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  #21  
Old 11-16-2012, 09:03 PM
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I'm also in the planning stages of an Alaska trip from TX(south of Houston) for the summer of 2014. So far, my plan is the following:

Superslab it to north and west to Great Falls, MT and cross the border north of there. On to Calgary, Banff, and north on the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. Will pick up the Alcan at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek and follow it to Whitehorse, YT. If time allows, I plan to deviate north to Dawson City and take the Top of the World Hwy over to Chicken, AK, then on to Fairbanks. After a switch to knobbies, I plan a run up the Dalton Hwy to Deadhorse. Down to the Denali Nat Park area and into Anchorage. My wife is going to fly to Anchorage to meet up and ride 2-up for about a week back up to Tok, the Yukon, then down to Haines. From there, we will catch the southbound ferry to Bellingham, WA. She will fly home from Seattle as I press along on the bike. I plan to go thru Mt. Ranier Nat Park on the way to Boise, ID. Then Salt Lake City, and on to Montrose, CO. From there I plan to head down 550, the Million Dollar Hwy thru Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. Then down to Albuquerque and east to Amarillo. Then the last 650 miles home.

I get exhausted just thinking about it. Just kidding. I'm currently outfitting my new DL 650 Adventure for the trip with lots of mods. Next I'll focus on aquiring some new riding and camping gear more suited to the needs of this trip. I'm pretty excited about it and wish I was going this summer instead of further out. Sigh.
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Tee Bee View Post
I'm also in the planning stages of an Alaska trip from TX(south of Houston) for the summer of 2014. So far, my plan is the following:

Superslab it to north and west to Great Falls, MT and cross the border north of there. On to Calgary, Banff, and north on the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. Will pick up the Alcan at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek and follow it to Whitehorse, YT. If time allows, I plan to deviate north to Dawson City and take the Top of the World Hwy over to Chicken, AK, then on to Fairbanks. After a switch to knobbies, I plan a run up the Dalton Hwy to Deadhorse. Down to the Denali Nat Park area and into Anchorage. My wife is going to fly to Anchorage to meet up and ride 2-up for about a week back up to Tok, the Yukon, then down to Haines. From there, we will catch the southbound ferry to Bellingham, WA. She will fly home from Seattle as I press along on the bike. I plan to go thru Mt. Ranier Nat Park on the way to Boise, ID. Then Salt Lake City, and on to Montrose, CO. From there I plan to head down 550, the Million Dollar Hwy thru Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. Then down to Albuquerque and east to Amarillo. Then the last 650 miles home.

I get exhausted just thinking about it. Just kidding. I'm currently outfitting my new DL 650 Adventure for the trip with lots of mods. Next I'll focus on aquiring some new riding and camping gear more suited to the needs of this trip. I'm pretty excited about it and wish I was going this summer instead of further out. Sigh.

That's going to be one heck of a trip. You will have incorporated nearly all the best Alaska has to offer the motorcyclist. One thing, though, if you have the time to do so, you should venture down to the Kenai Peninsula, and go to Seward, check out Exit Glacier because you can walk right up to it, then ride out to Soldotna and south to Homer where you have to ride out to the end of the Homer Spit and stop at the Salty Dawg Saloon.

Your ride from Seattle back to Texas is a great one. If you plan on stopping in Boise, a great side trip is taking Hwy 21 from Boise up to Idaho City to have lunch at Trudy's Kitchen. Great place to eat and the ride up is spectacular, even though it's only about 45 miles up there from Boise city center. And while you're there, be sure to stop in at Happy Trails. If you don't already have everything you need for your trip, they are likely to have it. Talk to Ed.
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:19 AM
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If I were you there are some places and roads that I wouldn't want to miss that are approximately on the way. Fit them in one direction or other.
In Colorado, hwy 550 north from Durango to Montrose; from Cody Wyoming on the Chief Joseph hwy, and the Beartooth Pass to Redlodge Montana, on to Missoula MT, thru Glacier National Park along the Going To The Sun Road; Alberta on the Icefields Highway from Banff to Jasper...
I did these roads over Labor Day week and would agree, try to fit them in. Simply spectacular. Crossing into Canada at Glacier NP before running up Icefields won't give you much time on Route 3, which is too bad, since the Crows Nest Highway / Route 3 all the way to Hope BC is awesome. But to be fair, you could spend a month in BC and never be bored or disappointed.

Coming down by ferry, either to Bellingham or to Vancouver Island, would add a great bit of variety to the trip. Could hold that option open and play it by ear depending on weather, tiredness, etc.

If you come down by ferry, going home down the coast of California or down 395 (Reno to Death Valley, then turn east); either of those would be an amazing end to the trip.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:11 AM
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But to be fair, you could spend a month in BC and never be bored or disappointed.
That's fer sure. No one has mentioned it yet but the "back way" north from Vancouver through Whistler and Lillooet is pretty nice, too. You really can't go wrong in BC -- unless you choose the Alcan over the Cassiar N to Watson Lake. THAT would be an unfortunate choice. IMHBETO, of course.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2012, 02:43 PM
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The Cassiar is beautiful, but slow. Tons of road construction including one bridge that was only open to traffic from 10pm-8am. I heard 97 was relatively pain free. The Alaska ferry back to Washington is decadent and well worth the money. I didn't make a reservation until three days prior to boat departure. There's free lodging in the solarium. You should see if you can meet some of the Alaskan stromtroopers while you're up there. Even if only for a cup of coffee (at Dino's Donuts, lol).
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  #26  
Old 11-17-2012, 02:55 PM
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The Cassiar is beautiful, but slow. Tons of road construction including one bridge that was only open to traffic from 10pm-8am.
??? Not the case in summer '11 when I travelled it both north and south, nor the other two times in years past. Of course there is construction during the summer -- the only time it's possible -- but I think I encountered more and longer delays on the Alcan.

Where did your info come from? Not from the province of BC, which ought to know: Highway 37 North

It defies common sense that they would close a bridge during daytime, essentially the only time when there is any traffic at all on the Cassiar.
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  #27  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:11 PM
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It was this year. They closed a bridge about 30 miles north of the junction for three days, during the day and both directions, so they could work on it. The only times you could get through were at night and early morning. Not saying this is going to happen next year, but food for thought. Where I waited on escort vehicles and rode through a few miles of gravel/dirt, I heard 97 was smooth riding.
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  #28  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:25 PM
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OK, you saw it, but it sounds like an unusual emergency measure. Which junction? If Meziadin I think you could get an early enough start from either Kitwanga or Stewart to get through before 8:00 AM. It gets light pretty early up there in the summer.
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  #29  
Old 11-19-2012, 10:38 AM
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Wow. I'm overwhelmed by the knowledge on this forum. It's going to take me some time to digest all this information!

Thanks to everyone that has offered advice on this.


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  #30  
Old 11-19-2012, 11:26 AM
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Hwy 97 up through the Frazer River Canyon is amazing. North of Cache Ck., BC, the road is less entertaining, but the scenery is amazing and there's lots of neat places to stop and check out. Most folks want to start out an Alcan adventure from Milepost 0 at Dawson Creek, but there is an alternate route that is well worth considering. From Chetwynd, take the the Hudson's Hope cutoff. It goes for about 80 miles through some fantastic road and scenery. It comes out on the Alaska Hwy at Ft. St. John. A couple miles north of it, actually. About halfway you can take a short side trip to the purported world's largest earthen dam. Can't recall the name of it. Ft. St. John is a fairly modern town with all the amenities, including a Wal-Mart, so you can stock up on whatever it is you need or think you will need. They have some decent hotels, too.

I have only done the Cassiar Hwy once and that was in 1981 in a car. The first 100 miles were paved as was the last 80 miles. Everything else in between was gravel and quite rough in places. Still, it's a very scenic route and if one intends on riding the highway both ways, it would be worth considering taking the Cassiar at least one way.

On the Alaska Hwy, there are few town and darned few communities, most of which seem to center around some sort of lodge or construction camp. One notable place is Toad River Lodge. I can't speak for the lodging, but they serve up a terrific breakfast. And don't expect too much at Watson Lake. They have a couple motels there, but they're definitely not 4-star! At least there are a couple garages and auto parts stores there, as well as gasoline. Just to the north where the Cassiar Hwy intersects, there is a pretty nice restaurant with gas pumps.

Whitehorse is a great placed to stop and spend a day. Everything is there for one's convenience--fuel, lodging, good restaurants, stores and shops. You can even take a paddle boat trip on the Yukon River. I believe on option is to do the dinner cruise on the boat.

There's nothing of note between Whitehorse and Haines Jct, but they have at least one decent motel and a couple gas stations. Don't know about restaruants, but you can gets snacks and drinks at the gas stations. A lot stuff between Haines Jct and the border is closed, I suppose due to the economy, so gas up at Haines Jct. The most expensive gas is at Beaver Creek, but there are a coupe motels and restaurants there. It's about 180 miles from Haines Jct. to the border and just a couple more miles to your first gas station. You should be able lto make it on a tank of gas so you don't have to pay so much for it at Beaver Creek.

To back up a tad, the road is boring between Ft. St. John and Ft. Nelson, however Ft. Nelson is fairly progressive and there is a pretty good RV park and campground at the north end of town. There's another neat little campground/RV park about 60 miles or so to the north of there. They have a good restaurant and they make their own bread there, fresh daily. I don't recall the name of it, but it's on the left side of the road as you're heading north.

So much for the travelogue. Hope this helps. Oh yes, depending on what time of the year you go up, you should expect to run into some road repairs going on. Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised as we were last year and the year before. No road construction.
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