Six years ago, when we last drove to Alaska, the only place you needed reservations was at Denali. This time, our three day drive from Valdez to Skagway found two of our target overnights full before we got there in early to mid afternoon. This happened multiple other times on this trip as well - clearly an indication of the popularity of RV travel and the reduced number of available options.
We fueled in Tok after carefully driving the Tok Cutoff. There was a fair bit of construction, but we thought the road was much improved by the summer construction projects. We could have boondocked at the gas station but knew that came with trucks coming through all night. We could have sprung for an RV park, but preferred a more solitary experience. Our target was the State Recreation Area at the Tok River, but we found it full AND the highway bridge adjacent was under 24 hour construction, so we kept going, ending up with a slightly sloped spot at the rest area on the west shore of Tanana River. One other rig came in and parked at the other end for a surprisingly quiet night.
We left the main portion of Alaska in our rearview mirror, but would visit two more parts of Alaska before we left for good. Crossing into Canada was a two minute process this time with just the normal guns, veggies, and recreational marijuana related questions.
Our target for the second night was Congdon Creek Campground, one of the many Yukon Government campgrounds. All of them are dry campgrounds with outhouses and usually some sort of water source. The campgrounds are much nicer than they were six years ago, but are still only $12 per night. Congdon Creek had over 40 sites including a number of large pull-through sites with good visual separation between sites. We had lots of choices when we arrived, but it appeared the campground was full by the time we went to bed.
Congdon Creek featured a dedicated tent camping area behind an electrified fence. The campground is known for bears wandering through, but once again, we didn't see any - near or far!
Our plan for the third night was to stay at Wolf Creek Campground, another Yukon Government campground located near where Highway 2 heads south towards Carcross and Skagway. We arrived before 1 p.m. to find every single spot in the campground full. After a tour of the campground, we headed south, looking for an unsigned pullout. Many of the rest areas were marked "No Camping" but most of the other turnouts were unmarked. We found one near an abandoned section of the railway and called it home for the night.
We had some time the next morning since the RV Park in Skagway (where we had reservations!) recommended no early arrivals. A check of the Geocaching website showed some nearby caches so it was time to explore. I was amazed to discover a large complex of log buildings that had once served as the Robinson roadhouse. It turns out, it's accessible from a rest stop just down the road from where we stayed,
but that one is marked with the dreaded sign.
In spite of no availability at two out of three places we anticipated staying, it would turn out better than we could have hoped. We had quieter nights, less expense, and found some things we might not have found otherwise. Fact is, we finally found a bear in the woods!