Alaska direction of travel?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by slane6, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. slane6

    slane6 Adventurer

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    I am planning a trip to Prudhoe Bay this summer and have got my route in mind, but after looking at a lot of other people's plans am wondering if I am going the right direction?
    My initial thought was (after getting up to Watson Lake):

    Skagway - Hanes (via ferry) - Tok (via Rt.1) - McCarthy/Kennecott - Valdez - backtrack to Rt.1 - Anchorage - Seward - Homer - Anchorage - Fairbanks - Cold Foot - Prudhoe Bay - Fairbanks - Tok - Chicken - Dawson City -Carmacks - Whitehorse.

    However, I'm seeing a lot of people doing Dawson City and such on their way to Prudhoe and then to Anchorage, Keenai, McCarthy, Hanes & Skagway...

    Am I thinking it backwards? I usually do.
    Recommendations?

    Thanks for any thoughts!
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  2. 55Chevy

    55Chevy Translab Solo Trip Jul 16

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    When are you going and riding to and from? Starting the planning stage of a trip as well, from the east coast. Was figuring a run up and back, camping as much as possible. Been in touch with another member from Mich, nothing in concrete here and not trying to invite myself or others.
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  3. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    @slane6 , obviously you can do your ride in either direction......but the main reason a lot of us are doing Dawson City...then going to Tok, and on to Fairbanks, Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, etc.........is because of the D2D in Dawson City on June 20-21-22-23.

    The D2D is an unofficial non-rally, but the largest singular gathering of adventure motorcycles up north. There are several threads on these forums about the D2D in Dawson City, Yukon.

    The issue is.....for a rider to do all that you have planned, and THEN do the ride to Dawson City for the D2D, they will have had to ride through Alaska in very early June, and that can be iffy, weather wise. Of course, weather can always be an iffy issue up in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories.

    But most of us that are going to the D2D in Dawson City will make that one of our first major stops, then ride from there to Prudhoe Bay, and beyond.

    Some of us (me me me) will be riding to Dawson City early, spend a couple days there, then ride up the Dempster Hwy to Inuvik, NWT, then up tp Tuk....which is really Tuktoyaktuk (say that 3 times really fast)........then we ride back to Inuvik, and finally back to Dawson City, in time for the D2D.

    Your route "seems" to be doing some doubling back a couple times. Is that necessary?

    If you have never been to Alaska before on a bike...do not bite off more than you can chew.....er.....ride. Alaska is like 500 times the size of Ohio. :jack
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  4. slane6

    slane6 Adventurer

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    Cincinnati Ohio

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  5. easybiker2u

    easybiker2u Adventurer

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    I will be leaving from Ohio the day after Memorial day. Will be passing through Dawson prior to D2D. D2D is great if you want to party, but I have no interest in that at my age. This will be my 4th ride to the north country. All though you never know about the weather June is the driest month in the north, but you will still get rain especially near the coast.
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  6. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    @easybiker2u , half of us attending next years' D2D are older than you :gerg, but we attend the D2D either because we have not been to the D2D before, or....we want to meet up with other inmates that we have conversed with here on these pages. I know that "I" am too olde to party...like it was 1999.....(oh, if I could only turn back the clock 19 years) :-).

    I have been to Dawson City several times, just not at the same dates as the D2D, and I do want to meet up with all the tent "tent factions" of the Tewster2 Traveling Circus acts.
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  7. easybiker2u

    easybiker2u Adventurer

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    I'm 72 how old are you?
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  8. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    I am slightly younger than you, but still too olde to party. I am SO olde......I am forced.....forced I say......to spell old...with an "e" on the end. :gerg
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  9. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    Back to your original question.........there is no direction really better than the other. When you go in and out of Valdez, Homer and Prudhoe you will understand. Its so Huge and so vast that the opposite direction can be almost like you are riding a completely different road.

    If you are good on not so well maintained roads I highly recommend that after Carmacks you head down the Campbell Highway to Watson Lake. Its well worth it.
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  10. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

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    The way the scenery appears different as you travel back from a dead end destination up there amazed me as well. Especially true when applied to the in and out of Deadhorse.
    McCarthy and Valdez have some of the most spectacular scenery and if I had to choose, I'd leave them for near the last of the trip. Not that it will spoil the rest, but maybe diminish it some for you. Or maybe I'm just crazy because it's all pretty awesome.
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  11. slane6

    slane6 Adventurer

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    The reply in the above quote about there only being one way in and one way out is what accounts for the doubling back :)
    Thanks for the suggestion for the Campbell Highway betweek Carmacks and Watson Lake. However, that would make me miss Whitehorse - is there anything really super special about the Klondike Highway between Carmacks and Whitehorse, or in Whitehorse it's self that I would regret missing if I did the Campbell Hwy (which was my original choice anyway :) )
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  12. slane6

    slane6 Adventurer

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    That is the kind of advice I was looking for. Plus, if I reverse my trip I will have more experience on gravel roads through the Yukon before I get to the Dalton vs. a lot of pavement up to Fairbanks and the _bam_ haul road.
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  13. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    I prefer the Campbell over the run thru Whitehorse if going to Dawson, Much more remote, and no traffic to speak of, but remember there's no hotel in Ross river anymore, Last time I went thru the Canol motel was closed, I heard there is a couple in Ross river that welcomes ADVriders tho, You can get gas at the quick mart in Ross river or the cardlock across the street, also Faro now has fuel, and a motel, if you ride thru to Carmacks theres Coalminers campground and cabins on the Yukon river after the bridge, or in town has a motel and cabins, and fuel.
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  14. slane6

    slane6 Adventurer

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    Thank you. I will be camping as much as possible so the lack of motels is not as much of an issue.
    A "couple" as in a few motels, or a nice couple of folks that welcome dust and stinky riders?
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  15. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    Dust and stinky riders! I've camped down by the ferry in Ross too, just a couple picnic tables a fire ring, and john.
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  16. VDZride

    VDZride Adventurer

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    Don’t forget the Denali highway, one of my favorite places.
    When you ride past the Dempster, why not get on it and at least go to Tombstone park, nice views and a short distance up the road.
    The Steese out to Cicle is nice.
    Watch your weather, maybe better to cruise the interior if coastal is storming.
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  17. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    Both trips up there I got on the Alcan at Watson Lake from the Cassier Highway and headed north going through Whitehorse that way. Not much grabbed my interest there anyway. Old riverboat and associated park downtown is kinda cool, but otherwise to me it was just a way point on the way north. The trip down the Campbell Highway is well worth missing Whitehorse and the lower Klondike loop. Its a long day to do it but you can make the run between Carmacks and Watson Lake in one day, done it twice, stay at the hotel in Carmacks behind the gas station and general store. Early start the next morning, run into Ross River for gas and a lunch sandwich to go for later and then on down to Watson Lake. One of my favorite shots from both trips to AK was taken on the Campbell, its a simple shot of the road ahead but when I stopped and took the picture I realized it had been about 2 hours or more since I had seen another vehicle or person and kinda put in perspective the remoteness of the area. It was a cool reflection since my first ride up there I did alone. Bottom line, if you have to choose between the Campbell Highway or going to Whitehorse, take the Campbell Highway

    [​IMG]
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  18. jswieter

    jswieter Sweetman

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    We did the Prudhoe Bay trip a few years ago. Epic. A few highlights we enjoyed for consideration (many people have commented on some of the fun stuff we recommend or enjoyed on this thread already). We were on the AlCan this past summer too but turned back South at Watson Lake since we wanted to enjoy BC more and only had 7-10 days to optimize from our N Idaho departure. Hit Banff area for a few days too.

    On our Prudhoe trip, we did Watson Lake (great campground just west of town) and the Carmacks (camped at Yukon campground), Whitehorse, Dawson City, Chicken (camped), Tok, Fairbanks route on way up. We got a great recommendation from a BMW rider we met in Dawson Creek and stayed at the U of Fairbanks dorms. They open it up in summer and it’s super cheap, clean, hot showers, etc. (highly recommend it). One funny thing we did was sneak cold beer up to our dorm rooms as we did back in college. We made it our base camp for our push to Prudhoe and stored the gear we didn’t need to lighten our load and picked up on our stay on the return trip. Used Fairbanks to change tires, oil, etc. great dealer there and met the original famous bmw guy there. The trip from Fairbanks to Prudhoe was a 14 hour day with nasty weather and a stop in Coldfoot to gas and eat. Arrived in Deadhorse at 2:00 am. Took 2 days on the return with an overnight at Coldfoot.

    After a rest and repack overnight in Fairbanks did Talkeetna to Anchorage (Harley dealership there has side yard for moto camping). Anchorage to Glenn Allen. Valdez, Tok, Haines Junction, Watson Lake, then south on Cassier. Epic. Try and hit Hyder AK and the Salmon Glacier, Smithers BC is a great spot with great in town campgrounds. Be sure to hit Laird Hot Springs on your way up. Plenty of options on your way up and back as you already know. Once you hit central BC you have plenty of routes from there home. Enjoy!
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  19. 55Chevy

    55Chevy Translab Solo Trip Jul 16

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    So here is what I know about gravel roads or highways, they are unpredictable and don't get complacent. How do they compare to the Translab from several years ago. I thought the Translab was well maintained, fast and hard packed in places, hard placked and covered with marbles in some and just plain loose after the graders did their job of making it look nice.
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  20. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    I would plan on riding one way and taking the ferry back, you can camp on deck or get a cabin
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