Fairbanks - Deadhorse one day each way advice - please

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by pauleknight, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    You'll need four days for the round trip... IF you spend a couple of those days taking photos.

    While it isn't advisable for your first trip to the top, doing the round trip - Fairbanks>Deadhorse>Fairbanks in one day isn't all that difficult if you don't mind spending long hours in the saddle; I've done it several times. But Fairbanks to Deadhorse in one day, then back to Fairbanks the next - is a piece of cake for just about any Iron Butt rider. Actually, most any rider can do the one-way trip in a day without hurrying. Just get a good night's sleep in Fairbanks before heading north, then an early start the next morning. I like to leave around 6:00 AM, go out to Hilltop Truckstop for a good breakfast, then hit Coldfoot for lunch, and get into Deadhorse in time for supper. Another good night's rest, then head back south. You'll probably make better time on your southbound leg than you did going north, as that is the usual pattern.
    #21
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  2. pauleknight

    pauleknight Need Cool Name Here

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    Thanks
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  3. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

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    Why? Will be there in 12 days. Just did some google street view of Dawson. Looks like a cool down, and noticed that Midnight Dome. But what kept you entertained in Dawson?
    #23
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  4. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Old, Bold, Still Riding

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    Answer to above post, the small town of Dawson is fun because of the OLDE heritage of gold mining, the quaint shops and hotels, the funny little diners, and the ODD townsfolk that roam around Dawson.
    #24
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  5. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Edited for accuracy. :lol3

    Yep, it is a neat little town. The attraction of the far north is not limited to the scenery and (non-homo sapiens) wildlife.
    #25
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  6. AKScott

    AKScott Adventurer

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    I did my first trip up and back from North Pole (just south of Fairbanks) to Deadhorse, and back in under 48 hours (two rides). This was my first run all the way up to Deadhorse (previous day trip to Yukon River and back).

    Can you do it? Absolutely. But, I had outstanding weather (minus the last 50 miles in freezing fog). I was also motivated to get back home (I live in North Pole) for some personal reasons.

    The last fifty miles into deadhorse were the least fun by far, with lots of loose, cruddy gravel. Met up with a group of three, about 30 mi out because one of their riders went down.

    I can be very destination oriented, so the 13-14 hours each day was doable, but the day after, I was spent.

    I took my time going up, and sped up a bit on the pavement on the way back. Being on a KLR we know isn't the fastest way to get somewhere.

    I loved the trip, and will do it again with friends in the future, taking more time to camp and enjoy it. I took only 50 photos or so along the way, and it still amazes me as I look through them a week later.
    #26
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  7. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    Good to know! I'll be leaving Portland the first week of August. I plan on making a fairly quick trip to Dead Horse than taking my time on the way back. I think that staying at Wiseman is a wise decision. Do you guys leave leave your panniers behind or take them with?
    #27
  8. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    Left the panniers and top cases on and full. Left the tent/sleeping gear bags that were normally strapped on the backseat.

    We wanted to stay two nights at Borealis Lodge but a tour group had them booked. We only dropped off stuff in dry bags because we were dropping off early in the morning as we left the campground to head to Deadhorse. So the stuff in my panniers and top case are not in dry bags.
    #28
  9. hammerhoot

    hammerhoot dual season rider

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    I am doing it up in 2 days and down in 2 days. I want to see as much as I can and take lots of pictures, because chances are, I will never be up there again in my life, and besides, I have a month!!!
    #29
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  10. hammerhoot

    hammerhoot dual season rider

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    And besides, on that road, a relaxed, and not being pushed pace is the easy and safe way to go. Enjoy it, once in a lifetime trip!
    #30
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  11. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Old, Bold, Still Riding

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    Oh, No....you didn't just say that...did you ?

    Once in a lifetime trip ???? That should be a once a year trip.

    The ride from Fairbanks to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay changes every year, even if ever so slightly. What you will see one year, may be different the next year.

    Riders that do make it up to the top of Alaska, should plan to go again, and again, and again. :ricky
    #31
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  12. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    I did Coldfoot to Deadhorse to Wiseman as a day ride. The weather was good so I kept moving.
    #32
  13. Enduro10

    Enduro10 Been here awhile

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    When you did it ?
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  14. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    #34
  15. N8marsh

    N8marsh Adventurer

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    I made the ride from Fairbanks to Deadhorse in one long 13 hour day by accident. Left Fairbanks around 9 am, took my time cruising up (stopped for a bit in Coldfoot and the Artic Circle Visitors Center) and took lots of pics. Weather was great for 75% of the trip, only got rough the last 3 hours/60 miles into Deadhorse. I hadn't planned to make the full run but conditions were nice enough to keep riding. Arriving at 10 pm was MISERABLE, but there wasn't any other option besides continuing the ride. Once past Deadhorse there's really no turning back (there was NO way I was going to turn around)

    The ride back to from Deadhorse->Fairbanks is completely doable in one day if the road doesn't get WORSE. I faced maybe slightly worse conditions on the way back, but I was well rested so it didn't phase me as much. I'd say the worst stretch is the last bit into Deadhorse, so by tackling it the night before and knowing what to expect made the morning's ride out MUCH more manageable.

    It's one hell of a mental game riding that last awful stretch at the end of a long day when you're cold, tired and hungry! Makes arriving that much more rewarding though. Just be safe! (Single room at the Aurora cost me $130, I won't say it didn't sting a bit to swipe my card it but gotdam it was worth it for hot soup, a shower and a comfy bed.)

    If I did it again I'm not sure I would do it differently....
    #35
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  16. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    If things go well there is the IBA Haul Road 1000 - North Pole, AK to Prudhoe Bay, AK and back to North Pole in less than 24 hours!
    #36
  17. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    There is a free campsite at Arctic Circle ~60mi south from Coldfoot. (restrooms but no water and tons of mosquito).

    Dalton deceivingly easy what gets you there is no consistency. One lapse of judgement and you may wake up in ER in Fairbanks. Smooth dirt, loose dirt, fresh dirt, loose gravel, deep fresh gravel, gravel marbles on top of hardpack, soft shoulders which would suck you in, pavement which is worse than dirt. Great pavement (north of Coldfoot). Frosties which you bottom out on a few times. And as truckers say there is a curve at the bottom of every hill and a hill at the end of every curve. BTW they can't stop trucks on many downhills and have to take the whole road in some turns.

    And that calcium chloride sh!t is really slippery a little bit more water and from nice road it turns into real skating ring. Even after powerwashing bike in Fairbanks I had Dalton dirt bubble on me every time we hit the rain, all the way to east coast.

    If you have an option hit it on weekend when there're fewer trucks good luck
    #37
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  18. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

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    I saw a busted up GS at the Fairbanks Best Western yesterday.
    #38
  19. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

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    Another rider following the advice he got on this site?
    #39
  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    If they do, here it is:
    - it is not a f@cking race, you get no points for finishing early
    - if you started spacing out stop and take a break
    - it will probably rain there at one point or another. Hopefully while you are on pavement
    - be nice to truckers, they have friends and they have radio
    - be ready to camp even if you think you won't need it
    #40
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