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  • 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
    2012 goldwing
    2012 timeout xl1800
    2017 africa twin
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  • #2
    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
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    • #3
      Re: Alaska planning

      Ok. Leaving from Norwich ny to anchorage Alaska then to DNP then Fairbanks then to Yellowstone then home
      2012 goldwing
      2012 timeout xl1800
      2017 africa twin
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      • #4
        Re: Alaska planning

        check out https://www.themilepost.com/articles...alaska-highway
        Gary

        2005 Honda VTX 1800,2001 Honda Shadow VLX, 1970 Honda Passport 70
        2013 Ural Patrol -1989 Holsclaw cargo
        MOPH, American Legion, NRA
        IBMC,UMCI,ADV,PGR
        sold 1981 Honda Goldwing 1100
        sold 2005 Electra Glide
        sold 1974 Yamaha 500DHC
        sold 1978 Yamaha Enduro 175
        sold 1970 Honda trail 70
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        • #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.

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          • #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.

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            • #7
              Re: Alaska planning

              How would a trike and trailer fair on those roads? Thinking about Alaska also.
              2010 GL1800 Endeavor Reverse Trike, Leesure Lite Excel camper.sigpic

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              • #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 & XR650L Hers
                IBA #66870
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                • #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.

                  Richard

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alaska planning

                    How is the Haul Road in late June early July? I'm thinking about doing it on my reverse trike.
                    2010 GL1800 Endeavor Reverse Trike, Leesure Lite Excel camper.sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alaska planning

                      Big mistake to tie the wife to such a monstrous plan even if only in Jello. She should always have an out without feeling she would let you down or ruin your trip. When my wife and I did it we tent camped all 30 days/ 11,000 miles but we always had an out so she never felt any pressure to continue to achieve any goal of mine. We didn't even call it our Alaska trip until we got home.

                      The mistake is to set a final destination as a goal and plan anything more than 3 days out; divide it into reasonable chunks and do most of the planning on the road. We said our trip was west to Banff and once we got there we would go on if we were having fun and otherwise head home. Once at Baniff we said we'd go to Dawson Creek and again make the "still having fun" decision there. Next decision points Whitehorse, Anchorage, then Fairbanks and Dawson City. We went up the Alcan and back the Cassier. If it was raining someplace we went someplace else. We often changed the route after talking to people along the road; we never would have done the Whittier Tunnel and other interesting stops otherwise. We had a great time when some of the other couples we talked to were miserable.

                      Tom

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                      • #12
                        Re: Alaska planning

                        Pooch, If the conditions are dry just about any bike/trike can make it. If it's wet it will be nasty on any bike. It is a dirt road.... In 2010 my wife and I rode our 650's and it was dry. On the whole trip I was thinking I could of ridden my wing. We were on the haul road on June 22-24 and never saw a bug other than in Wiseman.
                        GL1800 & KLR650 Mine 2009 Rollahome
                        GL1800 & XR650L Hers
                        IBA #66870
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                        • #13
                          Re: Alaska planning

                          I've done it 4 times, all four trips tent camped every day, on a V-Strom 1000, BMW K1200LT, and twice on a Triumph Explorer. On one trip my son rode with me on a 600 Bandit with all of his camping gear, and we first rode to Key West to start . Not only was every trip different, each direction was different. Every trip was fun, last years trip I rode with 2 other friends and we all agreed it is now a very "civilized" trip, no problems with roads, gas, or camping, other than the Dalton Hwy north of the Yukon; very different from the first time I did it in 2000 (the Cassiar was unpaved). Having fun is the key .

                          Tom





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                          • #14
                            Re: Alaska planning

                            You are getting some great info here. The last time I went we left KY on June 15th, and had pretty good weather. Rain and colder temps are just part of the experience. Most construction zones will be in good shape, but you can run into rough sections. On the last trip up we found the worst was near the Alaska border as Bob was talking about. We had days of frog strangling rain. The potholes in the hardpacked gravel surface were bad enough that we both had to replace the fork seals on the bikes. With all the rain you couldn't tell just how deep the holes were. On the trip home they were in good shape. Just take your time in the construction zones.
                            Steve

                            2017 Suzuki DL650A V-Strom 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

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                            • #15
                              Re: Alaska planning

                              Originally posted by Pooch2 View Post
                              How is the Haul Road in late June early July? I'm thinking about doing it on my reverse trike.
                              It changes all the time depending on the weather and construction. The first time I had great weather, the second time we had a bit of everything. On a trike you should be fine, just take your time and be sure to give the trucks the right of way, always.
                              Steve

                              2017 Suzuki DL650A V-Strom 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

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