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Last year, we spent a few days RVing up along the Denai Highway. This was our first experience of being completely OFF the grid. No place to plug into electric or get more water. No cell phone coverage or wi fi service. Just you and your mode of transportation with whatever essentials you have brought along for the ride.
There are not many ‘big’ roads in Alaska. Going north from the Anchorage area, you have the choice of 2 main roads which will eventually get you to Fairbanks. The Parks Highway goes up past Denali National Park (where you’ll find Denali / Mt. McKinley) and eventually gets you to Fairbanks. The Glenn Highway veers eastward through the Mat Su Valley, ending when it tees into the Richardson Highway in the town of Glennallen. The Richardson Highway then allows you to either head south towards Valdez or north to Fairbanks.
The Denali Highway connects the Parks Highway to the Richardson Highway. The name is a little misleading as you can’t go at anything approaching highway speed. Instead, you have to take a more leisurely pace on this trail turned rustic road which will most likely coat your vehicle with mud as you bounce along and hear little rocks pinging the vehicle.
We experienced cool, wet days while traveling along the road. While I might have liked a little more sun, I was happy to not need the generator on for cooling down the RV. Besides, we all had rain gear for going outside when it was raining and knew that we could dry off and warm up in the RV. Having the awning made it more pleasant for grilling in the rain, too.
Finding a place to stay for the night just meant finding a graveled area along the side of the road or a gravel pit set off from the road. The Milepost, an annual publication, provides a near blow by blow description of the roads in Alaska and along the Al-Can through part of Canada.
Many of the pull off areas had rustic fire pits. And, part way through the Denali Highway we found a state maintained site with pit toilets.
The views were still inspiring, even if low lying clouds blocked some of the mountain ranges. While we didn’t see any, this area typically has caribou passing through in their annual migration.
Little streams and rivers provided opportunity for the boys to go fishing. While no one was successful in catching something, it was still a fun experience.
Rather than fill this post with too many photos, I’ll be sharing a look at different vegetation seen along the Denali Highway this coming week.
Have you ever gone camping completely off the grid?
If so, how was your experience?