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Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

We're considering doing the drive from Valdez to Fairbanks, via Tok. It looks like it is about an extra 100 miles. We'll be doing it by RV and taking two days. So my question is, if we've already experienced the drive on the Richardson direct to Fairbanks, is it work the detour trip to Tok (probably will overnight there) on our next journey?

haines, alaska
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1. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

In my opinion it is not worth the detour.......the scenery is pretty much the same on both roads that go to Tok, and frankly it gets kind of boring.......very few communities or services along the way, until you get to Tok......mostly just stunted forests and boggy lakes with the mountains in the distance.......you will probably see moose and swans along the way, maybe some beaver........Tok itself is just a destination because it is the first town on the only highway that leads into Alaska......lots of nice RV campgrounds there, but pretty much just a crossroads.......But since you have already done the Richardson Highway, what the heck, it is a new experience.......

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

>>>the scenery is pretty much the same on both roads that go to Tok, and frankly it gets kind of boring......<<<

I'm confused. Did you mean "both roads to Fairbanks? I/we have not done Tok from either direction so both roads to/from would be new for us.

haines, alaska
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3. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

No there are two highways that lead to Tok from the Richardson......one just north of Glenallen and then one which comes out near Delta.......If you were to take one to Tok and then take the other back it would be sort of a circle trip from the Richardson Highway.......both of those roads to Tok have similar scenery.......the roads also cross some small rivers that look like there might be good fishing, though, if that's on your agenda.......

Also if you go a little further east from Tok, be sure to stop at the Teslin Wildlife Refuge visitor center, lots of good information there.....

Here is a map of the area alaska101.com/exploreAlaska/…tokCutoff.gif

Edited: 24 June 2013, 02:11
4. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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5. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

I guess I wasn't being clear on my questions or I'm just confused (still).

Option 1 . . . Valdez to Fairbanks, straight up (north) on the Richardson . . . or

Option 2 . . . The Richardson to east on the Glenn to Tok and then head out of Tok north on the Alaska Hwy to Delta Junction, and then pick up Richardson on north to Fairbanks. (This was the "detour" I was referring to . . . rather than the direct route on the Richardson.)

So my original question was whether or not it would be worthwhile to do the option 2 route to see new scenery than what we'd already seen doing option 1 before.

I guess what you were trying to say is both roads (into and out of Tok) are about the same and boring? What I'm interested in is how that route compares to the Richardson from Gakona to Delta Junction.

Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

I can't speak to the quality of the scenery, but if you go to Tok, be sure and eat at Fast Eddies.

Paxson, Alaska
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7. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

The Tok Cutoff - that from Gakona Jct northeastward to Tok - does have good scenery. Such scenery is, however, little more than good views of the same mountains - the Wrangell St. Elias Range - that you will have been regaled with for the prior 100 miles.

The Tok - Delta stretch is one of the most boring roads in all Alaska - as bad as the southern half of the Parks Highway.

And, with the alternative including the spectacular stretch of the Richardson as it slams through the Alaska Range, it's really tough recommending the former, unless you're determined to fill out your Alaska map with Those Last Routes You've Not Been On.

Audie Bakewell

Denali Highway Cabins

Paxson

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

Thanks for the input guys.

>>>And, with the alternative including the spectacular stretch of the Richardson as it slams through the Alaska Range, it's really tough recommending the former, unless you're determined to fill out your Alaska map with Those Last Routes You've Not Been On.<<<

I'm not interested in doing Tok for the sake of just doing it or driving on a road I hadn't driven on before. That said, if there was better or different scenery or if Tok itself was interesting enough to visit, it seemed worth the time and effort.

haines, alaska
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9. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

I'm not meaning to slam Tok, but honestly the only reason I ever go through there is that it is our halfway stopping point enroute to Anchorage from Haines after an 8-9 hr drive and as such we do look forward to getting there for that reason, but we have never chosen to stick around more than just overnight, and of course breakfast at Fast Eddies........

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: Valdez to Fairbanks - an alternative route?

Kind of agree with mombear and I see Tok as just another spot on the road that I need to pass through to get where I really want to go to such as Home(r)