Alaska Trip Info/Hatcher Pass Road - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-31-2014, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Alaska Trip Info/Hatcher Pass Road

My two riding buddies and I just did the Hatcher Pass ride from the Palmer side to the Willow side. Hatcher Pass doesn't normally open up until very late June or early July due to the huge quantity of snow up there--usually at least 30 feet of the white stuff!! :jaw drop: Anyway, the road can be a be a bit dicey until the Hwy Dept. can get up there and grade it to some semblance of decency. I found that the Palmer side of the pass was dry all the way up, however it was pretty rough in places, very washboardy with a bit of coarse loose gravel. Over the top and down into the next valley, it was pretty much dry, but interesting in a couple of the switchback curves. Getting further along toward Willow, they have recently graded the road fairly smooth and applied a layer of sandy fine gravel. Where it was dry, it was great, but there was about 3--4 miles of muddy, soupy road where the water truck had recently been. Where it dried out, like I said, it was good. In fact, it was all good, if a bit rough in a few places, all the way out to the pavement.

Just thought I'd pass this along for the benefit of anyone coming up here that wants to do Hatcher Pass as one of their Alaska side trips. In all, it was a good ride, and I recommend it. Very little traffic in the middle of the week, by the way. Weekends it's crawling with people. And at the top you can stop and watch the parasail folks play with the wind.

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-31-2014, 11:48 PM
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My step-daughter lives in Palmer, in fact we are flying up there next week to visit for a week. We have driven Hatcher several times by car !! It's a beautiful drive over and after along a river with several camping areas. We usually stop at an old gold mining operation which is now a State Park before we head up and over Hatcher. I've always wished I had my Strom to ride it.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-01-2014, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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So you know what i'm talking about. I just wanted to let everyone that might be interested that the road, for what it is, is in pretty good shape for riding across. I would have to endorse it a a must-do ride if at all possible.

I'd also like to add that if one rides Hatcher Pass from the Palmer side, they should know that there's really no place to eat lunch in Willow that I know of. However, several miles to the east, just off the Parks Hwy on the Big Lake Rd., I can heartily recommend the Lumber Yard Deli. It's on the right in a strip mall, about 100 yards off the Parks Hwy, on Big Lake Rd. It's a small, hole-in-the-wall, mom & pop place, and the food is outstanding and, for Alaska, relatively inexpensive. Their barbecue beef brisket sandwich is to die for, and their honey mustard cole slaw is amazing. I've eaten there a few times, and it's well worth the stop for lunch.

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