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West Coast trip, Alaska to Utah

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Shawn850, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Aug 31, 2016 at 1:42 PM
    #1
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    So it took 23,000 kilometers (or 14,300 miles for my American friends), but I left from home in Ontario, cut south into Illinois, thru Minnesota and Wisconsin and ending up in North Dakota before turning northward through Alberta and BC (where I passed the guys from Xoverland going the other way). From BC to Yukon and into Alaska going as far as Deadhorse (Dalton Highway is a muddy mess in the rain - it was AWESOME!).
    Once there , turned back south, hugging the coastline as much as I could to San Francisco before turning east thru Utah, touring Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and the Arches, but not before I made a quick stop at the Grand Canyon (EPIC!). I took a quick tour through Colorado and made the promise to come back there when I had more time. Further east, Kansas is flat and dull (although the ladies aren't), and upstate New York is surprisingly lush and green.20160819_151300.jpg 20160819_151300.jpg 20160819_102412.jpg

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  2. Aug 31, 2016 at 4:18 PM
    #2
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Very jealous! How long did it take you to do do all 14,500 miles? I didn't realize you could travel the Dalton highway in the summer. How was it, what did you take? How many spare tires? I've heard you should have at least two in some parts of Alaska. Do you have anymore pictures!?!
     
  3. Aug 31, 2016 at 4:21 PM
    #3
    TheBeast

    TheBeast Mr Line-X

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    awesome ! yes post more pictures and timeline :burnrubber::burnrubber:
     
  4. Sep 1, 2016 at 11:47 AM
    #4
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    I did the entire trip in 5 weeks, having to come back as Work gets in the way of having fun.
    As far as the Dalton in the summer, the only thing you have to watch for are idiots in Hondas who think they can make it with nothing more than a granola bar and an energy drink. Plan on a two, perhaps three day trip with the appropriate food, water and most importantly GAS. I took enough (30 gallons) to almost fill the tank once, just in case and while it never came to that, the distance was getting stretched to max. It would have taken just one of the small handful of stations to be closed for me to have to dip into the reserve. Incidentally, they were charging $3.50/gallon..just smile and suck it up, there's nothing cheaper and you don't have a choice.
    Spare tires, I likely read the same articles that you did and to be honest I took two spares as suggested and for peace of mind..I used neither one. I also took a high capacity air pump and off road tire patch kit..didn't use that either. I have stock Michelin AT2s that came with the truck .
    Now I'm not saying don't be prepared but a little caution and a lot of common sense will see you through the trip with nothing more then some gravel marks on your truck. Pot holes are the main tire killer so just take your time, go slow and steer around them. I fully admit that I'm curious as to what people were driving when they did it that caused them to suggest 2 spares and if they actually used them both. 20160715_122113.jpg
    Speaking of going slow, you'll see a lot of transport trucks...the trick is this: when coming from different directions if you slow down and pull to the right, they slow down and do the same. If you don't, they won't and you'll be the one needing a new windshield as you won't win that battle.
    If you have one coming from behind, try and pull off to one of the many stops (signal so they have an idea what's happening and that you are giving way to them) and they are pretty good about giving you distance so nothing gets kicked up at you.
    Gravel and road repair: Expect it..a lot of it and there is no getting around it. My custom rock rails took the brunt of the damage and will need to be repainted and I don't want to imagine what the side of the truck would look like without them. And do yourself a favour and buy some spray on Tar remover ( I used the Turtle Wax stuff, worked out great) before you leave as you'll be needing it when you get back; Yes, it's that bad.
    4 wheel drive: Yes, in places like the Atigun Pass only because it's gravel, it's steeper then you'd think and you want the control more then anything else. Didn't have any need for 4Lo and 2 wheel drive is mostly what you'll use for fuel economy. It mostly depends on the weather. It mostly rained when I was there and the roads were mud, bring a window squeegee and a spray bottle of washer fluid to spray off your lights and back windows; you'll thank me for that advice later.

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  5. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:05 PM
    #5
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    20160818_122903.jpg
    That's Temple of the Moon to the front left and Temple of the Sun in the background.

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  6. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:10 PM
    #6
    WVTRDPRO

    WVTRDPRO New Member

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    I believe I passed you on White Rim Road in Canyonlands, we were in the white TRD Pro Tundra! Crazy coming across the same truck out in the middle of nowhere.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:11 PM
    #7
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    Ha! Small world! Yup, that was me.
    How did you make out?
     
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  8. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:14 PM
    #8
    WVTRDPRO

    WVTRDPRO New Member

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    Everything went great, we made it to White Crack that evening easily and setup before the sun went down. Got up the next day and made it out but not before passing a ranger who was picking up some lost hikers. I had to ask her about the smashed truck on Hogback and she also told me about a Toyota Corolla that had made it all the way to White Crack several days prior and she was picking up pieces from it, haha.
     
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  9. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:14 PM
    #9
    TRDFaux

    TRDFaux New Member

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    Man I wish I got 5 weeks off.... I would do this in a heartbeat.
     
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  10. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:19 PM
    #10
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    15 years at the same place..another 8 and I'm up to 7 weeks...and THAT I can't wait for..

    A Corolla made it there??? Jeez that guy had to have a pair that he needs to push around in a wheelbarrow! Or a severe lack of brains.
    Did you guys ever pass the blue Jeep? I was concerned with that guy as I suspected he would need a rescue.
     
  11. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:22 PM
    #11
    WVTRDPRO

    WVTRDPRO New Member

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    We passed a dark colored Jeep early on near Mineral Bottom and he stopped and talked to us for awhile when we stopped for a break. He was from Texas I believe and had just come down Mineral Bottom Rd. on a whim and didn't really plan on doing the whole road but was going for it. I suspect you must have passed him an hour or so before you came across us. He was trying to make it the whole way but I doubt he could before dark. That's the only Jeep we encountered if it's the same one. Didn't see him the next day so I'm assuming he made it.
     
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  12. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM
    #12
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    Yeah that's the one. Older guy with grey hair, maybe in his 50s. Street tires and a bottle of water...I was shaking my head wondering what he was thinking.

    I was kicking myself for not having enough time to spend another day there. I made it out just before 7 and spent the night at a hotel in Moab; I'd have rather camped out.

    How did you like the Hogback? 4Lo?
     
  13. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:34 PM
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    WVTRDPRO

    WVTRDPRO New Member

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    Hogback was certainly one of the toughest sections on there and seeing that truck all smashed up before climbing it made me question it but there's no real turning back at that point. I actually just stayed in 4HI and had no problem even with the stock tires. I'm not sure which hill I thought was harder since Hardscrabble wasn't as steep but it was more narrow to me, had to turn in the mirrors on that one so I could stay away from the edge more.
     
  14. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM
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    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    I was in 2 wheel for the most part, but switched to 4Hi and Lo when I thought I needed it. Hogback being one of those places. The 4Lo and the transmission shifted to manual (2nd gear) gave me enough engine braking/compression that I was mostly off the brakes going downhill and was still in control.
    Take a close look at your tires when you get a chance, I found some chipping on mine. Obviously they are all terrain tires as opposed to rock/mud terrain, but I was expecting them to hold out better than what they did.
     
  15. Sep 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM
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    WVTRDPRO

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    I also had some chipping in mine, mostly on the outermost tread.
     
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  16. Sep 1, 2016 at 1:14 PM
    #16
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    Yep, so I'm not the only one then
     
  17. Sep 1, 2016 at 1:16 PM
    #17
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    My tires have chipped a little to with mild wheeling so no surprises there. The stock tires are just about worn out on my truck so I'll be investing in new ones before winter.
     
  18. Sep 1, 2016 at 1:19 PM
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    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    What's the next trip?
    I'd like to do Colorado (Black Bear Pass) next year although I'm not sure if the Tundra will fit in the switchbacks
     
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  19. Sep 1, 2016 at 1:40 PM
    #19
    WVTRDPRO

    WVTRDPRO New Member

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    We did go to Telluride, CO with the idea of doing Imogene and Engineer Pass but ended up just touring the town and drove over to Ouray and Red Mtn Pass. That's one area we will certainly go back and explore more. There's endless trails and back roads in that area.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2016 at 1:49 PM
    #20
    Shawn850

    Shawn850 [OP] New Member

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    I saw a video for Imogene and while I loath to say it, I think that's a No Go due to a rock wall that some Jeeps (with 33s) need to be winched up.
    I'm not sure about the width of the trail either.
     
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