Moving to AK

406Family

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
121
Location
Soldotna, AK
Well I just signed a contract and will be headed north to Alaska next month!

Anybody here have any advice on moving up there? We are probably going to send my wife and kids on the ferry, and I'll drive with a trailer.

Any of you ever make the drive?

Things to look for?

Things to avoid?

Can I transport my rifles through Canada?

Just trying to bounce the idea around and get as much advice as possible.

Thanks in advance!
 

Bambistew

Active member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
5,205
Location
Chugiak, AK
Things to look for... the frost heaves. You'll loose a truck in some of them. 25-35mph for a couple hundred miles.

Not many services in Northern BC. Places to stay in the winter can be far and few, plan accordingly.

Where are you moving to?
 

406Family

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
121
Location
Soldotna, AK
Things to look for... the frost heaves. You'll loose a truck in some of them. 25-35mph for a couple hundred miles.

Not many services in Northern BC. Places to stay in the winter can be far and few, plan accordingly.

Where are you moving to?

Wow, good stuff. Im definitely going to buy a generator and bring a few extra gas cans as well.

We are moving to Kenai.

Going to go through the mile post book as well, ive heard there is lots of good info in there too.
 

Frenchy

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Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
348
Location
Bozeman, MT
The drive really isn't that bad. I did it with my Dad twice (Once up and Once back). It is a roller coaster though. make sure every thing is tied down good because things are guaranteed to bounce. We didn't do more that 10 hour days. Stopping each day to get a good dinner and rest.

Laird hot springs is a nice little pit stop along the way. Just a 5 minute walk of the main road, and from what I recall no charge. Just a board walk through the woods and a couple of open pools.

I'd recommend getting the book called the "Milepost" lists everything there is to see along the way. The farther into canada you get, don't pass a gas station. We never really had any problems, but they do get a little sparse along that stretch.

We never had any trouble bringing guns across the border. No pistols, just long guns. Download the declaration forms and fill them out before you go. Pull over and walk in to the building at the border crossing and get it all checked out. I kind of got hassled a little bit for the meat in my freezer when I came back. Look into that a little before you go if you will be transporting any game meat. Think you just need to have verifiable tags for everything in there.
 

406Family

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
121
Location
Soldotna, AK
The drive really isn't that bad. I did it with my Dad twice (Once up and Once back). It is a roller coaster though. make sure every thing is tied down good because things are guaranteed to bounce. We didn't do more that 10 hour days. Stopping each day to get a good dinner and rest.

Laird hot springs is a nice little pit stop along the way. Just a 5 minute walk of the main road, and from what I recall no charge. Just a board walk through the woods and a couple of open pools.

I'd recommend getting the book called the "Milepost" lists everything there is to see along the way. The farther into canada you get, don't pass a gas station. We never really had any problems, but they do get a little sparse along that stretch.

We never had any trouble bringing guns across the border. No pistols, just long guns. Download the declaration forms and fill them out before you go. Pull over and walk in to the building at the border crossing and get it all checked out. I kind of got hassled a little bit for the meat in my freezer when I came back. Look into that a little before you go if you will be transporting any game meat. Think you just need to have verifiable tags for everything in there.

Awesome, thanks for the info.

Good tip on the game meat. I should still have all tags for the deer and elk meat that I'll bring up there.
 

Gellar

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Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
493
Location
The Driftless Area
If your wife is taking the ferry I would send firearms with her. Have a list of everything you have in your vehicle to hand the border agent. It takes a year to become a resident get your license switched Asap. Explore and have tons of fun! I wish I was still there.
 

Gary

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
179
I made the drive about 5 years ago. Had a freezer full of deer & pheasants - no problem - declare it at the US customs & got "inspected" (agent went into the 5th wheel & checked out guns & mounts) - everything was ok. Canadian customs was hand in firearms transport form, pay fee & go. Long guns are easy to transport, download the form from Canadian government website. Handguns (some) can be transported, but more hoops to jump through. I'd check w/ferry and send them with your wife. If you have a pet with you be sure to have a current health form with you for the pet. At the time I made that trip, the only bad road was between Whitehorse & Tok - lots of the aforementioned frost heaves. Road conditions change with every winter and subsequent construction season. The Milepost is invaluable. Call ahead to figure out where you'll be able to overnight (I'd start setting this up about 2 weeks before you go). Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, lodging may be hard to find. Most major credit cards (Visa & MasterCard) will work most everywhere. If you roll with cash, get Canadian $ before the trip. Some border crossings have exchanges at the border.
There are pockets along the highway where you may spot game (depending on when you travel), but its mostly miles and miles of spruce & birch. On our trip we saw: elk (YK), woods bison (BC) - be careful driving, they aren't afraid of vehicles and locals say there are lots of accidents involving the buffalo, a grizzly (YK), black bears (BC), caribou (YK), stone sheep (BC). Some were seen in October (heading south) & some in May (headed north). All in all, its a great trip, but you probably won't want to repeat it too soon.
 
Last edited:

AlaskaHunter

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
225
Location
interior Alaska
Well I just signed a contract and will be headed north to Alaska next month!

Anybody here have any advice on moving up there? We are probably going to send my wife and kids on the ferry, and I'll drive with a trailer.

Any of you ever make the drive?

Things to look for?

Things to avoid?

Can I transport my rifles through Canada?

Just trying to bounce the idea around and get as much advice as possible.

Thanks in advance!
The milepost is an excellent resource!

If your driving up in April, there will be plenty of daylight as you go north.
Roads may be icy in the morning, above freezing during afternoons, back to icy conditions
as shadows progress.

Bright driving with sun/snow so sunglasses for sure!

There is some decent feeder king salmon/chicken halibut fishing on the Kenai
in May, so good timing from that perspective.

--Skeeter
 

F250

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2011
Messages
359
Location
Vermont
Stop at American Customs and obtain a #4457 Personal Effects form for your rifles. When you reenter the US, this will make life easier for you. Use trigger locks and hard cases if you can. You can download the Canadian Firearms form you need for Non Resident Canadians from the RCMP website. Fill it out ahead of time but do not sign it. Do not remove the firearms from your vehicle at either the American or Canadian Customs until they tell you. I cross the border many times each year with firearms. I have a Canadian Firearm Possession and Acquisition License with a Restricted (handgun) endorsement. The handgun rules are so restrictive that I don't even bother to bring one up there.
 

mr_steve

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
349
Location
North Dakota
I'm making the drive up to Fairbanks in June (moving there). It would be awesome if you posted a report of the trip! I'm semi nervous about it but very excited too!
 

Muleyhunter78

New member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
70
Location
Central BC
All advice for BC is bang on. Depending on which way you go past Prince George, the more important the "don't skip gas station" advice becomes. I have helped a few travelers over the years that don't heed that. And if you need a hand or advice when you roll through Prince George, let me know, if i am not out bear hunting i will do what i can. Enjoy Alaska!
 

archer wapiti

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Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
220
Location
New Mexico
That's gonna be awesome! I never drove it in winter. You can also ship your guns to yourself up there if you have an address to ship them to. I just learned this recently from my gunsmith.
Depending on how many you have, this might be cheaper than paying for the Canadian transport permit (assuming there's still a similar set of regs in place as there was in 2003).
 

406Family

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
121
Location
Soldotna, AK
All advice for BC is bang on. Depending on which way you go past Prince George, the more important the "don't skip gas station" advice becomes. I have helped a few travelers over the years that don't heed that. And if you need a hand or advice when you roll through Prince George, let me know, if i am not out bear hunting i will do what i can. Enjoy Alaska!
Thank you all very much. I'll be sure to get gas whenever I can.
 

Gary

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
179
That's gonna be awesome! I never drove it in winter. You can also ship your guns to yourself up there if you have an address to ship them to. I just learned this recently from my gunsmith.
Depending on how many you have, this might be cheaper than paying for the Canadian transport permit (assuming there's still a similar set of regs in place as there was in 2003).
USPS will allow you to mail long guns to yourself. NO handguns.
 

AlaskaHunter

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
225
Location
interior Alaska
USPS will allow you to mail long guns to yourself. NO handguns.
A couple of years ago I shipped a shotgun from Fairbanks to Washington state to a gunsmith friend and it was $35 back then.

USPS shipping to Alaska is fairly expensive compared to shipping within the lower 48.

The last time I crossed the Canada border was 2000, back then it was one fee for all my shotguns and rifles.

--Skeeter
 

pa mt man

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Messages
809
Drove up to Valdez twice last year. Towing my cabin in April and then my boat in June. Drove the truck back to Pa.in August. One flat tire on the boat trailer was the only incident at the Glennallen service station. Only had to dump gas out of a can once(didn't run out, just a precaution) cause I followed the what previous posters said about filling up. The road wasn't that bad in April. Must have been a mild winter. Long waits for a follow car in a lot of places in July.
Border crossings were hit or miss. Most took 15 min and but two took 1 1/2 hours. One we sopped at Skagway on the way up in April and Canadian customs tore every thing apart coming back into Canada. The other was traffic at the Montana portal plus my wife forgot her passport when she flew up to drive back with me to Pennsylvania. The Canadians let her in when we left Alaska but it was a hassle coming back into the USA.
We didn't transport any firearms.
Lot of good info on ezbordercrossing.com.
You are going to see a ton of wildlife.
 

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