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Old 12-01-2012, 10:41 PM   #21
Alcan Rider
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Just over the rear wheel
Oddometer: 4,007
Originally Posted by McRuss View Post
In planning my route to D2D for next year, I find that I have to make a choice. The Beartooth has always been on my bucket list but I've heard that Chief Joseph is not to be missed.
Neither is to be missed.

Having just ridden both again four months ago it would be a no-brainer for me if I were riding north from Colorado. In addition to Beartooth and the Chief Joseph, any time I am in that area the Big Horns are a must-do for me. You're going to D2D? I would suggest you follow my exact route in reverse, being that I rode down from Alaska to Denver by way of about the most scenic, most fun (on a bike) route available while sticking to pavement.

Ride north on I-25 to Ranchester, WY, turn west on US14 and follow it over Granite Pass and down Shell Canyon, on across to Cody. Turn north on 120 to where 296 turns off to the left, and follow that. You'll soon be enjoying the twists and turns of the Chief Joseph Hwy. When you get to US212, turn right and climb on up to the top of the Beartooth Plateau, and get ready for a great ride down to Rock Creek at the bottom. You might even feel like going back to the top and doing it again. I have. Then up through Red Lodge to 3rd St/78 and turn left onto that highway. Follow it to Columbus and I-90. There are a variety of routes by which you can get north into Canada, but if I'm in a bit of a hurry I'll usually stick to I-90 and I-15, as there are some really nice passes along the way, with lots of twists and turns, and traffic doesn't bother me as long as it is disappearing in my mirrors.

Again, there are various routes to get there, but your next destination should be the south end of the Icefields Parkway near Lake Louise, Alberta. North on that highway to Jasper, then east almost to Hinton, and the Big Horn Hwy north to Grande Prairie. Time it so you can get from Grande Cache, through Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek, and on north of Fort Nelson in one rapid push, as that whole area has become too industrialized in the past 20 or so years so there is really no reason to tarry. But once north of Fort Nelson you'll be climbing into the Rockies again, starting with Steamboat. From there on you should be able to enjoy the Alcan all the way up to the turn-off onto the North Klondike Hwy just out of Whitehorse. As far as that highway goes... be prepared to find yourself bored after the first few hours. But the destination makes it worthwhile.
"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
I'm so old I remember when the gallons rose faster than the dollars on gas pumps.
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