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Old 08-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
JonnyFiveAlive OP
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Oddometer: 7
Question Alaska for a week - new adv rider

Hi all. I'm new to the adv game. I took a short rental bike trip (tiger 1050) from Calgary to Jasper and back loved every second of it. I didn't camp, though, just cheap accommodations.

I won a spot on the Denali road lottery and I've been researching for days what to do with my time. I'm hoping you guys can help me get it figured out.

I'm also interested to hear if any of you will be on the Denali road during the lottery period. I got in on Saturday. Have any of you done it before?

Concerns: I'm riding solo as of right now, not a lot of gravel experience and I'm not a big camper (certainly been camping plenty of times, but it's not something I do with regularity). Willing to try it, though, especially since the Denali camps during this time will probably be pretty active. I'm especially interested in the cost savings camping would bring.

Bike: BMW GS650 single or KLR650 - leaning toward the bmw, but interested in opinions.
  • Thursday: arrive late, sleep in ANC
  • Fri: ride up toward Denali stopping at whatever is interesting along the way. Stay at a motel near the park entrance or camp.
  • Sat: Ride into Denali, try to make it to the end and back. Google says it's four hours to wonder lake. Seems way too long of a time for the distance. Anyone done this? Stay at the same motel or camp.
    Sun: What to do now? Head back to ANC or try to cut across rt 8 (Denali Hwy) to rt 4 and then back to ANC? Valdez worth the trip? Or Fairbanks?
  • Mon: Head to Kenai
  • Tues: Kenai
  • Wed: Kenai
  • Thur: Glacier cruise?
  • Fri: Head back to ANC then Leave ANC late night

From what I hear, Fairbanks isn't much to see. I hear Denali Hwy is a worthwhile road, although most of those reviewers didn't have the opportunity to go on the denali park road, as I will be doing.

Secondly, I think the back half of the trip should be spent on the Kenai peninsula, seeing Homer and taking an all-day glacier cruise from Seward.

I'm asking a lot of questions and will be happy with any feedback you can give. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:25 PM   #2
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Wasilla Ak
Oddometer: 242
Are you sure they are allowing bikes in Denali? Also during the lottery the road will be severely congested so 4 hours is reasonable. Many many sheer cliffs and one lane road sections. I would also inquire about camping in Denali during that time. As for the Denali hwy it's an amazing drive for the scenery you won't be disappointed. Google lodges along the highway I would suggest the road lottery then across the Denali hwy a little ways and stay in a lodge. Be aware that is prime moose hunting season and their will be a lot of traffic everywhere you go on the weekends. Stop into st. Elias brewery in Soldotna it's right next to Fred Meyers. Killer beer and great pizza. Again be aware of the moose hunters. Might wanna plan most of your travel during daylight hours. Have fun and if you need anything while in Alaska shoot me a pm. Will be in Seattle the following week after your trip. Oh on your way to Denali stop into talkeetna it's a cool little town.
Full throttle- either it will solve the problem or end the suspense!

2013 F800gs agent J's bike
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:39 AM   #3
JonnyFiveAlive OP
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Oddometer: 7
Thanks for the help - I added Talkeetna and the brewery to my map. I moved this thread over to the Alaska forum where it probably belongs. Along with an updated plan/post. Thanks again and feel free to chime in again if you think of anything else.
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