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Old 10-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
steelersbamafan OP
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Location: Cedar Falls, IA
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Trip from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Anchorage, Alaska

Im in the early stages of planning for a trip from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Anchorage, Alaska. I dont know yet if the trip will take place in '13 or '14. My planning at this point is as the following: entry point into Canada will be Portal, ND. I plan on traveling through the following: Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake and Whitehorse. Im looking for any information that can help me in my travels, Sites I should take time to see or anything worth mentioning that will help me. I will be traveling on a Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager street bike pulling a Aluma trailer. Any information would be very much appreciated. I posted on both the Canada and Alaska regional forums to see what help could get there.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
JDowns
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Hi SBfan,

If I were heading out from Cedar Falls to Alaska I'm not sure I would angle up through the Dakotas and the Canadian prairie. Don't get me wrong, the Canadian prairie is beautiful and vast, and if you like long straight roads for hauling a trailer maybe that is preferable. But it seems a shame to miss all the great riding west of you through the Sandhills of Nebraska, Badlands and Black Hills of southwest South Dakota, Bighorn Mtns, Cody, Chief Joseph Hwy in Wyoming winding over to Yellowstone and over the Beartooth Pass into Montana. Plus gas is cheaper south of the border by quite a bit. And I wouldn't head to Edmonton when you could head up through Glacier National Park, Banff, Icefield Parkway on your way up to Jasper and over to Prince George. And rather than north to Ft. Nelson I would take the Yellowhead hwy over to the Cassiar and head up to Whitehorse.

Just some ideas. You have plenty of time to read up. But then that's half the fun. You'll have a blast!

As a sidenote, when I was passing through Mobile to visit a friend he had taught his parrot to say Roll Tiiiiiide. You 'bama fans are a different breed.

If you're ever traveling through northern Nebraska next door, you have a free place to stay here in Bassett.


Kindest regards,
John Downs
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JDowns screwed with this post 10-12-2012 at 04:09 AM
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:40 AM   #3
KHuddy
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More Info Then You Asked For

A repost from an earlier thread....... Has a great route towards the end.

My wife and I have been up and down the roads to Alaska over a dozen times; three times in the past 15 months. The roads to Alaska are in generally good shape and have all been paved. You'll run into construction of course but nothing that any bike can't handle. The road between Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek is always full of frost heaves and cracks. Slow down and it is no issue, but watch for the knucklehead coming towards you at too high a speed; he just might bounce into your lane. Fuel is not an issue in my experience on either the ALCAN or the Cassiar. I rode my R1200R this past June and it has a planning range of 200 miles. I try to refuel at 175 miles and was able to do so on both roads. You will be fairly long distances from help at times, particularly on the Cassiar. The more self-reliant you are the better. You certainly need to be able to fix a flat without help and make minor repairs. If you plan on getting a service done in AK then you may be in for a rude awakening. The shops up there get very busy in the summer and they tend to focus on fixing things that get people back on the road instead of services. Start the trip with the bike fully serviced (especially tires and chain) and be able to change your own oil/filter. If you know your bike is prone to breaking certain parts then consider carrying that part with you. Tires are available in Whitehorse (Honda Dealer), Fairbanks and Anchorage. I see no need to tote them with you and put up with the pain in the butt that will entail. Call ahead and the dealers will generally put tires on reserve for you.

It is much more expensive to ride the Northern BC, Yukon and eastern AK. Fuel, food and lodging are 50-70% higher than in most other parts of Canada and the US. If you plan to camp often as my wife and I do then be prepared to suck or change. We left Takahini Hotsprings outside of Whitehorse and made it only 90 miles to Haines Junction in 32-34 degree temperatures and unrelenting hard rain. We did what all hardened Adventure Riders would do... quit, and found a cabin. A rare $70/nite cabin next door to the bakery. In all the years I lived in AK I never experienced a warm rain; if it's raining it is probably 50 degrees or cooler. Bottomline: if you plan to camp you'd better be prepared to pay for a room now and then or be very tough. By the way when we rode south it was 88 degrees and sunny on that same stretch. Be ready for bugs. A head net will be valuable at times as well as good repellent.

We generally manage 350-400 miles a day when commuting to AK. Others do more, but I think they miss a great deal. The ride thru BC and the Yukon can be spectacular, don't treat it like a driveway.

Check with your cell phone company; using data can cost a huge amount ($200 for an evening of surfing DAMHIK) and even calls will normally cost more while in Canada. Consider getting a shortterm international plan.

I've posted this a few times, but I think this is a great ride to get to AK from the US: Get to Cody WY - Take Hwy 120 north from Cody to Hwy 296 (Chief Joseph Byway) - Ride the Chief Joseph Byway to the Beartooth Hwy and then over the Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT - Ride from Red Lodge on Hwy 78 to Absarokee and then north to Hwy 12 - Hwy 12 west to Helena then I15 north to exit 200 (6 miles of slab) - west on Hwy 279 over Flesher Pass to Hwy 200 - East to Hwy 287 to Hwy 89, north to Hwy 2 then west thru Glacier Park (or go all the way to St Mary and ride the "Road to the Sun" thru the park) - Hwy 2 to Bonners Ferry ID - North into BC and go to Crawford Bay - ferry (free) to Balfour - then Kaslo, New Denver, Nakusp - North to ferry from Shelter Bay to Galena Bay (free) - Hwy 1 to Hwy 93 (Banff Park) - west on 93 to Jasper (Icefield Parkway)- (Hwy 16 Yellowhead Hwy) - west on Hwy 16 to Kitwanga - Hwy 37 (Cassiar Hwy) to Hyder turn off (side trip to Hyder AK well worth the 80 mile round trip) - Cassiar north to ALCAN vicinity Watson Lake - ALCAN to Whitehorse - Klondike Hwy north from Whitehorse to Dawson City - ferry across the Yukon (free) to the Top of the World Hwy and Taylor Hwy (100+ miles of dirt) thru Chicken Alaska back to ALCAN vicinity Tok - ALCAN to Delta then Richardson Hwy to Fairbanks.

Hope you have a great ride!
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
arraflipper
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Alaska

Myself and another fellow rider are just starting to make our plans for a rdie to Alaska, next summer. I have been through a lot of the west and like your route. Only drove back from Alaska in a pickup truck, in early winter. It was -30 degrees when we crossed the border into Canada. Didn't see much as we drove straight through. I will be saving your route to share with the other fellow rider. Like to get all the planning done of the route done early, then plan the stops. Sure great info you have shared thanks a bunch. If you think of anything more please share it with us. All the reading is fine, but hard to beat the information from someone that has done it already.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
steelersbamafan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arraflipper View Post
Myself and another fellow rider are just starting to make our plans for a rdie to Alaska, next summer. I have been through a lot of the west and like your route. Only drove back from Alaska in a pickup truck, in early winter. It was -30 degrees when we crossed the border into Canada. Didn't see much as we drove straight through. I will be saving your route to share with the other fellow rider. Like to get all the planning done of the route done early, then plan the stops. Sure great info you have shared thanks a bunch. If you think of anything more please share it with us. All the reading is fine, but hard to beat the information from someone that has done it already.
I will continue to add more information as my plan comes together. Im actually hopeing to make my trip next year if possible. I purchased "The Milepost" today and am going through it hopeing to find additional information that will help. From what I have looked at so far I recommend purchasing a copy.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
steelersbamafan OP
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Updated route

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelersbamafan View Post
Im in the early stages of planning for a trip from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Anchorage, Alaska. I dont know yet if the trip will take place in '13 or '14. My planning at this point is as the following: entry point into Canada will be Portal, ND. I plan on traveling through the following: Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake and Whitehorse. Im looking for any information that can help me in my travels, Sites I should take time to see or anything worth mentioning that will help me. I will be traveling on a Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager street bike pulling a Aluma trailer. Any information would be very much appreciated. I posted on both the Canada and Alaska regional forums to see what help could get there.
At this time my updated route planning from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Anchorage, Alaska will include traveling throught the following: Rapid City, SD and Great Falls, MT picking up the East Access Route. At Calgary Im planning on taking 93 to Jasper where I will follow Yellowhead Highway to Cassiar Highway then on to the Alaska Highway. Two points of interest at this time are going through Stewart, BC and Watson Lake, YT. I did purchase a copy of "The Milepost" which Im finding very helpful but am still interested in hearing from anyone that can add more ideas of must not miss sites.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
Sjoerd Bakker
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Good route suggestions already given
But keep in mind that you are going to Alaska and will want to ride back again so set up your ride in a loop to cover different routes avoiding doubling up or crossovers.
That is why I suggest going to Calgary and then over to the Rockies for the run up the Icefields Highway Banff to Jasper , then up to Dawson Creek to pick up the Alsaka Highway as far asWhitehorse then up to Dawson City,TotW Highway , and a bit of gravel road to Chicken ( saw heavy crusers with trailers there, you too can do it)
A loop of pavement in Alaska to Fairbanks and Anchorage, ,consider the ferry from Whittier to Valdez,then back to the Yukon, Haines Jct Yukon tto Haines AK,ferry to Skagway then back up to Carcross and east back to the AK Highway to the junction with the Cassiar and then south into BC.
The visit to Stewart is a very scenic road, Hyder AK is just a ghost town and dumpy village. But if you are up to it then take the road north from Hyder back into Canada and back -- no border check at all-- so you can see the Salmon Glacier an absolute stunning vista if it is dry sunny weather with before-noon light.The road is well maintained gravel up mountain. 20km There is also a second beautiful glacier 10km farther north.
Return to Stewart and the Cassiar and carry onward to Smithers, Prince George. ( side trip to Kitimat and Prince Rupert are optional if you have the time and appetite)
My picture of the glacier http://i1161.photobucket.com/albums/...6/GEDC1085.jpg

It may come down to having to decide priorities for destinations and whether you can do all the suggested USA routes in this single trip. You might just focus onthe great NW and save all the good stuff listed in the lower 48 for a separate trip.
Just an excuse for another ride



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Old 10-21-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
mnesci
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Im also looking to ride to alaska from the far western burbs of chicago. Im looking to leave around June 17th and have a guy out east looking to go as well. When are you looking to leave?
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
steelersbamafan OP
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Originally Posted by mnesci View Post
Im also looking to ride to alaska from the far western burbs of chicago. Im looking to leave around June 17th and have a guy out east looking to go as well. When are you looking to leave?
I'm looking to head out on the 20th or 21st of Jun at this point.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
mnesci
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What is youre route. Im looking to go up the Alcan and back down the Cassiar. Side trip to Jasper on the way up and Hyder on the way back with a stop in Glacier on the way back to. Maybe we can work something out. i have plans to ride up with a guy from the boston area.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:25 AM   #11
steelersbamafan OP
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Location: Cedar Falls, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnesci View Post
What is youre route. Im looking to go up the Alcan and back down the Cassiar. Side trip to Jasper on the way up and Hyder on the way back with a stop in Glacier on the way back to. Maybe we can work something out. i have plans to ride up with a guy from the boston area.
Marc,
Reread post #6 on this thread to get my current plan which is subject to change but don't plan of changing much. Might add going through some part of Glacier. I plan on going from Anchorage to Whittier where I will get on ferry to Bellingham, WA. From there I will travel back to IA. No current plan for that portion as of yet.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
GISdood
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Drop me a PM if your plans have you overnighting in or near Prince George. We're on a nice quiet rural acreage just a few minutes west of town and have plenty of lawn space for tenting or a spare room if you'd prefer a break from the great outdoors. There's also covered parking for the bikes and a good selection of tools if any light maintenance is required.

Good luck with the rest of your trip planning!
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
Git 'R Done
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelersbamafan View Post
I'm looking to head out on the 20th or 21st of Jun at this point.

I'm heading out from the NW burbs of Chicago (Hoffman Estates) on June 11th... Towing my Aspen camper with me & camping most of the way.

Planning on spending the summer solstice (june 21st) north of the Arctic Circle....
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