RV PARK & CAMPGROUND DIRECTORY FOR
Welcome to the KARO Enterprises directory of RV parks and public and private campgrounds in Northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska.
Since 1996, we have been a leader in providing information to Alaska bound travelers through our web site, our unique maps, and our handy guide book Practical Land-Yacht Navigator. Since 1996 we have covered nearly 200,000 miles by van, small plane, ferry, and bus to keep our information current and accurate. Another 50,000 miles were traveled from 1992 to 1995. We hope you will find the answers you need from this web site and our maps and book. If not, please E-mail us your specific questions and we will be happy to provide an immediate response.
We traveled to and through Alaska during August 2010. Our departure was delayed a week after two storms in three days took out six of our biggest trees (24-32" white pines and hybrid poplars) and caused $6K damage to house and outbuilding. Finally on the road we took I-94 west into Montana, turning off at Forsyth on 12 (Lewis and Clark Highway). This route has become our favorite, being not much longer than 2 or 200 and very scenic. Southeast of Helena we stopped at a lake to camp and try out our concept for the trip.
We left the Chevy van at home this year and took our new Ford Escape. This meant hauling the tent, cots, etc. on the roof and figuring out a way to sleep in the back when necessary. We knew from experience that chances of being able to put up a tent every night were 50-50. So that first night we moved everything around and slept in the Ford, just to proove to ourselves that it could be done. We discovered that the actual sleeping area is about the same as the van. We also discovered that, as usual, we took along way to much stuff.
In Canada we had intended to take the Yellowhead-Cassiar route up because it was prime bear viewing time in Hyder, but when we stopped to talk with an RV park owner at Vanderhoof (Dave's) we discovered that the Cassiar was closed, at least intermittently, due to a fire. At that tome there were 400 fires burning in BC, and only the ones to the south near populated areas were in the news. Anyway, we turned around and head up the Hart and Alaska Highways.
Alaska was the wettest we've ever seen. Anchorage set a record of 30 straight days with rain, and Valdez people were whining about July being the wettest on record. That record, by the way, was three inches, or about half of what fell during just one of our July storms. Anchorage rainfall is usually measured in tenths per day, so the wet is an inconvenience but not a disaster. Worst is the overcast skies blocking the view.
We went halibut fishing this year, taking a charter with AFISHUNT out of Ninilchik. That's where they launch the boats into the surf. We went out about 29 miles in Cook Inlet and would have had a magnificent view of the volcanos if it wasn't so socked in that we couldn't even see the horizon. But we did catch our two fish each and shipped home 48 pounds of meat. My 54-pounder was biggest for the day, and the rest were in the 30-40 pound range. Happens that the other three people on the charter were also from Wisconsin.
Returning home we had to skip our usual Klondike Loop route to Whitehorse because the state finally gave up on trying to fix the washouts on the Highway between Chicken and the border and shut it down for the rest of the season. At Watson Lake we stopped at the Beaver Post for breakfast and read a notice that the Cassiar was closed, but when we drove past the junction there was a line of cars and campers so we jumped in. A guy came around and told us to gas up because a convoy lead by a pilot car was going through at 9 a.m. So we made it down the Cassiar, and heard later in the day that the fire had burned back across the road and it was closed again.
There were no bears to be seen at Hyder, but between Bell II and Meziadin Junction we saw nine, four adults and five cubs. Best part of the trip was the drive up the gravel road that overlooks Salmon Glacier, then beyond to the LaDuc mining area. The weather was nearly perfect and the road much improved from our last attempt. People with limited time should just go to Hyder, AK, and see some of the best scenery in the entire state. Just go late June or later because the road to the glacier opens according to snow melt. The bear feeding frenzy starts around mid July and continues into August.
We were able to tent about half the time. We don't like to get our tent wet, and in one case we heeded the warnings about bear activity. Bears in fall come to some CGs that are rich in ripe berries. We actually looked forward to putting up the tent, and plan to do the same next trip. Best of all we saved about 1/3 on gas with the 25 mpg Escape compared to the 17 mpg van. on a 10,000 mile trip that's a lot of savings.
One final note. Traveling towards Whitehorse, at 8 a.m. just east of Jake's Corner on one of the best paved stretches of road on the trip, we recieved the mother of all windshield dingers. A class C went past, there was a loud crack, and a "chip" the size of a softball appeared; concentric cracked rings with a smashed core. We went back to look for whatever must have fallen off the RV, but were unsuccessful. So if someone out there is missing something, you know where to look. The Moral? The best protection against windshield damage is called comprehensive insurance.
2009 was the first since 1994 and second since 1992 that we didn't travel to Alaska. For an essay on the impact of this change on our business and our outlook for the future please go to the NOTES page. We are planning a late sumer trip this year, and Karen will fly up to Anchorage for the high school graduation of the grandchild who started it all eighteen years ago.
Effective April 2009 we will be changing to a different format for our maps. The 18x24 maps we have used since 1996 can no longer be printed at a cost-effective price because of the shift to digital. They will be replaced with 11x17 (ledger size) maps, two each for BC, YT, and AK. The BC maps are now in use. One covers the 97 corridor (John Hart and Alaska Highways) from Prince George to the Yukon. The second covers the Cassiar-Yellowhead Highways route. For release later in the summer, one YT map will cover the Southern Lakes District (including Haines and Skagway) and Dempster Highway, the other the Alaska Highway and Klondike Loop. For Alaska, one map will cover the South Central and Interior, (basically the Tok-Anchorage-Fairbanks triangle) and the other the Kenai Peninsula and roads north of Fairbanks (Dalton, Steese, Elliott, etc.). There will be no effect on retail prices. 11th Edition Yukon and Alaska maps with an errata sheet will be used to fill orders until they run out.
2008 NOTES page is now active (click button) and contains information about our most recent (May 12 - June 12) trip. There are also two new pages: The Recent Road Conditions button takes you to our observations of road surface conditions and ongoing or future construction projects. The Facilities and Services button takes you to a new page detailing openings, closures, and significant changes to RV parks, campgrounds, fuel stops and other facilities. Also, I have done some research into mileages from and to various points, hoping to find some shortcut we overlooked and maybe save a few bucks this year. My findings are on the NOTES page.
PASSPORTS are required to cross the US-Canada border as of 1 June, 2009.
GAS PRICES FOR 2010 are already a dollar higher than last year. In Anchorage the present (March 2010) price is $3.351. I don't know why they are paying so much, because for years their price was about ten cents under our Wisconsin price. Here in WI the price has been jumping up and down ten cents every week with a steady slow rise, now about $2.77. I'm sure once the Memorial Day rises kick in we'll be well over $3.00 for the summer. EXCHANGE RATE (March 2010) is very close to par, so there is no savings to be had there. Canada gas ($CN/liter) is $.908 in Calgary, $.959 in Prince George, and $1.129 in Whitehorse. That Whitehorse price would work out to $4.19US per US gallon. (1.129x3.785 divided by 1.02). FOR 2011 our local (Wisconsin) price is already $3.09 in January, so it looks like another expensive summer is looming. The exchnge rate continues at par, so there will be no help in that area either. Whatever the price, use the figures above for 2010 to figure diferences from point to point.
NEW PAGE! To help with planning as economical and satisfying a trip as possible we have added our TRIP PLANNER page with mileages for all of our recommended itinerary routes plus selected side trips from Prince George, BC and back.
Go to the LINKS page for links to Canada and US gas price sites and exchange rate sites. Refer to the NOTES to get an idea of how prices vary from place to place. For fire information, go to the National Fire Info site and use links to Alaska Fire News.
KARO MAPS cover Northern British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. These unique maps include information about all of the private RV parks and public campgrounds along all of the routes you are most likely to travel. We also show rest areas with toilets, day-use areas, lodging, restaurants, gas stations, info centers, places of interest, elevations, places where access is available for fishing, and much more. The book and maps are sold only through this web site. As of 2009 we no longer wholesale in Canada or Alaska.
GUIDE BOOK: The Practical Land Yacht Navigator is a handy guide to all of the routes. This is a 21st century product, published in our office and available only through this web site. We know, from years of experience, that no one book can answer every question. By publishing an interactive guide, we can help people plan every aspect of their trip by combining the guide, maps, this web site, and our immediate response to specific questions by E-mail. For ordering information click the second button, above.
WE NOW ACCEPT PAYMENTS VIA PAYPAL. See PLYN/Ordering
DIESEL: We get a lot of questions about the availability of diesel. Diesel is widely available and no one should have a problem. However, we have seen cases where diesel was temporarily out or no longer offered. These cases are extremely rare. We will not put diesel on our maps or in our directory simply because we have seen if offered there in the past. Individual business who choose to include diesel in their advertising bear the responsibility for having it available. We recommend that everyone drive on the top half of the tank. Ask about availability up the road or call ahead if there's a concern. Also see our NOTES.
Navigating This Site
This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer.
All of the pages on this site, including over 50 resident home pages, use the format you see here. Links to pages within the KARO site are posted at the left. External links can be made using the blue, underlined names or through the LINKS page. If an advertiser has a KARO hosted site, you will first go there, then be able to access any other sites or E-mail. Your back and forward browser commands can also be used. We have tried to organize the material in a logical trip order for those driving all the way from the lower 48 to Alaska. First, go to the START page, read the brief introduction, skip to the Northern BC Page, then either head north on the John Hart Highway or west on the Yellowhead.
If you are starting at some other point, simply jump in using the buttons at left. If you get lost, or are looking for a specific highway or campground, go to the proper LIST page. You can also find out more about us and our maps and books, get some general information, including recent gas prices, and read notes about new things we encountered on our latest trips. Since we have inserted several hundred images, older computers may take some time to load. To update your copies of our maps with the latest information, visit the FAQ/ERRATA section.
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If you have an RV/campground located outside of our area of interest we will be happy to consider a reciprocal link arrangement.
Information on these pages is arranged in mile post order. Along some highways, businesses use these numbers as addresses. In Canada, physical markers are for kilometers. Our mileages are derived from these posts by multiplying by .6, except for the Alaska Highway, where we use Historical Miles. Since other popular guides use these same methods, you can easily cross-reference to their pages. Read the introductory material at the beginning of each section to see how mileages are calculated for those routes. Black mileages show junctions, communities, and geographical features. Green is used to identify public campgrounds, including federal, state, provincial, and municipal facilities. Red mileages mark private RV parks and campgrounds. Blue is used to indicate the presence of a link to a web site or E-mail. Magenta or yellow denotes special information or comments.
There are six sections to this site. Pages with general information are white with a blue band to the left. All other pages have solid backgrounds. Northern British Columbia pages are grey; Yukon blue; Alaska tan. The Alaska Highway crosses all three of these regions and page colors reflect the location of the road. However, all Alaska Highway pages have white, rather than black, text. The more than fifty hosted web sites employ a variety of background schemes without regard to location.
HINTS: Two of our more senior visitors advised us that their eyesight made it difficult to read some of the text on the colored backgrounds. If adjusting the position of your screen doesn"t help, go to your Edit dropdown list and click on Select All. The text will appear in bold white on a black background. To return to normal click anywhere outside the black. If you are printing multiple pages from the site be sure to click somewhere on the page you are printing before clicking the print icon.
We suggest that you use the laptop, notebook, or PC you plan to travel with when planning your trip. All of the pages you visit can be saved in your browser cache and remain available off line.
Have a safe
and pleasant journey.
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