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Old 02-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
knobbyknob OP
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Alaska Trip advice

I'm planning a trip to Alaska this early summer. I'll be leaving from central Michigan and the plan is to get up to Deadhorse. I have to be around my home from June 16 to June 21. Therefore, I can leave Michigan on or around May 20 and be back on June 16 or I can leave June 22 and be trippin' into July. Here are my issues/questions. What's the weather like in late May/early to mid June? Is there a rainy season? I'm sure late June into July is warmer but the kids are out of school then and the roads will be much more crowded? The late June/July option seems more appealing from the standpoint of weather but I am concerned about traffic. Mid May to mid June is appealing from the traffic standpoint but the weather may be too cold/rainy. Thoughts and recommendations appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyknob View Post
I'm planning a trip to Alaska this early summer. I'll be leaving from central Michigan and the plan is to get up to Deadhorse. I have to be around my home from June 16 to June 21. Therefore, I can leave Michigan on or around May 20 and be back on June 16 or I can leave June 22 and be trippin' into July. Here are my issues/questions. What's the weather like in late May/early to mid June? Is there a rainy season? I'm sure late June into July is warmer but the kids are out of school then and the roads will be much more crowded? The late June/July option seems more appealing from the standpoint of weather but I am concerned about traffic. Mid May to mid June is appealing from the traffic standpoint but the weather may be too cold/rainy. Thoughts and recommendations appreciated.
The weather pattern is that there is no pattern. I have researched weather for Alaska a great deal and most accounts say that June offers the best chance of little rain (you will see rain no matter when you go). July is supposed to rain a great deal and bugs are in full swing. August is warm and can be very nice, but you do have to worry about fires obscuring the scenery.. That said, sometimes June will be rainy and July clear, etc. June will be chilly at times. July is getting warmer, and August is warm as well.

The general consensus is that predicting weather is a crapshoot, and its best to go up when you will have the most time to be up there. The more time you have, the more you can wait the weather out and try to see the places youd like to see in good weather.

Many people who live up there also suggest the Dempster as opposed to the Dalton (if you can only do one). Just something to consider..

Do a few google searches on weather for Alaska with advrider after it- you will be directed to many threads that have conflicting advice. Its really really hard to say..
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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May usually ain't always raining, but again , Alaska can change quick. My advice is to just have the best rain/warm gear when coming up here.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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IMHO Late June early July is best, I have done it twice with good results.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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While there is certainly more traffic in June and July it's not enough to warrant planning to avoid it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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What About August?

I've read several ride reports on Alaska, and I've noticed that all of them took place in June or June/July. Is there a specific reason that no one goes in August. Is the road traffic or bugs worst during that month? I'm planning a trip for 2014 and was planning on going in August, but now I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't go earlier?

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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August. Kind of . The tourist starts to die down a bit. .
And weather can still be hit or miss. Some days are nice , and some can be cloudy or just rain
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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If I were going I'd ferry up to Haines and ride back - but then I'm a old fart

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Old 02-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyknob View Post
"... I can leave Michigan on or around May 20 and be back on June 16..."
While it might be nice and warm in Michigan that time of year, you would be getting back to Michigan about the time the last of the ice is going off the lakes in Alaska. Too early, unless you like to take your chances of hitting snow at higher elevations up here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyknob View Post
or I can leave June 22 and be trippin' into July. Here are my issues/questions. What's the weather like in late May/early to mid June? Is there a rainy season? I'm sure late June into July is warmer but the kids are out of school then and the roads will be much more crowded?
Crowds? This isn't Yellowstone Nat'l. Park. Compared to the rest of the U. S. you will be on deserted roads most of the time, regardless what time of year. There will be heavy traffic in the cities, that's a given no matter when you travel up this way.

Yes, we do have a rainy season. Generally, it starts in August, but every year is a little different. If you are riding to Alaska, just prepare for anything and everything. You will probably experience it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyknob View Post
The late June/July option seems more appealing from the standpoint of weather but I am concerned about traffic. Mid May to mid June is appealing from the traffic standpoint but the weather may be too cold/rainy. Thoughts and recommendations appreciated.
Traffic, at least once you get north of about N59, will be the least of your concerns. If you want a guarantee of warm and dry, head for the desert Southwest. If you're up for an adventure that might include anything, head this way. Just dress for it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyknob View Post
I'm planning a trip to Alaska this early summer. I'll be leaving from central Michigan and the plan is to get up to Deadhorse. I have to be around my home from June 16 to June 21. Therefore, I can leave Michigan on or around May 20 and be back on June 16 or I can leave June 22 and be trippin' into July. Here are my issues/questions. What's the weather like in late May/early to mid June? Is there a rainy season? I'm sure late June into July is warmer but the kids are out of school then and the roads will be much more crowded? The late June/July option seems more appealing from the standpoint of weather but I am concerned about traffic. Mid May to mid June is appealing from the traffic standpoint but the weather may be too cold/rainy. Thoughts and recommendations appreciated.
Given the choice, I'd advise June/July. Your comments about "traffic" are silly :) Any traffic there is (and by "Traffic" I mean "You actually saw another vehicle in the last half an hour") is pretty much the same.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
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This is all good info. I lived in Soldotna about 30 years ago and I do remember the influx of tourists in and around Kenai during late June to early August. I used to go to the laundromat in Kenai to take a shower and sometimes had to wait in line. There were a lot of folks around. The Alcan was different then, 99% gravel and it was good gravel, for the most part. With the Alcan being paved now and the world basically smaller, I was/am concerned with running with more vehicles. Not a big deal, I'm just curious. I know to go with riding gear that will keep me warm and dry and bring plenty of Cutters.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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Traffic on the Alaska Highway near the Yukon and Alaska border. Mid-June 2012.

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Old 02-24-2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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July vs. August

So, from an Alaskans point of view, would it be better to make this trip in July or August, or maybe a combo of July/August? I plan on being prepared for all weather conditions, but would like to avoid a rainy season if there is such a thing. Just curious what the locals would do.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #14
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Traffic on the Alaska Highway near the Yukon and Alaska border. Mid-June 2012.

I would lose my mind if I was ever in a crowd like that...
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:17 AM   #15
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We rode mid June to end of July and had brilliant weather, but that can vary, year to year. We were comparing our pics to those of some friends of ours who had travelled in a camper a month earlier. We were amazed at the difference in the amount of snow and how the rivers were still frozen a month earlier. Take a mossy net for your head ! They can be a real menace.
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