Arizona to Alaska 6 weeks-routes?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by tomshell, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    Me and a buddy are going to do a trip early July and heading north. We will both be on klr's and are looking for suggestions as to routing,etc. I want to end up in Seattle on the tail end of the trip to spend a week with 2 of my kids that are stationed there(NAVY) and that is about the only requirement we have.
    It would be nice to go above the arctic cirlce (just because) and maybe to Prudhoe. Is it worth going all the way to Prudhoe?
    I have a friend on Kodiak Island, and it would be nice to fly to his fish camp on the way back south, so that is a consideration too.
    It would be nice to do a loop, so we do not have to travel the same road twice, but I understand that most likely is impossible in some areas.
    Any suggestions, links, trip reports,advice? We are at about 80% positive on doing the ride, and the planning must begin soon.....Thanks for any ideas and suggestions....
    #1
  2. gsilvernale

    gsilvernale Lowlander

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    I did a Alaska trip last year.
    Here is the deal - DO NOT OVERPLAN. Do not overpack. Do not overcamp.

    Pick some places that you want to stop and make it a journey.
    Too much schedule is bad. Trying to do too many miles in a day is bad. Not enough showers is bad.(but I am old and I start to stink faster than when I was a youngun)

    Here would be my schedule:
    3 weeks up, 1 week there, and 2 weeks back.

    Stuff that I would do:

    Wind River Gorge - Wyoming - end up at Grand Teton's
    Yellowstone
    Glacier National Park
    Bannf
    Icefields Parkway
    Then go UP the Cassiar (Hyder, Stewart)
    and come down the ALCAN.

    If you have the right bikes, then do the Klondike and Top of the World.


    While in Alaska:
    Whittier
    Homer
    Talkeetna
    Wonder Lake at Denali

    I would not waste a week going up to Prudhoe - you only have six weeks. Spend that week in southern Alaska - more to see and do.
    #2
  3. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    I always over plan, but am going to make an effort not to this time.Packing should not be an issue, as I am not new to dual sporting/camping/long rides. Our plan is to stop and hotel/mooch places to stay every 4 or 5 days....

    Good advice, my problem is I do not know what all to see up there,yet.You already have me follwing links and learning about the places you mention below,so that is a great start!

    Basically we have 5 weeks to get from Phoenix,up to AK,and down to Seattle.

    I just looked up the Cassiar,and the Top of the World. Looks awesome.I have a lot of research to do,that is for sure....You have given me much to look into,thanks for taking the time. Give me a week or so to check out the suggestions and then I will get back to you for more info,if that is cool!
    #3
  4. DG K3 1000

    DG K3 1000 Adventurer

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    The Cassiar and the Top of the World are awesome. Some other considerations – think about taking the ferry (http://www.bcferries.bc.ca/schedules/) from the top of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert – easy access to Cassiar from there. The inside passage on the ferry is well worth the trip – eats up one day to get from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert (or reverse). If go north to south could get a ferry from Victoria area to Washington state and from there to Seattle a short ride. Depending on timing there is a music festival in Dawson City in mid July that is a great event – but if you are there then make sure you book a room or a camp site – the place gets packed. Enjoy the ride.
    #4
  5. vegasphotog

    vegasphotog Las Vegas Cheechako

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    Hey Tomshell...looks like you are relatively new to the board.....head over to regional forums under Great White North....lots and lots of post similar to yours and even post up to the AK riders...a helpful crew. Don't overlook the trip reports section within GWN as it will give you an idea of what you might want to accomplish. FIRST AND FOREMOST, you want to plan your trip around the D2D solstice week in Dawson City.
    #5
  6. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    +1 Also consider taking the South Canol Rd. from Johnsons Crossing to Ross River, then over to Carmacks. This route is well worth the effort and not out of your way to Dawson.
    #6
  7. The Butcher

    The Butcher Tiger Man

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    I would highly recommend the Pacific Coast highway(101) north to Seattle. I rode it from Seattle south on my way to PHX last fall. Northern California, the redwoods, Oregon coast. Beautiful ride.
    #7
  8. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    Looks like a fun ride,but we will not be getting underway till July 11th.....No way to change that date. Bummer....
    #8
  9. Maddaddy

    Maddaddy Terradrifting

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    #9
  10. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    My buddy and I will split in Seattle on the way home. I will most likely head south on the 101 solo on my way home near the end of August.....I have bot been farther North on the 101 than Hearst Castle.....
    #10
  11. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    Ferry sounds awesome,and we will most likey do one from Victoria to Washington...Thanks for the tips and I will keep my eyes peeled for more suggestions tips....
    #11
  12. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    Great White North it is! I will check it out and post more questions/plans as they develop.Should I spend more time over there or in this forum? I wonder if maybe some that could add to this may not even pop into this section..
    #12
  13. vegasphotog

    vegasphotog Las Vegas Cheechako

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    IMHO you are better served getting feedback from the local ridership.....versus people who have done one ride or whatever. If you spend more time in GWN you will maybe want to spend more of your time hooking up for the local rides then pounding slab to Prudhoe just so you can say you did it. The Yukon and Alaska riders are some real characters; worth getting to know.
    #13
  14. bobbyhollywood

    bobbyhollywood "...McLovin'?"

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    I would recommend getting out of the lower 48 as fast as you can, take the AMHS ferry from Bellingham, WA to Haines, Alaska. The ferry stops at four or five places on the way up.

    From Haines go through Canada to get back into Alaska and take your time once you're up there. Some of my favorite places are: Homer, Hope, McCarthy/Kennicott, Denali, and Katmai (float plane to Brooks Falls to see lots of bears). I didn't go further north than Fairbanks so don't have a recommendation on that. I mostly travelled Southeastern Alaska, Kenai Peninsula, and lower interior up to Fairbanks. The McCarthy road is a blast and McCarthy is amazing. I would highly recommend taking glacier flights from here over the Wrangell-St. Elias area...not to be missed!

    The reason I say get up to Alaska as fast as you can is because when I spent two months up there and another month in Canada on the way home, by the time I got back to the lower 48, nothing compared to the majesty of all that amazing country to the north. The lower 48 seems sapped of its vitality after you've seen Alaska. When the following summer came around, my heart ached because I wasn't up in Alaska:2cry

    Also, get up there at least by Solstice, June 21st or so. We got snowed out of Denali on August 17th of 1998, full on sideways blizzard with Caribou jumping all over the place. The best time is the month of July with some of June and some of August pretty fantastic too. I would plan on getting on the ferry around Solstice and be up in Alaska by the first of July!

    By the way, Canada was in someways better than Alaska. The wildlife is easier to get to, the people are way friendlier, and you can see a lot more variety of landscapes in less distance. Alaska is just huge! Check out Liard Hot Springs, Jasper, Lake O'Hara (very special), Mount Robinson (do the hike to Berg Lake through Valley of Ten Thousand Falls). Avoid Banf and Lake Louise unless you love crowds and commercialism everywhere.

    Well, that's my .02!
    #14
  15. Frostbit

    Frostbit Is it cold in here?

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    I agree with everything that bobbyhollywood posted but might add Hatcher Pass and the Denali Hwy. Here’s a link to my Ride Report of a trip that my wife and I did last summer from Arizona to Alaska with a very loose plan.

    :ricky


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293607
    #15
  16. tomshell

    tomshell Former Lurker

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    Thanks for the link, looked like a good time. I was a little worried about ML after the fall though....I am compiling info from MANY sources and will post up a general idea of our plans soon. We WILL be leaving on July 11th(thats right, we are confirmed for departure) I have to remember, do not over plan, do not overplan...........
    #16
  17. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

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    Northern BC between Prince George and Prince Rupert, and all up along the Cassiar and the Southern Yukon is full of gravel roads that can take you to amazing places that really capture the DS spirit. Get a copy of the BC Backroads MapBook for Northen B.C. Ask locals when you get here...lots of circle trips etc that don't involve a lot of pavement..plus you won't see single RV/motorhome!
    #17
  18. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    The ferry from Bellingham to Haines was spectacular. I also agree for the best roads, scenery, places to stay, I prefer Kenai Peninsula to Fairbanks. Though Denali is a must do. Top of the World Highway is a must do also. Unless you really want to get to Prudhoe Bay to dip your feet in the Artic, I would spend my time in other areas of Alaska. Either way, all roads in Alaska are worth driving. Take time to meet the people who call Alaska home, interesting folks.
    #18
  19. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Additional thought:

    The Icefields Parkway in Canada is also a must do. Man, what scenery.
    #19