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July 27, 2016

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

For our launching point we took a dry campsite in Discovery Yukon Lodgings just south of Beaver Creek, YK.  The campsites are clean and the staff friendly.  The entire grounds are a museum that makes for an educational experience.  Although WiFi had a limited range, just around the office, it worked well.
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The border crossing into Alaska is an excellent photo stop.
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And 8 miles into Alaska begins the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, which stretches for the next 60+ miles.  As with most of our stops, we look for areas to explore on foot.  And right from the Visitor Center is the short trail to the Trapper’s Cabin.  An audio CD is available at the Visitor Center for an auto-tour if just driving through the area.
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The Seaton Recreation Area offers longer trails and this short walk around the pond.  The rest benches turned out to be good places to support the local wildlife - via blood donations!
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The hike to Hidden Lake is mostly on a raised boardwalk over a large peat bog.  At the lake are two flat bottom boats to use, but only two oars and no oar locks.  But the lake is small and an oar can be used as a paddle.  The trail is lined with wild blueberries (actually blue huckleberries) and mushroom villages.
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The Refuge offers two free campgrounds.  Deadman Lake Campground is beautiful, with good separation between sights, I can recommend it.  However Lakeview is tiny and better suited for little units or tents.  Only one sight has a view of the lake!

Deadman Lake Campground also has a short Nature Trail to an overlook of the lake.
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Tok, AK is Refuge Headquarters and the first town with all services we have been to in the past several days, a good replenishment stop for a couple days at Tok RV Village.
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The Three Bears chain of stores has an Outpost across the street.  It is a clean well stocked convenience/sporting goods store.  Three Bears Foods at the other end of town is a clean well stocked grocery.  Prices are higher here, but everything is available (even if many items are Costco). 
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And it’s an easy walk to Fast Eddy’s!  Rated as the best salad bar in Alaska.
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Discovery Yukon Lodgings.  Large grass sites for any sized rig or dry camping.  Alaska Highway construction equipment and collectibles.  Free movie rentals. A generator runs 24/7 for power, but it’s pretty quiet.  Metered showers. Satellite WiFi worked good but only from the office area, no cell service

Deadman Lake.  Gravel sites with easy access to the lake.  Great separation between sites.  Dry camping only, no cell service

Tok RV Park: Large park with all pull-thru sites.  Easy walk to town, or use the paved bike path.  Unmetered showers and laundry facilities 3.50/1.50.  Reasonable cable TV.  RV /car/truck wash station – $12 for 45 minutes of high pressure wash for our 26’ unit.

Next Fairbanks and beyond  …
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