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Old 01-19-2005, 06:11 PM   #16
RDJEff
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I'm no Alaskan expert, but I did stay there last night...

The run from Fairbanks is an easy afternoon round trip, just pick a dry day to do it. I would highly recommend a run across the Denali Highway, it has the best scenery in the interior. Definitely make the run from Glennallen down to Valdez, you won't forget that one. If you have time, be sure to make it to both Haines and Skagway. I don't know what else to add, other than Alaska is fairly civilized, while keeping one foot in the past.
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDJEff
If you have time, be sure to make it to both Haines and Skagway. I don't know what else to add, other than Alaska is fairly civilized, while keeping one foot in the past.
Funny thing about Haines and Skagway, they are 11 miles apart by water and ithink 300+ miles apart by road! I've been to both, if I was only going to get to one I'd make it Skagway and see about a day trip on the White Pass railway.
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:49 PM   #18
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Hey Roy, I'm also riding to Alaska this summer, been planning it for about 6 months leaving Texas on june 10th for a 6 week trip.
All the Alaska - western Canada ride reports on this site are a great help many thanks to you folks who post them and take the time to answer all our Questions. I have a couple of more if you dont mind.

1- Is the trip into Denali NP park worthwhile? From what I can find there are a lot of things involved that I dont like such as, making reservation weeks in advance (dont like my schedule to be that tight) , busloads of tourist, and not being able to ride my bike in. I'm thinking of skipping it and instead riding on the Petersburg rd. and taking one of the airplane rides around Denali. Will I be missing out on anything in the park?

2- Cordova sounds like a good side trip - childs glacier, million dollar bridge, river road , is this one worth doing and if so how far in advance do you need to make ferry reservations?

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:57 PM   #19
BARB
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Don't forget to do McCarthy/Kennicott mine. Barb
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:02 PM   #20
visaliacraig
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Me Too

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyB
A friend and I will be doing our first Alaska trip this summer....
Roy, thanks for starting this thread, and I'd like to ride your coattails a bit as I plan my trip this summer. Fighter has been providing some encouragement to make it to the D2D event and that's my current plan. I'll be leaving central California June 9 and back at work July 11 so it's a solid month! I'll probably run pretty hard getting to Dawson City by June 15/16. I want to do the Alcan one direction and Cassiar the other, visit Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, and some scenic roads up north. I'd love to try going up the Dempster or Dalton to the Arctic Circle, but am a bit apprehensive on weather/road conditions. Not much off-road experience. On the return, I'd like to take some time on the Cassiar and drive the Icefield Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise. I've wanted to go to Alaska for years and this looks like the right time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greengoose
Hey Roy, I'm also riding to Alaska this summer, been planning it for about 6 months leaving Texas on june 10th for a 6 week trip.
Dennis, your timing looks similar to mine. You planning on making the D2D in Dawson City? Maybe I'll run into you up there somewhere.....

Fighter, Legion, AKRider, Friar Mike, KL5A, globaldude, Barb, Katoomer, all the gruvers and many, many more of you make this forum a total delight and are unbeliveably friendly and helpful to total strangers. I'd like to thank all of you.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengoose
1- Is the trip into Denali NP park worthwhile? From what I can find there are a lot of things involved that I dont like such as, making reservation weeks in advance (dont like my schedule to be that tight) , busloads of tourist, and not being able to ride my bike in. I'm thinking of skipping it and instead riding on the Petersburg rd. and taking one of the airplane rides around Denali. Will I be missing out on anything in the park?
Denali park is kind of like disneyland with bears these days-just you wait until you hit glitter gulch! It still may be worth a trip, on the bus, with a bunch of fat sweaty tourists....well, only you can answer that question! You should definitely do the Petersville Road- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43707

After that ride, you'll be in a good position to do the Denali flyby, which will be the last airplane ride that will ever impress you. After that, it's all just point a to point b.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:29 PM   #22
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Need more inspiration?

If you get down to Hope, take the trip up Palmer Creek road, past Courde' lene campground.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44886
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visaliacraig
Fighter, Legion, AKRider, Friar Mike, KL5A, globaldude, Barb, Katoomer, all the gruvers and many, many more of you make this forum a total delight and are unbeliveably friendly and helpful to total strangers. I'd like to thank all of you.
That's definitely one of Alaska's high points. Lot's of good folks in Alaska, and we all love a good compliment. Thanks Craig

Here's a couple shots of Anchortown today.







Enjoy your trip(s), gents. Alaska's a great place. Good idea to be well prepared, too. Too much to see otherwise.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:51 PM   #24
northrider
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As another long time Alaskan, I'll throw my two cents in as well. Folks have pointed you to virtually every road in the state so there is not much else new that I could add. I would suggest that you take one of your motel days in the Fairbanks area out at Chena Hot Springs. The Chena Road heads about 60 miles out of Fairbanks and ends at the hot springs. Great place to soak out some of the kinks if you've been on the road for a while. You WILL need reservations very early if you want to stay in the hotel. A campground is also available.

As for some of the roads mentioned earlier these would be my ranked favorites. I've lived here all my life and have not ridden/driven the Dalton, so I am omitting it since I have no experience on it.
Denali Hwy - 130 miles of some of the best scenery in the state.
Seward Hwy - IMHO the best stretch of paved road we have.
Edgerton Hwy - Ghost town of Chitna, McCarthy and Kennicott Mine
Taylor Hwy/Top of the World Hwy - If you have time and the weather is reasonable take a side trip out to Eagle on your way from Dawson to Tok.
Hatcher Pass Rd - Great short trip from Anchorage.
Glen Hwy - Some good twisties along the Matanuska River, although every time they 'improve' the road more of the turns go away.

Hope you have a good trip and maybe we'll see you on the roads this Summer.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:22 PM   #25
visaliacraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion
That's definitely one of Alaska's high points. Lot's of good folks in Alaska, and we all love a good compliment. Thanks Craig

Here's a couple shots of Anchortown today.
Wow, beautiful winter pics. We're mired in the California central valley gray. Low overcast or fog for days on end. Even though we're just a few miles from the Sierras and it's spectacular on a clear day, this time of year it's a rare sight.

The Over the Top and Great White north have become part of my daily routine. Cyber communities are an interesting phenomenon of the digital age. You visit, get advice, follow Katoomer's medical travails, globaldude's smirking or Barb's report from wherever she happens to be. Entertaining and interesting - makes TV pretty passe.
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:04 PM   #26
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Friendly!

Alaskans are very friendly....just remember to keep Alaska green-bring money.

Keep in touch during your travels. Many of us are always looking for an excuse to get out and ride and visitors are some of the best reasons I have.

My place is always open for visiting ADVRIDERS. A beer, a bed, and a garage if you need some "minor" adjustments. And we are always looking for another excuse to burn meat at Legions place. (nice pictures Legion---It's an ADventure RIDEING up to your place this time of year.)
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Old 01-20-2005, 12:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion
Man, that sounds like a gas! I've been here since '70 and haven't made this run yet... how'd I miss?

Legion, (and others) this is a way cool route. I drug Ace through there on last year's Spokannonball and he's still sportin' wood.

I got wind of these roads several year's back from a group of sport riders I met in Lake Louise. I was fueling up and I watched these guys pull in. Flashy rainbow-colored bikes, one piece custom skins with pucks and pads...
no side bags or duffles. Tankbags only. Their chase vehicle was an XJS Jag. Calgary boys. The one dude said they were packed so light they were sharin' a toothbrush. He told me where they had been and handed over his highlighted map. That's how I fell into the Kootenays.

The two ferry crossings are free and they don't take reservations. The neat thing is that the boat crews see you coming and they wave you right down to the front row. First on.... first off. You get the whole place to yourself. Did I mention that these rhythm roads are banked? Giddyup
If you want to get a little dirty... try heading west out of Revelstoke and take the fire road out of Taft. That one takes you around Seymour Arm on Lake Shuswap. Outstanding. I love BC.

IMHO ... this is the only way to get to and from the lesser 48.
Hell...lets leave tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:10 AM   #28
Curtis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengoose

1- Is the trip into Denali NP park worthwhile?
The scenery is very beautiful and you have a fairly good chance of seeing spectacular wildlife. You can overnight in the farthest back campground next to Mt. Denali and by camping you get to ride the camper bus. I think you get a more interesting group on the camper bus and not such goofy annoying tourist types. If you do it you'll spend a couple of days. One to get in and one to get out. If it's clear the campground is the most spectacular Denali midnight pink mountain photo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greengoose
2- Cordova sounds like a good side trip - childs glacier, million dollar bridge, river road , is this one worth doing and if so how far in advance do you need to make ferry reservations?
You'll have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

You don't have to book the ferry in advance at all, I think I went on standby. I could have scheduled 2 days in advance and had a confirmed spot though. You can book a ferry at any of the Alaska ferry terminals for any other ferry on their system.

I can only speak for myself and say that was the most amazing site I witnessed besides the K2 glacier landing and flight. The river is 300 yards across and the glacier is 30 stories tall. It looks like it's right on top of you. When a small chunk falls in it sounds like a high power rifle, when a big chunk falls it's WW3. Every crash makes it's own Alaska version of a mini Tsunami. Cordova is mayberry in Alaska, not touristy at all because it's a pain to get to. You will have the back roads to yourself, no RV's. The city pool will let you shower and there is a convenience store in town where you can buy food to take to the campground at the glacier.

The Million Dollar bridge is tied to Chitina, McCarthy and Kennicot but you can't reach them on land. They built the bridge to carry the copper from those mines in the 1900's. One span collapsed during Alaska's earthquake.
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:42 AM   #29
RDJEff
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Hey Legion, do you get nose bleeds living up there? Does it bother your sensibilities to travel down into town?

One ride I keep forgetting to mention is Fairbanks to Circle, a small town on the Yukon River. This is a scenic 162 mile ride, with about 100 of it being gravel, and travels over two high passes. Arctic Circle Hot Springs is on the way, and is definitely worth the side trip.
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:54 AM   #30
keith in alaska
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Alaska advise

EXCELLANT information from locals and visitors so far. Let me add a couple thoughts.

1. Avoid the Seward Highway (S of Anchorage) on weekends. It gets crowded with Anchorage RV'ers, anglers with questionable trailers pulling boats.

2. 9 out of 10 of my Edelweiss clients that go on the Denali bus ride think it was worth it to see the wildlife. Those of us who rode the Denali Highway politely nod and smile......knowing we had a better time. Do both if you have time.

3. The fly over Denali is awesome as many have already stated. The flights out of Talkeetna are better than the ones from the Park area. Land on a glacier if the option is offered. If the mountain clears grab a flight ASAP, it will probably dissappear quickly.

4. Great camping on the ocean in Seward. Great camping and grayling fishing at Tangle Lakes near the East end of the Denali Highway.

5. Best pie is at Rika's Roadhouse, 10 miles W. of Delta.

6. The weather is shittier in Whittier (sorry Mr. Whitkeys), but the fish and chips are the best.

7. The roads to Haines and Skagway are both excellant. Skagway is a more interesting town and alot of fun after the cruise ship people head back to their boats for dinner.

8. Dawson City is my favorite place. Stay at the Downtown Hotel and support a Gruver. Eat at Klondike Kate's. Party at the Westminster Hotel, AKA the "pit". Visit Dredge #8.

9. I'm still searching for the best sticky buns, but I think I know where the best lap dance is. The search must go on!
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