Alaska 2016 Planning the trip

ALASKA MOTORCYCLE TRIP by Mark Lickers

Best time to go:  End of May through August
                           Early to mid-September can be beautiful but risk the chance of snow

Recommended routes:
  North through British Columbia
  Jasper Banff National Park
  East to Prince George
  North on Cassiar Highway
          Stop in Hyder, AK  
  Through Whitehorse
  Haines Junction

  South to Haines or Northwest to Interior AK (Fairbanks,Valdez and Anchorage)

  Ferry to Prince Rupert
    Prince George
    South Quesnel, Williams Lake, Frasier River Valley
    Back to Eastern Washington, Idaho

Approximate mileage between major stops:

Gnd Jct – Glacier Natl Park    942
Glacier Natl Park – Banff          311
Banff – Prince George            410
Prince George – Kitwanga      300
Kitwanga – Watson Lake         462
Watson Lake – Whitehorse      273
Whitehorse – Haines               244

Haines Jct – Tok                   291
Tok – Anchorage                 319
Anchorage – Homer             222

Documents Required  
     Passport
     Insurance ID card
     Medical info
    

Check these before:
     Call you insurance carrier and make sure you and your vehicle are covered
     Call you credit card company about and ask about fees for currency conversion (if any)
     Likewise with your cell phone plan.


Major airports:
      SeaTac
      Juneau
      Fairbanks
      Anchorage


Alaska Marine Highway
    www.dot.state.ak.us
    Fares in Southeast AK (vehicle / passenger).  

Haines – Skagway    $31/  31
Haines – Juneau    $55/  41
Haines – Prince Rupert    $234/  177  
Haines – Bellingham    $508/  388


Places to Stay / Camp / Things To Do:

Grand Teton National Park
Glacier National Park, Montana
Banff / Jasper National Park
Prince George (Hotel Break)
Stewart, BC / Hyder, AK
Watson Lake Northern Lights Research Center (Campground)
Liard Hot Springs (Provincial Park)
Whitehosre, YT(Hotel / Resupply)
Haines Junction Bakery
Haines Junction Visitor / Cultural Center
Skagway (Beer / Touristy stuff / Train Ride up through White Pass)
Haines (Camp / Rest)
Dawson City (Camp Top of the World Hgwy)
Chicken (Chicken Creek Saloon and Café)
Tok (Fast Eddy;s Restaurant)
Anchorage (Big City / Denali Natl Park)
Homer (end of the world / charter fishing / touristy stuff)
Kenia Peninsula(Seward hgwy to Seward)

 

Major Highways if you inclined to plan a route or explore further

Yellowhead Highway:   The major east-west highway through the four western provinces of Canada.
ALCAN (Alaska Highway):  Dawson Creek, BC – Delta Jct, AK
Taylor Hgwy:  connects Tetlin Jct, AK – Eagle, AK   gravel
Tok Cuttoff:  connects Glenallen and Tok
Richardson Hgwy:  connects Valdez and Fairbanks
Glenn Hgwy:  connects Glennallen and Wasilla
Steese Hgwy:  connects Fairbanks and Circle
Haul Road:  Fairbanks to Deadhorse
George Parks Hgwy: Anchorage to Fairbanks
Route 1:  Anchorage to Homer
Seward Hgwy:  Anchorage to Seward

 


Weather is usually nice during the summer and temperatures can reach 90 in the interior in July/Aug.  However, I have been caught in a snow storm in August.  Rain, count on it.  Bugs are their worst in the early summer and taper off in mid July.  Early spring is not bad either.  Bring bug dope that contains DEET.  

The further north you travel, the more limited services become and the more expensive it gets.  Likewise with medical services with major medical centers in Anchorage and Juneau and possibly in Whitehorse.  Although the larger towns and villages have clinics, the most severe cases will be stabilized and medevac’d out, most likely to Seattle.  

Don’t miss a chance to fuel up.  Carry a full tool kit and tire repair kit.  Weapons: not through Canada unless you have made prior arrangements (http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/trans-eng.htm).  AK does have CCW reciprocity with CO. Avoid bringing large quantities of cash.