This is the final leg of our trip! We drove through 2 National Parks in Canada and we started and finished the Alaska Highway.
I forgot to mention this in my last post but wherever we crossed the border into Canada was not a 24 hour border crossing. The crossing was only open between 7 AM and 10 PM so we were very lucky to have shown up within that window. However, I would have never thought of the borders having opening and closing times since every border I’ve crossed has been open 24 hours so just a heads up for anyone else.
Banff National Park
We got lucky a second time because Canada was celebrating its 150th birthday in 2017 so all of the National Parks had free admission 😀
Banff was a really nice stop for us because there’s a whole village/town area right near the campgrounds. This allowed us to stock up on some more groceries and get some fresher items to cook with on the last few days of our trip.
Jasper National Park
We seemed to be further out in the middle of nowhere when we camped at Jasper National Park. We weren’t in the main area and I can’t remember if thats because there wasn’t space for us or because we had a trailer with us but either way we found a beautiful spot!
The campground was just a short walk away from this beautiful river so we hung out for a while to watch the sunset and the stars. This was, however, the first time on our trip that mosquitos became an issue for us so we didn’t stay out too long.
This was everything I carried with my in my backpack for the camping part of our trip. Thankfully my big hiking backpack came with a daypack for me to use because all I had brought with me originally was a purse and let me tell you how uncomfortable that is to hike with…not fun at all! It was also nice to be able to get in and out of the car for just about any reason and have everything I would need with me already instead of trying to fumble around our packed, and sometimes messy car, looking for little things.
Just a little side snippet here. We stopped at Grande Cache just to use the bathroom but we ended up finding a free travel guide for the Alaska Highway called Bell Travel Guide. Since we never ended up spending the money on the Milepost magazine for the trip this was a pretty nice find! It was much smaller and only had the information we needed in it. The distance between places, what was available at different stops along the way. However, several of the campsites that were noted in the guidebook either didn’t exist or were quite murderesque. Definitely not even slightly established campsites. More like someone who owned land on the side of the road allowing you to use the space. Needless to say we did not stay at any of the horror movie campsites after Jasper 🙂
We stayed at Airport Inn when we got to Dawson and it was disgusting. There was an overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke even in the non smoking room and we ended up sleeping on the beds in our sleeping bags because it was so gross. The only thing we did at Dawson was get the car organized and cleaned out and do our laundry at a laundromat, which was very much needed at this point!
The drive between Dawson Creek and Watson Lake (our next stop) was beautiful!!! The weather was amazing for us and we even got to see lots of bison on the sides of the roads along the way.
Remember earlier when I was talking about the murderesque campsites from the free travel book? Well before we caught on to the fact that they weren’t real campsites we had planned on stopping to camp somewhere along the way. However, we ended up passing “campsite” after “campsite” and chose to keep driving later and later into the evening in order to find somewhere we could actually stay at and if nothing else keep driving straight to Alaska. Thankfully Watson Lake was more established with a hotel, restaurants and of course the signpost forest! We ended up staying at Big Horn Hotel and eating at the Chinese restaurant next door which was amazing after the long day we had. Sleeping in a bed was also pretty amazing!
This was the moment y’all! We still had several hours of driving to go until we got to our new base but after all those miles of driving, we finally arrived in our new home state. We felt so lucky to have been able to take this trip together and experience everything we got to experience but most importantly we were super excited to not have to sit, sleep and live out of our car!
I can’t tell you how excited we were to finally reach the end of the Alaska Highway! It probably doesn’t look like it from the picture but it took all of our remaining energy to get out of the car and smile for this picture because we were SOOO tired at this point. I suggested breaking this day up into two days so the hubby wouldn’t have to drive so long but we were too close to our new home for him to want to stop. So we drove very late into the night in order to finally arrive!
I hope you enjoyed this series! The trip was amazing for hubby and I and I’m glad that I was finally able to get all the information together enough to share the experience with you too 🙂
Please like, comment and follow if you enjoyed this post <3
Previous Post: Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks