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Road Trips Discussions about road trips you have made with your TDI.

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Old June 12th, 2019, 13:40   #1
beechfront
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Default Canada Travel

looking for any suggestions to my route. things to see, places to camp, etc. Starting in Omaha, NE and working my way up to arctic ocean and back. Will need to complete in 18 days so will not be a whole lot of r&r time. My goal is average 500 miles / day, so that leaves me with about 3 days buffer.


I also have lots of stuff I can cut out on way back if I run into troubles.


Google maps link below.
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https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Omah...41.2565369!3e0
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Old June 12th, 2019, 18:09   #2
GoFaster
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Not done it, but there is a timely article in this month's CAA Magazine, "Great Canadian Road Trips", and the Dempster highway is one of them.

"The Dempster is the most northerly road in Canada that's connected to highways in the south, and it's the only permanent Canadian road that crosses the Arctic Circle. It's all gravel - and not to be taken lightly. Cracked windshields from flying rocks are common, as are flat tires from sharp stones and potholes.

It's possible to drive the Dempster in one long day starting from Dawson City, especially in the summer when the midnight sun doesn't set. But what's the rush? It's much better to allow two days each way. Camp along the route or try the Eagle Plains hotel, about midway, which has 32 rooms, a licensed restaurant, gas pumps and a garage that can service vehicles suffering damage from the gravel.

The road is mostly flat, with wide swathes of tundra to each side. Small lakes are everywhere, and in the summer, tiny flowers carpet the low moss of the tundra. Caribou and even bears are not an unusual sight on the road. For much of the way, you can see mountains in the distance, many of them capped with year-round snow.

To go even farther, take the new road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk, two hours farther north and on the Arctic coast."

Make sure you are prepared to change a flat tire ... or two ...

It is 740 km from Dawson City to Inuvik.

Don't expect to have cell-phone coverage ...
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Last edited by GoFaster; June 12th, 2019 at 18:12.
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Old June 13th, 2019, 13:06   #3
Lightflyer1
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Have fun! My Dad was in the Air Force and was transferred from Blytheville, Arkansas to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1967. He sold his car and bought a new truck and cab over camper and loaded 5 kids and my Mom into it and took off on a 4k mile journey. I will always remember that trip and living up there for nearly 5 years. I was about 8 years old then.
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Old June 14th, 2019, 17:35   #4
miningman
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Carry two spare tires. Have you installed protection for your headlights.?? 500 miles per day seems awefull aggressive for northern gravel roads. Not saying it cant be done but personally I wouldn't try it in anything much smaller than a half ton truck. Have you really thought this thru?? If washboard puts you in the ditch what is your backup plan??? Even the roads south of the Yukon can be a bit challenging at times
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Old June 14th, 2019, 21:53   #5
beechfront
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GoFaster thanks for that. Dempster is pretty much whole point of this trip.

Lightflyer - was chatting with my neighbor who was stationed in alaska and did the trip around that time with his family. Very fun listening to his stories, and sounds like it was a much different road back then. At one point he said the road was closed for nearly two days and they could do nothing but sit and wait.

miningman- Thanks for the concern. I did the alcan many years ago on an old motorcycle (also averaging 500 miles/day), so I somewhat know what to expect with the roads... as I recall most of the alcan is paved. Also averaging 500/day is really not that hard when you are solo and not at the mercy of others needing to stop.

The dempster hwy is really only part which is gravel... 456 miles of it. I plan to take 3-4 days for that, and just take it easy.

I've already fitted a full size spare in the boot, along with compressor, plugs, etc... debating bringing the donut along as well.

Solution to broken headlights is easy... Just don't drive at night

Last edited by beechfront; June 14th, 2019 at 21:56.
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Old June 15th, 2019, 04:11   #6
AndyBees
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Default Traveling in Canada...

GoFaster covered it nicely.

In 1986 we started up the Dempster (it was constructed/finished in 1978). We never made it far as there was a really bad place that I didn't want to transverse.

So, seven years later in July of 1993, we set out from Dawson City heading to Inuvik. The best I remember it took about 16 hours with many short stops along the way.

Since 1993 we've been back to the Arctic Circle 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2016. The traffic in 2016 was much, much more as the "Dempster" has been discovered... travelers from all over the world come to see, do, etc.

We've driven to Alaska from Kentucky 9 times (Great Slave Lake too) and have never had a flat tire. In fact, we've only seen two or three vehicles with flats. There's no need to carry extra fuel either. There is s full service garage at Eagle Plains.

The southern end of the Dempster is roughly 25 miles east of Dawson City (highway 5). There use to be facilities there. They were boarded up (or burnt down) when we were there in 2016.

A few miles up the Dempster (50 or 60 miles, or less), is Tombstone Campground and Tombstone Interpretive Center nearby. The campground is primitive.

Below is a "screen shot" from Google Maps north of Tombstone Campground looking south.



Below, Arctic Circle on the Dempster, 2016, in my TDI Vanagon.. The sign that was there in 1993 was awesome... wonder why they replaced it?


Below, from summer of 2016


Below, this guy from Australia (notice steering wheel on right side) had a flat. He had an onboard compressor with impact gun... no problem.



Below, is a close-up shot of Eagle Plains Hotel, taken in summer of 2016.



Keep in mind, as you go north on the Dempster Highway the weather will change almost daily, sun, rain, wind, more sun, etc. If you see a huge semi-truck coming, slow and move over to the right as far as is safe. They do not slow down.... and some tourist don't seem to give a damn either.

Lastly, we try to knock down 700 plus miles per day the first three days of the trip heading north. That gets us just east of Edmonton, Alberta. From there, lots of scenery begins to unfold. As you get into northern British Columbia you'll need to slow down and take in the awesome beauty...

I'll stop here and not steal anymore thunder. But, you need more than 18 days.
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Old June 19th, 2019, 13:47   #7
beechfront
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Wow thank you for the stories and great info! I do wish I had more than 18 days, but that is what I have to work with. If I don't take the opportunity to go now I'm not sure when I will be able to go.
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I did similar mileage to anchorage on a motorcycle (also no flats), so hoping I can do it in a car. We'll see. I also plan to hit it hard first couple days. Regina, SK is 14 hours (913 miles) so that is my goal for day 1.
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My planned route is 7,600 miles. If I run into trouble I can shave off over 700 miles and 17 hours, according to google maps. I would like to hit banff and a few other places on the way home if time permits, but for this trip the arctic ocean is my goal.
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save for any major mechanical trouble, I am confident I can do it in 18 days.
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Old June 19th, 2019, 14:00   #8
beechfront
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some quick math.... If I can hammer out two 800 mile days both in the front and back end... that gets my total miles down to 4400. With 14 days remaining I only need to average 314 miles per day which is just over 6 hours of driving at 55mph.

It will be hard, but I'm confident I can do it.
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Old June 20th, 2019, 16:30   #9
AndyBees
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Beechfront, sounds like a good plan.

I use vPike.com to look at the roads, etc. It uses Google maps. You can type in the address or just the town and state, providence and a map will load. When the map loads, to the left, in blue, you'll see "View Larger Map." Click on that and go from there when it loads...
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Old June 28th, 2019, 21:32   #10
beechfront
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I powered out an 1,100 mile day today so I'm well on my way. Higher interstate speeds and air conditioning killed my fuel economy. Finished the day at about 48mpg. I imagine as I get farther north with slower speeds and cooler weather those numbers will improve.
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Old July 10th, 2019, 20:14   #11
beechfront
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Well I made it back. 13 days in total. Made it to Tuktoyaktuk in 5 days travel. Then took 8 coming home. In total about 7,300 miles. I will post more details and maybe some pics later, but now time for some shuteye.

Last edited by beechfront; July 10th, 2019 at 20:56.
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