The current Alaska itinerary

I think that the route to Alaska is now settled.  For the past several years, I have adjusted it regularly to accommodate new items of interest to me.  Of course it seems like every month I have to do a complete readjustment to squeeze in  another stop or two into what most likely be my only trip up that way.  With only 24 days available, there just is not enough time to go every place I want…so some sacrifices have had to be made but I am hoping that the stops that have survived my cuts so far will be well worth the adjustments.

So, here’s what I have up to now:

Day 1: Leave home, arrive in Sioux City, IA.  692 miles, about 10.25 ride hours.

Day 2: Sioux City, IA to Billings, MT.  743 miles, 11 ride hours.  Go via US-212 in SD/MT.

Day 3: Billings, MT to Cranbrook, BC.  585 miles, 9.5 ride hours.  Cross into Canada near Eureka, MT.

Day 4: Cranbrook, BC to Grand Prairie, AB.  559 miles, 11.5 ride hours.  Ride the Icefields Parksway and Yellowhead Highway.

Day 5: Grand Prairie, AB to Liard Hot Springs, BC.  552 miles, 11 ride hours.   This day I reach the Alaska Highway.

Day 6: Liard Hot Springs, BC to Whitehorse, YT.  402 miles, 8.75 ride hours.  Visit the Signpost Forest.

Day 7: Whitehorse, YT to Dawson, YT.  331 miles, 8 ride hours.  Ride Klondike Highay, visit the Dempster, and arrive in Dawson on opening day of Dust 2 Dawson international event.

Day 8: Dawson, YT to Fairbanks, AK.  378 miles, 8.75 ride hours.  Ride Top of the World Highway.  Cross in Alaska.

Day 9: Day off in Fairbanks.  Do tire swap, oil change, replenish supplies.  May visit North Pole, Alaska.

Day 10: Fairbanks, AK to Coldfoot, AK.  254 miles, 7 ride hours.  Visit Arctic Circle sign (bucket list item), visit Coldfoot Interagency BLM.  May merge next day into this, or stay there and come back next day as shown on next entry.  Weather and roads notoriously bad up there, will play by ear.

Day 11: Coldfoot, AK to Fairbanks, AK.  254 miles, 7 ride hours.

Day 12: Fairbanks, AK to Valdez, AK.  363 miles, 7.5 ride hours.  Ride the Richardson.  Considered doing the Parks Highway and trying to see Denali…but chances are weather will not be good enough to see it.

Day 13: Valdez, AK to Haines Junction, YT.  544 miles, 11.25 ride hours.  This leg is supposed to be one of the prettiest in the world to ride.

>Day 14: Haines Junction, YT to Whitehorse, YT via Alaska.  277 miles, 8 ride hours, 1.5 ferry hours.  Drop down to Haines, take the ferry to Skagway, and ride another famous route.

Day 15: Whitehorse, YT to Dease Lake, BC.  405 miles, 9 ride hours.  Ride the Cassiar Highway.

Day 16: Dease Lake, BC to Hyder, AK.  247 miles, 6 ride hours.  Hyder is next to Stewart, BC where I will be staying the night.

Day 17: Visit Salmon Glacier.  Easy day about 40 miles.  Do more bike maintenance.

Day 18: Hyder, AK to Prince George, BC.  437 miles, 9.5 ride hours.  Focus now is getting home.

Day 19: Prince George, BC to Calgary, AB.  487 miles, 10 ride hours.  Yellowhead Highway and another trip down Icefields Parkway, rated one of the top two roads in the world.

Day 20: Calgary, AB to Estevan, SK.  571 miles, 10 ride hours.

Day 21: Estevean, SK to Saint Cloud, MN.  571 miles again, 9 ride hours.  Going by way of Manitoba.

Day 22: Saint Cloud, MN to LaSalle, IL.  465 miles, 7 ride hours.  Through Minneapolis but way west of Chicago.

Day 23: LaSalle, IL to home.  Around 270 miles, 4 ride hours.  Easy day.

Day 24: Extra Day.

And a map to pull it together. Disregard all the numbers…I’m using a motorcycle routing software program known as Tyre that does a great job and is providing me information that doesn’t mean much to any person not going on the actual ride.  And, map shows going down the Parks Highway by Denali at the bottom left part of the route in Alaska.  Forgot to change it to be riding the Richardson which is pretty much straight south from Fairbanks down to Valdez which is on the Gulf of Alaska.

So, there you have it.  I show 9,424 miles for this journey.  Of course, it will probably change a dozen more times…but with only 140 days before departure, I am pretty sure it is getting close to being locked down.

3 thoughts on “The current Alaska itinerary

  1. I'm Where? (ADV)

    I don't know where you have or haven't been, so I'll throw a couple of recommendations that are within, or near, the route you have mapped and some comments .

    (1) Bear Tooth Pass Highway/Chief Joseph Trail/NE entrance to Yellowstone. Bear Tooth west of Chief Joseph is better than east of Chief Joseph.
    (2) Going to the Sun Rd.

    Fill up before you leave any city, before entering B.C. (it stands for Bring Cash) and whenever you see a gas station out on the road.

    The Ice Field Pkwy is worth two trips, but there is only one gas station on it, at the crossing resort.

    My motto is: If you go somewhere and didn't buy a t-shirt, you weren't really there (except for Jail). The Visitor Information Center just past the roundabout in Dawson Creek has Alaska Highway t-shirts.

    Expect to see at least one small herd of Buffalo on the Alaska
    Highway between Muncho Lake and Watson Lake.

    The roads between Canada and Alaska (there are only two) should be in good shape. They were both under construction when I went through in 2013. There are a few websites giving current road conditions. Just Google "Alaska road conditions".

    The Dalton only has two gas stations south of Deadhorse. Those are at Coldfoot and just north of the Yukon River.

    The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center has Arctic Circle certificates.

    Chances are that you won't see Denali on any day of the year.

    If you startle a bear, he will take off in the direction that he is facing. Do not honk at a bear facing the road as you are approaching it.

    Don't forget to get Hyderized.

    Just another thing to think about, you are going to be going right past, or very close to, at least about a dozen National Parks. You might consider checking out the requirements for the Iron Butt Association's National Park tour.

  2. glad you're almost underway. I know you've been planning this a long time. i hope your daily distance expectations are able to be obtained. looking forward to your ride and sharing of experiences.

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