|09-22-2008, 07:46 PM||#1|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
RoundTrip Seattle to Alaska
I am looking to do a Seattle to Arctic Circle/Fairbanks and back past Denali through Anchorage roundtrip in summer 2009 with my 19 year old son. He has minimal riding experience, but believes he's up to it. I'm looking for anyone with a bit of route experience who is willing to assist me in route planning. I've studied Milepost, but I still think I need some real experience advice on routes and equipment. We have access to what ever equipment/bikes necessary. We are willing to camp, but we'd prefer hotesl/motels. We'd like to complete the round trip route in under 3 weeks if possible, Let me know if you can offer recomendations or a few minutes of time here or PM with phone or e-mail. Thanks in advance.
|10-21-2008, 03:07 PM||#4|
Just passing thru
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Of the 2500 +- mi from Seattle to Fairbanks thru Dawson Creek...2000mi will be like one side of I-90. Wide two lane, lots with shoulder. North of Fort Nelson is some twisties and maybe some construction. Once past the Rancheria, (stop for pecan tarts...mmmm,) the big road starts again and continues to the Alaska border. Maybe some construction around Destruction Bay.
The first time I went north (80's) there were still some gravel sections and Alaska had the newer hwys. Now those roads deteriorate at the Alaska border. Unless AK is doing some construction since I was there last. Most all of the Alaska Hwy in BC is new hwy.
The divided hwy at Delta Junction has a low speed limit. (Two tickets in 10 mi.)
Mostly paved to the Arctic Circle.
Newer motels popping up everywhere. mini marts in the towns. Gas is 30 to 50 mi apart.
These cafe still have good food. Rancheria...the gas station cafe at Haines Jnct. on the right at the intersection...the cafe on the south end of Muncho Lake, at the top of a pass...Fast Eddy's in Tok.
It is a grand road trip. Be patient with the motorhomes. They are trying to have a nice experience, also.
If you are staying on the main roads leave the knobbs at home, run Tourances, Anakees, Mefos, etc. You can probably make it back home on the same tires. I had 8000 on a set of Mefos and switched for another trip. They probably would have gone to 10000 mi. The others I've gotten 10,000 mi easily.
Captain Bartletts, in Fairbanks, has Karaoke.
Yukon Quest (a big dog sled race) headquarters in Fairbanks.
Jump into the Yukon River in Whitehorse.
Signpost forest in Watson Lake.
Milepost 0 of the Alaska Hwy is actually downtown in Dawson Creek.
North of Fairbanks there is a pullout so you can inspect the pipeline, Wave, I am sure you're on camera.
The Cassiar is much more rugged going north. It is still a main road and not a severe challenge but has curves and hills and gravel.
I hope that helps.
The gate guard glares at me. "It's after curfew." He looks me up and down, "What do you think you are, some kind of ****** tourist?" ..Phu Loi 1969
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=667893 My Idaho
thetourist screwed with this post 10-21-2008 at 03:13 PM
|10-21-2008, 11:59 PM||#5|
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: the End of the Road-- Homer, AK
However, as for being more rugged, that's becomming moot-- it's entirely paved and much of it is widened too now. Clean litle pit toilet stops have sprung up all along the route, too. Sadly, w/ this comes considerable RV overflow from the AK Hwy, but the Cassiar is still better than the AK Hwy, which can resemble a white fiberglass parade.
Note, don't believe how 'normal' the distance from SEA to AK looks on maps. The scale is different than what we're accustomed to b/c of the tremendous distance. Be prepared for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of gorgeous wilderness that borders on tedium. A new rider needs to be mentally prepared for that and you, as the experienced rider need to make sure his gear is up to the ride-- that stretch can be cold, wet, and buggy. It can also be heaven, lest I seem too grinchy.
Have a great ride,
Here's to slow motorcycles ridden fast.
|10-23-2008, 04:34 PM||#6|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Annapolis MD
looking to do a similar trip from the east coast next summer. anyone know if advanced reservations for motels are necessary or can one find lodging easily.
|10-24-2008, 11:25 PM||#7|
Less talk, More ride
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Westminster, Ca
I went to Alaska last August and it rained almost every day. Some riders were enjoying the challenging conditions, others were miserable. Good raingear is probably the most important thing to bring with you.
Any of the dual sport tires should be fine for gravel sections of the Cassiar, Denali, and Top of the World highways. I did not ride the Dalton so I can't speak for that one. I used Avon Distanzias on my Strom. There were a lot of Harleys, cruisers, sport tourers, and Goldwings running street tires and they seemed to do just fine. Probably the worst section of the whole trip was a short (~2mile) stretch of the Alaska Highway in Alaska, that was being re-built. The detour was over some freshly graded mud and it was slippery.
As far as bikes go, any reliable bike that you can comfortably ride for long distance day after day, should be fine.
Gear: The less you bring the better. Do a search for camping or packing checklists on this site. For camp gear buy the lightweight type that backpackers use. You probably want a synthetic sleeping bag (warmer if it gets wet) for this trip. I used a +30 synthetic bag and it was more than warm enough.
I took the Cassiar Highway Up and Back. The Cassiar is pretty Scenic. Views like this were common.
Hyder Alaska makes for a good stop just off the Cassiar.
Good place to spot Grizzlies at the fish creek viewing platform near Hyder.
Check out the Glacier near Hyder.
I like the route through Dawson city, and taking Top of the World highway into Alaska. Top of the World travels along the ridges of mountintops, has great views, and traverses both forrest and Alpine Tundra.
The Denali highway has similar type of scenery as top of the world.
Most of my photos from my Alaska trip in Smugmug are Geo tagged and you can see them on a map. This can give you an idea of what things look like at various points along some of the highways.
(Note:The ones off the coast of Nigeria were not Geo Tagged right!)
I did my trip in 16 days from Southern California. It was too short, I was mostly riding the whole trip. There were a lot of 500 mile days and it's easy to get tired, riding like that. It seems like everything is 500 miles apart up north and it takes all day to get anywhere. I think 3 weeks is a reasonable amount of time for a round trip from Seattle. 5-6 days to cross Canada, a week in Alaska, and 5-6 days back.
I mostly used milepost and ride reports for planning. The ride reports on this site are great because of all the photos that are posted.
And bring good raingear.
|10-30-2008, 12:35 AM||#8|
Joined: Jun 2006
I am looking into a ride in June 2009 into Alaska from Seattle (actually From Phoenix, but passing thru Sea) I was thinking up into Prudhoe Bay. I am just getting into the logistics of the trip so nothing is set for me. What are you riding? I am on a 1150gs, but hopefully by then I can get into a new 800gs.
Just wondering what the details of what you plan on doing.
Was RatBones, Now Groo
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