The High Road to Fairbanks

After Tombstone we moved on to Dawson City. Time for a bit of civilization after the wild and glorious beauty of the park.

Paddle wheeler still in use.

Lots of history here. We did a little self guided tour of the town’s old buildings. Amazing after over a hundred years some of the original buildings are still standing. Barely, but they’re there.

View from the Midnight Dome Viewpoint above Dawson.
Old church.
Still standing… for now.
Another view.

We had spent two days in the RV park downtown. Possibly the tightest sites yet, but most people were social so not so bad. We were supposed to spend a third, but while Chris was in the office she got a feel for how many RVs were going to catch the ferry across the river the next day. To get ahead of the rush, we sold our site and headed across the river to spent a night at the Yukon River Campground.

Yukon River ferry.

The ferry was pretty exciting! The Yukon was running way up the banks, and the approaches to the ferry were built up with gravel to compensate. The little ferry powers in, and drops its ramp on the slope, and the vehicles unload and load. A bit tense with a truck and trailer. Unloading on the other side, the front wheels of the trailer were completely off the ground as we went down the ramp, but nobody was hurrying us so we took it our time, and the ferry worker was spotting for us. No worries.

Yukon River crossing. Riding back after moving our trailer across.

The next day we headed up the aptly named Top Of The World Highway. Right out of the gate of the campsite you start to climb. The highway tops out at just over 1300 meters, and then you drive along the tops of the mountains with the land dropping off on either side. Spectacular! The Canadian side is mostly smoothly graded gravel, much better than most of the paved roads in the Yukon.

Top of The World!

What do you do when there’s a grader in your lane coming towards you, and there’s a pile of gravel in the middle of the road? Peddle to the metal and crash through to the other side. Okay, it was smoother than I thought, but still tense.

Crossing the border.

Crossing to the American side through the most northern border post in North America, there is a short section of the most beautiful highway you’ve ever seen. This is going to be great. Then the dirt begins. The road down the Chicken, AK is grueling! Chicken, incidentally, because they couldn’t spell ptarmigan.


A quick stop for lunch, and we decide to push on to Tok, since the rest of the road is mostly paved. Yeh right. Paved but not smooth, and with trailer eating pot holes everywhere. By the time we pulled into Tok I was fried!

Tok. Nothing to see here, move along. An overnight at the Alaska Stoves Campground, groceries and beer, and a much needed wash for the truck and trailer.

Rather than drive all the way to Fairbanks in one one shot, we spent a night in Delta Junction and carried on the next day. A picture of the monument at the end of the Alaska Highway. Done.

The end of the Alaska Highway at Delta Junction.

The approach to Fairbanks has, can you believe it, a four lane divided highway. We haven’t been on anything like that forever. We’re in a real city!

Pioneer Park.

Driving through town looking for an RV park we see a parking lot full of RVs. What can this be, it looks very interesting. It turns out to be the Pioneer Park, with exhibits and old cabins depicting the development of Fairbanks. For $12 you can park for the night, and they even have potable water. Good for one night, but way too noisy, so the next night was spent at the Rivers Edge RV Park.

Fairbanks antler arch.

We didn’t do too much in Fairbanks, but the Cultural & Visitors Center downtown had a great display on the history of Fairbanks, and of course we stopped by one of the local micro breweries. The most excellent Hoodoo Brewing. Don’t let the name fool you, these guys are serious about their beer. Definitely some of the best brew we tasted anywhere!

The smile speaks for itself!


One response to “The High Road to Fairbanks”

  1. Fantastic photos and commentary! What a fantastic experience you are both having. Thanks for continuing the blog. Happy and safe travels.


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