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Old 11-27-2007, 11:25 AM   #31
ridingAK
On the Road Less Taken...
 
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In Alaska

I just saw this thread and thought I'd add my two cents. I totally agree that the quest for Prudhoe is over rated. Worth doing, yes, but don't let that be the focus of the trip.

The Denali Highway is a great ride and so is the road over Hatcher Pass
between Talkeetna and Palmer.


This was taken on the Denali Highway during August 2006


This is taken from just below the top of the road at Hatcher Pass - the road is gravel, bumpy, and narrow.

A trip down to Valdez will take you through some nice scenery, glaciers and waterfalls.


This is taken from the road on the way to Valdez.

Take the ferry from Valdez to Whittier, then ride the tunnel back out to the Seward Highway. The entire Kenai peninsula is beautiful and there are some really great campgrounds and good riding roads down there. The road into the tiny town of Hope has some nice scenery. Before you get to the main town there is a gravel road that branches off to the left. If you take the right fork you'll ride along the river - very pretty. The left fork takes you up to Coeur d'Alene campground.


Taken from the footbridge in the campground.

Take the Skilak Loop Road heading South from Anchorage. It's a fun ride and gets you off the main road and away from all the ^$%%$% Rv's that clog the road in summer. It's a gravel road in good condition and the Lakes and Campgrounds are really nice.



Seward and Homer are both cool towns that are worth exploring. Go to Exit Glacier in Seward, and in addition to riding to the end of the spit, ride to the end of East End Road in Homer.


Exit Glacier, September 2007



If you go to Homer, stay at Land's End Resort if you want to be on the water, or treat yourself to an awesome break at the Bear Creek Winery and B&B. They provide clean and comfortable cabins, good wine, and pleasant conversation in addition to a clothing optional hottub.



You will probably need reservations at either place if you are going in summer.



Have fun and don't hesitate to ask anyone who lives here for recommendations as the time for your trip gets closer.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:23 PM   #32
damasovi OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK2theWorld
I just saw this thread and thought I'd add my two

You will probably need reservations at either place if you are going in summer.

Have fun and don't hesitate to ask anyone who lives here for recommendations as the time for your trip gets closer.
AK2 thanks for the info. To say the truth I am not seeking to go beyond the Artic Circle, only if I have the time I will but I would prefer to see a lot of what you show me in the pictures you share than just being somewhere with a lot of nothing. And if you have more info please do share

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Old 11-29-2007, 06:52 AM   #33
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What is the most economical way to ship a bike to Alaska? We would like to take the cruise line up then ride back. (Not the ferry ).

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Old 11-29-2007, 04:21 PM   #34
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Look for a used bike in Alaska

If you can live with a KLR...keep an eye open for a used KLR (in Cycletrader, Craigslist, or Alaskan newspaper on the internet). I was scheduled to pickup a 2004 KLR for $2,700 (with bags) that someone had in Fairbanks...fail thru at the last minute but I saw 1/2 dozen opportunities. You save a lot of accomodations and gas by doing one way. If you don't need the bike when you get back sell IT! Would be cheaper than renting.

Regarding the trip.
Take a tent even if you don't plan on camping. Was with a guy 2 yrs ago who got stranded with no motels available for 200 miles. Pouring down rain and he ended up staying up all night.

Camping food for me was not worth it. U really don't save that much money and waste a lot of time unless you like cooking.

I agree Artic Circle is overblown...and is more a macho thing that will take 1 or 2 days away from more scenic sights. If you have the time though, Deadhorse is worth it.

Lots of people do not seem to like the Alaskan Hwy...but the trip thru BC, Jasper/Albert, etc has amazing scenery and the trip back thru Cassier Hwy was a good change. You will hear different viewpoints based on weather and season (dates). Cassier seems to be preferred by most riders but I've been to AK 3 times and found on my last trip Cassier Hwy the most undesirable (probably because the roads were in such bad shape & it rained most of the way). You will find road work (pot holes) get fixed during a 3 month period so roadworkers and equipment to dodge during mid summer and less workers in early and later parts of summer. I've found approximately 80% of roads paved but you run into stretches of 30 miles of good pavement then 1 or 2 miles of potholes. I ran across 3 or 4 potholes that would have wrecked any bikers if they did not see it. Be prepared for rain...u will get several days of it. Also, early June trips will reward you with lots of newly borne elk, bears, moose, etc. Most animals are born in May/June time frame...Whitehorse is good place for tires...u can easily call mcycle shops to get prices or ship a tire as needed.

To me the best part of traveling to Alaska is the Yukon Territory and all the great little side roads.
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EdOriginal screwed with this post 11-30-2007 at 07:32 AM
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:17 PM   #35
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"Take a tent even if you don't plan on camping."

Would it be reasonable to pack a hammock instead? I prefer to travel light and a hammock wouldn't take up much space. However, I would need two trees relatively close together to be of use. I realize much of the northwest contains trees but in places where I might need a place to camp will there also be trees? i.e. would I more likely get stuck in the tundra than not?
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:57 PM   #36
Vbird
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Take a tent.

I wasn't planning on camping-my first m/c camping experience was miserable-but I packed a tent & sleeping bag just in case.I ended up camping 11 nights out of the 21 that I was on the road.After a few nights,I prefered camping to the motels that are few and far between and $$$.I stayed in several scary dumps that were $80- $110.

The skeeters will eat you alive in a hammock.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:45 AM   #37
treysmagna
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When I went to Alaska we camped out every night for four weeks and it saved us a bunch of money. A good tent is a must, but a good bivy sack will save you time and work great too. Several nights we slept on pic nic tables when it was raining too hard to set up the tent. Other nights when it was really nice out we just slept in our bivys beside the bikes. Like the night along the Prophet River
http://www.flickr.com/photos/88006319@N00/190194004/
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exurban
In order to travel light, I'd rather not take my camping gear and stay at motels. Any problems with skipping the tent and sleeping bag? Other than the Dempster and Dalton, any real need to make motel reservations mid-June and July?
I would say in case of "Emergency". Let's say you have a breakdown and are still too far from anything either way, you may want to call it a night and start planning for the next step in the morning. The tent would isolate you from bugs and rain in the middle of nowhere. If I was planning on "motelling", I would still bring a tent in case.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:18 AM   #39
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Why maps?

this may be a dump question (okay I'm asking for it) but why would you spend money on maps instead of a GPS?
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:28 AM   #40
damasovi OP
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IT sounds like not a very smart question but..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbim
this may be a dump question (okay I'm asking for it) but why would you spend money on maps instead of a GPS?
You know it sounds like it but it not a dumb question. Some of us actually prefer a paper map over a GPS, why? I like to see a lot more than the GPS gives me and it does not need bateries. Ok you can be for one or the other but at the end I just think is a choice rather than one being better than the other.

I did a trip and use both GPS and paper maps, the GPS was too small to be use while ridding except for basic info, and paper maps where great to look at during eating time.

My 2 cents about this thing
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:13 AM   #41
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Lots of good advice already given. I just want to add that you need more time. It is a long way to Anchorage from Baja. 5000mi or so. That's 500mi per day for 10 days. Then turn around and do it again. And the towns, in the far norh, won't space out for 500mi days. Most are about 300 mi apart. Take the tent and bag.

Gas is usually no more than 50 mi apart, and there is usually food there, and sometimes a room (pricey).

Take some time in the Muncho Lake, Liard, Rancheria area. Kluane Lake to Skagway is another nice area that a lot of people skip, because they need the Prudhoe Bay trophy.

Have a good trip, don't rush.
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:00 AM   #42
EvilClown
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Also planning Alaska in 2010...

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Old 12-08-2007, 01:50 PM   #43
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Alaska 08

My Father and I have been planning an AK trip for a while now. I appreciate the info provided here among other resources. We hope to nail down the itinerary within the next 30 days. We are leaning toward a daisy chain method. Here is the short run down:

Early May 08 - One week - Southeast MO to Spokane, WA

Fly Home

Late July - Three weeks - Spokane - Denali - Prudoe Bay (just to say we did it) many points in between and back to Spokane

Fly Home

October / November - One week - Spokane to San Diego

Fly Home

January / February 09 - Two to Three weeks - San Diego - Cabo San Lucas across Mexico back to Missouri.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:11 PM   #44
munchmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbim
this may be a dump question (okay I'm asking for it) but why would you spend money on maps instead of a GPS?
I use both
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:25 PM   #45
Denalidirt
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Alkan

I LIVE IN ALASKA AND i HAVE DRIVEN THE ALKAN SOME 20 TIMES, I WOULD ENTER CANADA THROUGH MONTANA ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK AND WORK MY WAY THROUGH LAKE LOUISE, HWY 1, AND THEN HEAD NORTH WEST THROUGH JASPER. THIS ROUTE WILL ADD MILES, AS APOSED TO HEADING UP THROUGH WASHINGTON AND TAKING THE CASSIAR HWY, A SPECTACULAR DIRT ROAD, BUT THE SCENERY CANT BE BEAT. PLACES TO SEE LEARD HOT SPRINGS, GREAT PLACE TO CAMP AND SOAK AFTER A LONG DRIVE. SKAGWAY, HISTORIC, WHITEHORSE, A CITY IN THE WAY NORTH, HAINES, AND HYDER, AK IF YOU TAKE THE CASSIAR. FUEL STATIONS CAN BE 100 MILES APPART SO DONT SKIP ONE. ONCE NEAR THE BOARDER THINK OF HEADING TO DAWSON, MOTORCYCLE RALLY, AND THEN INTO CHICKEN AK. AK ONLY HAS 3-4 MAIN HWYS THAT CONNECT TO MAJOR COMMUNITIES, HOWEVER THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF DIRT MILES THAT TAKE YOU NOWHERE. PETERSVILLE ROAD, DENALI HWY AND THE FERRY TRAIL, ARE JUST A FEW ON HWY #3. ASK LOCALS ABOUT COOL PLACES THAT YOU WONT FIND ON ANY MAP OR GPS. I LIVE IN DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND OWN THE SUBWAY RESTERAUNT THERE. FEEL FREE TO STOP IN AND ASK FOR PAUL. I HAVE LAND TO CAMP ON AND CONNECTIONS FOR ALL ACTIVITIES IN THE AREA. 400 MILES IS ALONG DAY IN ALASKA, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT. REMEMBER ANCHORAGE , THOUGH IN THE STATE, IS NOT ALASKA. ALASKA STARTS SOME 40 MILES AWAY FROM ANCHORAGE, AND THE BEST PARTS OF ALASKA ARE NOT AT THE END OF THE TARMAC, THEY START THERE. DON'T GO TO ALASKA IF PAVEMENT IS WHAT YOU SEEK
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