UNIQUE MAPS AND GUIDE BOOK FOR:
DALTON & DEMPSTER HIGHWAYS
IMPORTANT NOTICE: 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. 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 and Dempster, 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 Peninsual and roads north of Fairbanks (Dalton, Steese, Elliott, etc.). There will be no effect on retail prices. Our 11th Edition Alaska and Yukon maps will be shipped with an errata sheet to fill orders until they run out.
WHY BUY OUR PRODUCTS?
Rodger: I just wanted you to know how much we appreciated the information you had listed on the RV parks/campgrounds in BC, YT and AK. I can't tell you how much we used in on our trip. We just returned home today after five weeks on the road driving from Florida to Alaska and your information helped more than all the other books and guides I have. . . Thanks again for all your input.
Vera Sherman, Frostproof, Florida, 29 July, 2001
WARNING: This book is not pretty! Because our book is only advertised and sold through this web site, or direct from our office, we aren't concerned with having a lot of colorful photos and ads to entice book store browsers. We do have hundreds of photos and ads, but they're all on this web site.
PRICES: $US/$Canadian/Other foreign S&H included for all orders; tax included where applicable. Foreign prices are in $US; PayPal accepts payments in EUROs, pounds, yen, $CN. Use the currency equivalent.
Effective April, 2009 there are two 11x17 maps for each region, covering the same area as our former 18x24 format. Six maps (below) refers to 2 BC, 2 YT, and 2 AK.
E-mail any specific question and we'll give you an immediate response. But please, go over the material first. We often get questions like "Can you tell me the name of a campground between Whitehorse and Haines Junction?" It's all here folks, and reading it is a lot easier than our job. By the way, we don't take reservations or forward E-mails.
If you live in the upper midwest, stop by our office, six miles north of Black River Falls (take exit 115 from I-94) and we'll spend a few hours with you answering every question you can think of and a lot you can't. Call or E-mail to make an appointment (715) 333-8541, and remember, our office leaves town around Memorial Day.
Costs can be broken down into fuel, lodging, meals, and incidentals.
Gas was extremely high in 2008 because of a combination of liter price and exchange rate. At par, we were paying $5US per US gal whenever the liter price went over $1.32. With the present (February, 2009) rates prices are a third to a half of what we paid in 2008. See the note on the home page for a more detailed analysis.
Try to avoid having to buy gas at Seward, Homer, Glennallen or from Cantwell to Healy. In Tok and Soldotna check all of the station prices before buying. In Haines use the 24-hour pump two blocks from downtown, up the hill. We have noticed a trend in Canada for prices in the south (Calgary, Lethbridge etc.) to be less than but close to Alaska Highway prices. Used to be a big difference, and we counted on getting some cheap gas once we hit the Yellowhead. Not any more. Remember that gas is cheaper in Alberta because they don't have the prov. sales tax like BC. Dawson Creek gas is cheaper than Fort St. John because of the competition just across the border.
Good news: GST in Canada dropped from 7% to 6% in July, 2006, and is supposed to drop another point to 5%.
Our experience has been that some businesses along the Alaska Highway, notably Rocky Mountain Lodge, Rancheria, and a few others, have always tried to keep their prices steady throughout the season regardless of rising town prices. That was when gas prices rose early in the season then leveled off and even dropped a bit. Today it's hard to speculate on where prices will go. If you stop for gas and the price seems too high invest a few cents on a phone call and see what it's going for up the road, or buy just enough to get to the next pump.
Lodging (RV park and campground fees) vary considerably. Without going into details, we think it would be reasonable to estimate $18-25/night for serviced RV sites. Of course, Anchorage, Denali area, Kenai Peninsula, and Fairbanks will be higher. We don't give prices on this site, but you can follow the links to check prices at specific locations, if available. Government campgrounds are $15 in BC, $12 in Yukon, $6 to 15 in Alaska depending on agency. There are a few free campgrounds.
In Canada we find that meal prices are comparible to the U.S. In other words, you can get a good restaurant sandwich (patty melt, French dip, etc. with fries for about $8 Canadian, which right now would work out to about six bucks. Your bottle of Yukon Gold will add another $4. Snacks and dairy are more expensive in Canada and Alaska, and you pay more at fast food chains for the same slop you get at home. Stock up at the big chains (Overwaitea in Canada, Safeway/Carrs in Alaska). Check Sam's Club for bulk baked goods and snacks like peanuts. Get Costco and Carrs cards. Use military exchanges and commissaries if eligible.
For discount souvenirs, and especially sweat shirts, Ts, hats, etc. stop at the outlet in the Westmark in Tok and the similar outlet in Healy (north of Denali). Skagway also has discount oulets. There will be lots of specials, especially if travel is down. The problem is not so much finding a good price, but finding exactly what you want at a good price. And don't expect to find something you're undecided about still there when you come back. Businesses are anxious to sell all as fast as possible.
Note that we do not offer prices on any of our RV park ads, and most do not put prices on their own web sites. Although prices have remained fairly steady over the last ten years, they are always subject to change without notice. The price of fuel has a direct influence because, in remote areas, parks must generate their own electricity.
KARO Enterprises is owned by Rodger and Karen Found, residents of Merrillan (rural Jackson County) Wisconsin. Rodger and Karen met in high school in 1957, and married in 1964. Rodger served in the Navy as a musician and band director from 1961 to 1982, and was able to travel to about fifty foreign countries during his career. After retiring, he returned to school and earned a BS in geography and anthropology and an MA from UW Milwaukee in geography (historical cartography). His academic specialty is maps and charts drawn by Portuguese cartographers in the 16th century. He also has an advanced degree in museum studies, and served as director of the Wisconsin National Guard Museum for eight years. In 1997 he left that position to be able to devote more time to the maps and guidebook described below, and especially to be able to travel all summer to gather new information and update the old. Karen Found graduated from UW Oshkosh in 1964 with a degree in lower elementary education. She taught off and on during the Navy years, including a few years with the Allied Kindergarten and Nursery at NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy. Mostly she was kept busy raising the Found's six children, all of whom are now grown and gone from home. Karen is presently serving as director and teacher at Learn and Play Daycare and Preschool in Black River Falls.
The photo above is NOT TYPICAL. One of our visitors was put off by the vision of blown tires spread along the road. We had tire problems on this trip to Deadhorse only because our van conversion company, Mark III, did not specify XL (extra load) tires. We were driving on Chrysler original equipment tires.
The Founds first drove to Alaska in 1992, and have made the trek every year (except 1993, 2009) since. There were two trips in 1992. Since the guidebook, Practical Land-Yacht Navigator, was first published in 1996, annual trips have required 6-9 weeks and 10-14,000 miles of travel to cover all of the highways, explore new places, and stop at as many of the campgrounds as possible.