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Thread: Alaska planning

  1. #1

    Alaska planning

    The wife and I are planning a trip to Alaska most likely mid June of 2020 for 5 weeks camping mostly with a minimate , from the ones who have made the trip could you tell me what months you went and what the weather was like and just how much unpacked road there was. I ask because I get different details one says 1000miles dirt another says 200 miles total another says don't camp because of bears thanks for the info

  2. #2
    just another Saddle Tramp Dusty Boots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    SW Ontario

    Re: Alaska planning

    As for the unpacked/gravel roads info, it might help if you post just where abouts/towns in Alaska you are planning on going!
    Ken - 1992 Honda GL1500 Aspencade 2013 Victory Cross Country Tour
    Camping Styles - tent camp off of bike - 2013 HF Cargo trailer - 2011 Aspen Sentry
    "It's never too early to plan and never too late to go!" - Dusty

  3. #3
    fireshine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Re: Alaska planning

    Ok. Leaving from Norwich ny to anchorage Alaska then to DNP then Fairbanks then to Yellowstone then home

  4. #4
    Moderator lytle1gw's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    2005 Honda VTX 1800,2001 Honda Shadow VLX, 1970 Honda Passport 70
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  5. #5

    Re: Alaska planning

    When I went in 03 the roads were paved all the way EXCEPT where they were doing construction. For the most part they always moved motorcycles to the front of the line when you had to follow a pilot car through construction areas. If it was dry out it could be dusty. If it was wet you could have a slippery mess. But bikes of all types have made the trip for years without issues.
    As far as camping, if you take proper precautions you shouldn't have problems with critters. When camping don't keep anything in your camper that could cause a bear to come calling. That means things like toiletries. Bears have a Very good sense of smell. If you shower at night don't put deodorant on until the morning. If the campground has bear boxes, use them. If they don't, take a rope and tie all your smelly things up in a tree AWAY from your camper. You shouldn't have any issues if you take care. Have fun. I am planning on going again when I retire.

  6. #6

    Re: Alaska planning

    When I did the trip it was the 2nd week of June (IMO, good time to go)

    Traveled west and north from MO thru CO and WY, over the Chief Joseph and Beartooth hwy into MT and up thru Glacier NP to Canada. Traveled up thru Banff and Jasper NP. Went thru BC, Alberta, and the Yukon. The only dirt/gravel I road was thru the Yukon as they were working the highway. Maybe 40-50 miles total (not a good experience, mostly because of the dust. Remember though, if it's bad going up, it's the same back down. When we did it it was dry and dusty on the way up however, coming back it was raining and it was all mud.

    Be prepared for wet and cold weather. We hit several days of rain, both coming and going. It was also pretty cold a few of those days. May or may not be the same, but be prepared for sure.

    As for where to go in Alaska,,, (remember, this is my opinion) I would forget Fairbanks (unless you're wanting to go to the Arctic Circle. The most spectacular part of Alaska is in the south. Take the time you would have used for Fairbanks to take in Seward and/or Homer, Valdez, and Haines. If timing is right take the ferry out of Haines up to Skagway and drive back out to highway 1 from there.

    I did the Ferry from Haines to Prince Ruppert, but for two it would be pretty expensive, especially with a trailer. Plus because of scheduling and limited ferries it puts you on a strict timeline that has to be met. I'm really glad I did it, (kind of a bucket list item) but wouldn't really recommend it. Again, glad I did it, but wouldn't do it again. (if you need any info on the ferry, you can PM me, be glad to tell you all about it).

    If you need specific info, send me a PM. Be happy to give a phone number to discuss it in more detail.

    Norwich, not to far from where I grew up - Owego and Spencer

    BTW, never was concerned with bears. Just be careful with food and you shouldn't have any issues.

  7. #7

    Re: Alaska planning

    How would a trike and trailer fair on those roads? Thinking about Alaska also.

  8. #8

    Re: Alaska planning

    Fireshine and Pooch2,

    Everything posted so far is all good info! I have lived up here since 1975 and have been traveling on the Alcan and Cassiar on bikes since 1976. As to time of year for the best riding every year is different. I have had the best luck with the last half of June and the first half of July. As noted the Alcan and Cassiar are paved with the exception of the construction areas. The construction areas can be 10-15 miles long. There is a section that is always dirt/construction. It's the last few miles before you enter Alaska. Some years parts of the highway can be a bit rough due to the winters and the truck traffic. Due to my living in the SE panhandle I normally join the Alcan near Whitehorse in the Yukon. This past summer from Whitehorse to the south the Alcan was in good shape. The Cassiar was in great shape.

    My biggest tip is start the trip with new tires. The chip seal highways eat your tires faster then what your use to.

    Most of my rides have been on Wings. Any kind of bike can do the trip. The last few years I have been pulling a RAH camper. You just have to take it easy in construction. I might recommend if you have never ridden on a gravel road maybe find one near you and practice. First do it solo, then add your trailer or camper, then add your bride.... I find keeping the bike in one higher gear than you normally would be in at a given speed keeps the bike from being too twitchy. oh, and always look ahead, don't look down

    If you folks have any questions post them up and I will see if I have an answer.
    GL1800 & KLR650 Mine 2009 Rollahome
    GL1800 & GL1500 & XR650L Hers
    IBA #66870

  9. #9

    Re: Alaska planning

    My trip up was in the early part of June in 2014. I liked going then. No matter what time of year you can have bad weather and/or bad roads. Don't go without preparing for both. Once you are prepared, stop worrying about those things. Enjoy the trip. I've found that some of the most vivid memories were at the time, some of the tougher moments. There are more things to see in the southern end of the state and try to do them all. I enjoyed the Fairbanks part and took another road north of Fairbanks up to the Yellowstone river at the town of Eagle. In 2014 about half of it was new pavement and the rest hard gravel. It was the trip of my life and I would go every summer if I could afford it. Bottom line prepare and plan as well as you can, but make the trip, you will remember it forever.


  10. #10

    Re: Alaska planning

    How is the Haul Road in late June early July? I'm thinking about doing it on my reverse trike.

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