A friend and I will be doing our first Alaska trip this summer. We are both seasoned long distance riders and have the equipment and experience to pull it off hopefully without a hitch. Last year I rode out to BC (Banff, Jasper, etc) and then two other trips of two weeks apiece (Florida, Ala, Smokies and then St Louis, Ky, WV) He is on a new R1200GS and I'll be riding a 2004 DL650 V Strom. Both bikes will be on brand new tires and my bike will have new chain and sprockets before we leave. We plan on 85% camping with a hotel/motel thrown in here and there. The questions I have concern the route we plan on taking. We will be attending the BMW Rally in Ohio and then heading out on Sunday July 24th. We will be in Flathead Lake area of Montana on Monday night and head out north on Tuesday July 26 AM . Our route will take us up through Banff and Jasper. But here's where we need advice. Do we go east on 16 and north on 40 toward Grand Prairie and up to Dawson Creek, or west to Prince George then up 97 to Dawson Creek? What route has the best scenery and roads? From Dawson Creek we are looking at running the Alaskan Hwy to Whitehorse and then take the Klondike Hwy (Rt2) up to Dawson, through Chicken and down to Tok. From Tok over to Fairbanks via the Alaska and depending on weather and road conditions make a run for at least the Artic Circle if not Deadhorse. Once back at Fairbanks, we'll head down to Anchorage via Rt3. From Anchorage we'll head up Rt1 back to Tok and down the Alaska to Haines Junction. We have decided to take the ferry from either Haines or Skagway down to Bellingham or Prince Rupert. Looks like there are two different ways to go depending on where we want to leave from. We really want to see Skagway. Is there any advantage to going to Haines and taking a short ferry over to Skagway? Or should we forget Rt3 and just head over to Whitehorse and down Rt 2 to Skagway? Am I missing anything that's a "must do" while we are in Alaska or BC? And about the ferry. Seems very confusing. Will we need reservations? We are planning on sleeping in the solarium. Has anyone done this? Did you use your tent or did you sleep on a lounge chair? Advice.... Is it worth the trip from Prince Rupert to Bellingham, or should we just get off in Prince Rupert and spend more time on the bikes in BC? What about our timing for this trip. Last week of July and first two weeks of August. What do you think the weather and bug situation will be? Thanks in advance..........really appreciate it!