Road trip ideas for Alaska, Canada


May 27, 2007|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

A friend and I are planning to drive to Alaska and spend a month fishing and exploring. Any ideas of what to see and do in Canada and Alaska?

Your likely driving route through British Columbia and the Yukon Territory will take you through such Canadian towns as Vancouver, Prince George, Whitehorse and Dawson City. Each city has its own charm and interesting sights, but you won't want to linger too long if you intend to reach Anchorage in a few days. For ideas, check out the North to Alaska Web site (, which has maps, tips and driving distances, and for suggested stops in B.C.

While in Anchorage, test your fishing prowess in the Ship Creek King Salmon derby, which starts the first Friday in June and lasts 10 days. First prize: $5,000. You also might want to take a ride on the Alaska Railroad (, which has day and overnight trips to Seward, Denali, Fairbanks and Spencer Glacier. Enjoy a scenic train ride, then float among icebergs in a raft or native canoe.

An exceptional resource is The Milepost, a guide to food, gas, lodging, fishing, sightseeing and road conditions in Alaska, B.C. and the Yukon Territory ($27.95,

I've been told that a conviction while driving under the influence (DUI) will prevent someone from entering Canada. Is that true?

It's true. Although U.S. citizens may have been permitted to enter Canada in the past despite convictions for DUI, shoplifting, possession of illegal substances or similar offenses, security and screening have tightened on both sides of the border. This is the result of information-sharing between the countries in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered an "extremely serious" offense in Canada. If five years have passed since your sentence expired, you will probably be allowed to enter the country. Otherwise, you can expect to be turned back. In some cases, it could be 10 years before you can visit.

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