How much money would I need to go to Alaska?

If i decided to go to Alaska by car how much gas will I be needing? How much money should I save?

And mainly, which place in Alaska has the longest summers?

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
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    Like anyplace in life, how much gas you need is going to depend on where you are starting from and where you are going.

    Pardon the language, but Alaska is a big f'ing state! If your final destination is Hyder or Haines, it will take less gas to get there than if you drive to Deadhorse. If you are leaving from Montana or Washington, it will be less gas than if you leave from Key West, Florida.

    You should be able to figure out your car mileage pretty easily and should be able to estimate how many MPG you get driving on the highway.

    A few things to keep in mind when calculating gas....

    1. When you get into remote British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Alaska, the highways resemble 2 lane State and US highways in the lower 48. They are not interstates. They are usually 2 lanes and not very straight by lower 48 standards. You will probably average 50 to 55 MPH on these roads. Some roads are still not paved, depending on your final destination. on these roads you would be lucky to average 40 to 45 MPH (a roughly 430 mile one way trip on the Dempster Highway in summer was roughly 13 hours each way with a stop in Eagle Plains).

    2. Gas is expensive (as a rule of thumb, everything will be expensive the farther you get away from the big cities. I recall $15 breakfasts that weren't much better then Denny's in some remote towns on the Alcan). Looking up recent prices in Whitehorse, they are about $1.30/liter (Canadian). This is pushing almost $5 per gallon. I'm not sure where you are from, but this is spendy even by Chicago standards. When I spoke with a family member today, gas is currently about $4 a gallon in SE Alaska.

    What place has the longest summers? Anyplace above the arctic circle is going to have at least 1 day where the sun doesn't go down. The farther north you go from the arctic circle, the more days there will be around the summer equinox where the sun does not go down. If you want the longest summer, I'd probably opt for Barrow, but you can't drive there. I believe Deadhorse is the farthest north you can drive, but you would have to drive the Dalton Highway (North Slope Haul Road or HWY 11 it is also called) which poses its own sets of challenges

    When you get up into the Arctic region in summer, expect mosquitoes and other flying insects like you have never imagined. Bug spray is your friend. Bring it and use it!

    I've never made the trek to Deadhorse yet, so I can not tell you what is there and what there is to do. I tend to hang out in Juneau in the summer when I go. Darkness and twilight are different in Alaska. It does not get dark in a 15 or 30 minute period like in the lower 48 from sunset to darkness. In Alaska, it takes hours to transition from sunset to darkness, then the sun is up awfully early. As one of my relatives says, you can go out at midnight and still read the paper outside. Pretty much anyplace you go in Alaska around the end of June will have relatively long days and short nights.

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