maps, and then sign up with a roadside service, such as AAA, that includes long-distance towing. Third, anticipate needs along the way. Bring extra oil, a couple of spare tires, extra belts, a first-aid kit, snacks, water and lots of gas money.
Remember that Canada dispenses gas in liters — 3.78 liters equals 1 U.S. gallon. Gas is also more expensive, especially in remote areas, and seldom conveniently located. When your gas gauge reads half a tank, it’s best to take a break from driving and fill up.