THE Finest Paved Road In Alaska On It's Only Indian Reserve
It's called the Walden Pt Road and runs 14 miles between the Tsimshean Indian community of Metlakatla to the north end of Annette Island, Alaska's only Indian Reserve. 15yrs in the making and it just got paved last year: http://www.sitnews.us/0307news/03300..._building.html 14mi long with 75 curves through the hills and mountains along the ocean at the southernmost tip of Alaska's Panhandle.
I'm half Tsimshean Indian and have many relatives around there and it's long been one of my favorite places to vacation. Mid 80 degree temperatures, no glaciers so lots of clear blue-green ocean water, sandy beaches, and a lot of very friendly fun-filled friends and relatives.
Ocean kayaking was my passion before becoming Ducatisti over a dozen years ago and Southeast Alaska has long been my favorite place to paddle. This year along with a kayak I also took a couple standup paddleboards. The place I stay, my grandma Lucy Rainman's house, is only about 100' from the ocean. Good times.
It's a fun but very lengthy and expensive journey to get to Annette from my home in Anchorage. It's a 750mi drive to Haines where I get on a ferry for a day and a half, then a smaller ferry over to the island. Each way! No wonder most Alaskans never make it to Southeast Alaska. It also costs more to fly here than to Seattle, WA even tho it's only 2/3's the distance and on the way! Because it's an area of Alaska that few ever experience I like to share it through my ride reports.
Here's what dogbrother Comet and I looked like upon departure from Anchorage.
I was pleased all the stuff on top didn't lessen my mileage too much costing me less than a mile per gallon.
Okay, so what's all this have to do with motorcycling? Well, I also had my Triumph Daytona 955 onboard ready to run the new road. :wink:
I'd chosen to take my Triumph because I wanted to ride the new road on a sportbike. The Ketchikan Kruzers were also going to be holding drag races on the old mile long runway on Annette and I thought about maybe making some runs. I ended up not doing any racing but did a speed run just for fun. In the photo below we're on the State Ferry Lituya for the hour and half trip between Ketchikan and Metlakatla. The F-body Camaro had a brand new 502 crate motor in it. Not sure what the Hotrod had.
The black car in the foreground was the weekend's fastest with its new 800hp motor. The primer grey Camaro is owned by a State Trooper with whom I corresponded about the races. I told him how I ride motorcycles with Troopers and Anchorage Police up north, some of whom he knew.
Alright, enough leading up to the riding of Walden Pt road. Here it is:
Many a rider's favorite kind of road sign.
I'll have to go back and get a sharper shot of these lovely twisties.
And here it is, a little sharper shot of some mighty fine twisties.
Annette Is is renowned for it's geologic diversity, including marble. Some geologist friends have called it an amazing area.
Oh yeah, a few dotted centerline straight stretches thrown in for good measure.
The road south of Ketchikan can be seen across the water and above the road in this shot. Oh, that and one of the many grade % signs.
The north end of the road where a ferry terminal will be built.
Headed back the other way. Through the Narrows on the right in the distance is the town of Ketchikan, 16mi north of Metlakatla.
Coming back up on the big cut near the beginning of the road.
Me and my lovely Trumpet. :D
And finally, the end of the road with the AMHS Ferry Lituya moored down below. It's a 15% grade in the road from here to there! And on the far right is Yellow Hill where I ran some other twisties on the Ducati in years past. Here's a link to that ride report from a few years ago with more photos of the area if interested: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258739
Having fun in paradise, Mark H. The Wild Halfbreed :D
Alaska's finest paved road...
Thanks for the photos Mark. Looks like a great ride. Too bad it would cost so much for us to get there from here. Glad your're having a good time down there. Looks like the weather was much better than here too.
Don't make a mistake, Mark. The runoff looks a little short. Cool road though. Might there be a constable on it?
Last time I landed on Annette there was a burned up fuselage beside the runway. That was an odd visual as the plane coasted by. Made you wonder if it might've been a problem on take-off?
Sounds like you had a great time. I flew into ketchi twice to go fishing over the years. Never got to see the roads though. Looks quite entertaining, and the Triumph is perfect for not getting one in trouble. I had an 03' 955i Tiger and it always seemed to be missing one cylinder and 40 HP compared o my sportbikes. Perfect for having a great ride without getting into trouble :D
The runway on Annette used to see a LOT of usage as there wasn't an airport in Ketchikan till the '70's. All the planes headed north refueled here during WWII and the Coast Guard used to have a base here too. My dad worked up in the tower here back in the day before going up to Anchorage to work FAA there.
Enticing pix, Mark! Thanks for sharing!
The Seabee in me couldn't help but notice those lovely man-made vertical striations in the rock...BOOOM! Lots of drilling and blasting getting that lovely road in!
we were just given that same generation of van (1996 plymouth grand voyager, same a grand caravan) and i've been wondering if i can get a bike in there.
it's friggin' huge amount of space back there without the seats.
I've been having a lot of fun doing evening runs on the new road. It sure affords some nice new views of the area.
Below's another look towards Ketchikan which lies thru the Narrows on the far right.
Sunset over Metlakatla as seen from one of the pull-outs just out of town.
All around great adventuring in SE AK. Mark H.
I need to get up there sometime soon thanks for sharing!:D
Sweet, a tona on an island paradise with little traffic and great roads!!!
Thanks for adding to my Bucket List.
Awesome beauty in a state full of incredible scenery. That road looks like alot of fun. Your bike was perfect for it.
Great post. Thanks for sharing. :clap
Y'all have some really great scenic roads up your way. Thanks for all your photos.
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