Rethink your 2020 Alaska travel plans

Discussion in 'Americas' started by AK2ID, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Please do your homework before you travel to AK in 2020. I lived in AK for 35 years and still have family and friends who live and work in the state.

    Based on my homework and conversations with Alaskans, the state is very significantly shut-down by the virus. Considerations: No cruise ships, airline travel is limited, Canadian border restrictions for all but critical commercial travel, many hotels (large and small) shutting down, restaurants closed or take-out only, and medical services to be under stress. Many tourism service companies are already choosing to shut down for the 2020 season. Finally, you may be able to ride up but not be able to get back. One more thing...with the price of oil in the $25 range, the state will be aggressively cutting previous state services, further impacting the economy.

    Go if you must. Consider yourself warned.

    The good news is that Alaska will be there next year.

    As an Alaskan, it makes me sad to make this post. The hurt is real.
    #1
  2. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    +1.
    With so much of their economy based on summer tourism, guessing a lot of places won't even bother to open up.
    Hopefully, they can survive and be there next year.
    Alaska may be harder hit than other states, but think this will apply to any area where economy depends on tourist $$$.
    Year of the 'staycation' it seems.
    #2
  3. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Yup... Lay low and pay cash. Ride safe if you can.
    #3
  4. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Alaska now requiring 2 weeks isolation for visitors from outside (lower 48 states).
    #4
  5. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    They won't let you in Canada, and cash is a no-no. Tap debit is method of choice as no one's touching anything.

    #5
  6. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Man plans and the gods laugh.

    Realizing that the weather is changeable year to year, when is the latest it would be prudent to head north considering 2 to 3 weeks in Alaska and BC?

    I'm hoping for improvement with the pandemic by mid to late summer based on absolutely no data on what the virus will do.

    (The gods are laughing harder now)
    #6
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  7. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    Wr were there in late August and it was fine. I imagine that every year us a little different. We were in Whitehorse over Labor Day weekend, heading south..
    #7
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  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    In years past I have headed out the last week of August and returned to Alaska mid-September with good, relatively mild, weather almost all the way. Had to slow down a bit south of Watson Lake to let an early snowfall melt off, but dry roads all the rest of the way. Of course, as you say, "..the weather is changeable year to year,..." Just don't make plans to ride up to Deadhorse in mid-September, it gets more iffy the farther north you venture.
    #8
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  9. shotty_co

    shotty_co Been here awhile Supporter

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    Original plan was to leave Colorado during the 2nd week of July, fingers crossed that the border situation is resolved sooner than later but I'm not holding my breath, if AK doesn't work this year, NEBDR will have to suffice.
    #9
  10. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    As an Alaskan, my summer plans were to exit Alaska, traverse Canada, enter the U.S. via Maine, head to Texas, put my bike in storage, and then fly back home by 1 October...... today I intended to quit my job (which ends 19 June anyways) and begin my trip preparation.

    Reality is far stranger. I am sitting at home, being paid to do so, Canadian border closed, 4' of snow, 18 degrees, and I am going nowhere!

    My plans could shift..... but the forecast models on the virus are not giving me much hope of a trip anywhere near the scale I had hoped for.

    But you're in Alaska already, I hear you thinking......yes and it's like having a thick porterhouse steak everyday. But sometimes I crave Poutine, Maine lobster, Texas BBQ, and Tennessee whiskey.

    I shouldn't complain. At least I am getting paid to be locked down when many others are not. Suddenly travel isn't that important.
    #10
  11. WJBertrand

    WJBertrand Ventura Highway

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    Some friends and I have tentatively planned a trip starting in mid to late May. A month ago, I thought we might be past the worst of this by then, not so sure now.
    #11
  12. patrkbukly

    patrkbukly Life at 10,000 feet Supporter

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    Hey Colorado Springs planner. I'm in Fairplay and was also planning mid july heading to Alaska. If you end up going I'd gladly ride a portion of the path with ya (yes I'm somewhat inviting myself).
    #12
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  13. dagamed

    dagamed Full throttle,solves the problem or ends suspense.

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    Guess I'm in the same boat as ya'll. Been lurking at AK post for a while now and finally decided to go and this pandemic happened. So right now I'm in a holding pattern as I have already have vacation approved for all of June. I'm hoping that all this somewhat clears mid May and I can still make the ride. I'm holding out until last day of May otherwise will need to bag this trip and start all over sometime in the future.
    #13
  14. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    I think that’s where most of us are at this point. Had a trip planned for the end of June through the northwest and south from there but now it’s just a wait and see game. I have a friend in Florida who was just diagnosed with cancer and I can’t even get down there to see her without having to go through a 2 week quarantine! Something’s gotta give!
    #14
  15. barko1

    barko1 barko1 Supporter

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    Right now the plan is to reopen the border mid May, we'll see if that holds. Kenai tour boats planning on early June.
    #15
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  16. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    Where did you see that the border will open mid May? I'm just seeing articles about it not opening for at least 6 weeks...that's pushing into June.
    #16
  17. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile Supporter

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    You'll want to check the Yukon Government website as well. They are imposing a 10 day self-isolation for people crossing into the Yukon but there is an exemption for those passing through to Alaska and spending less than 24 hours in the Yukon. This is a provincial/territorial thing so when US / Canada border opens you'll still want to check this as well to see what Yukon is doing.
    #17
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  18. barko1

    barko1 barko1 Supporter

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    Frankly I don't remember the actual source but it was Trudeau annoucing it. I hope to hit the road before June with my travel trailer, bike wife, and 3 dogs. Hope things improve, like to spend at a couple days in the Yukon.
    #18
  19. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    IMG_20200425_135208_7.jpg

    Well I'm stuck in Alaska as you are stuck where you are....,if I head out on a ride, I'll post it up. This was yesterday and I just did an"extended" run for some supplies. Very low Covid-19 impact here.
    #19
  20. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    The 30 day border closure extension was about April 16th, so May 16th. It was reported in our local news, Yukon News and CBC. Have to wait and see if it opens.
    #20
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