Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta ride in 2019?

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
Hi all,
I'm in the early stages of planning an Alaska Highway, Alberta, British Columbia sort of ride this summer. I'm not so much planning to go deep into Alaska, or ride the Dalton Highway, but seeing the Canadian Rockies and touching Alaska is my main focus. I'd be originating from the Midwest (USA). I'm getting the maps together, thinking about the timing, which bike to ride etc. I have much yet to learn to plan this trip, but maybe somehow I can gain some knowledge from the NC forum group.

I can ride the bike from home, or there is even the possibility I could trailer the bike to, say, Montana, and ride Canada/Alaska from there. Trouble is, I'd need a secure place to leave the truck/trailer.

If any one else with experience is wanting to ride a similar trip, well maybe organizing a small group ride is another option.

So this is a rather open ended hunt for knowledge and ideas, but if anyone cares to offer comments or suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance.
 

Junkie

Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
382
Reaction score
4
Points
0
Location
CA
I'll be going, but was planning on making it all the way up to Prudhoe Bay and am coming from the other side of the country
 

Rapturee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
140
Points
63
Location
Post Falls IDAHO
Hi all,
I'm in the early stages of planning an Alaska Highway, Alberta, British Columbia sort of ride this summer. I can ride the bike from home, or there is even the possibility I could trailer the bike to, say, Montana, and ride Canada/Alaska from there. Trouble is, I'd need a secure place to leave the truck/trailer
Greg, if you make it to Montana then you might as well keep coming west o IDAHO!! I'd be more then happy to ride a few days with you and i have a large secure parking area all set up for you to leave your rig here until your return, free.99 of course!! :{)
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
Greg, if you make it to Montana then you might as well keep coming west o IDAHO!! I'd be more then happy to ride a few days with you and i have a large secure parking area all set up for you to leave your rig here until your return, free.99 of course!! :{)
Thank you. I will seriously consider that option!
 

Jt105

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
554
Reaction score
87
Points
28
Location
Michigan, USA
I went to Glacier NP from Michigan last summer. We took US-2 all the way. My recommendation is to skip North Dakota and eastern Montana. Lots of flat. Lots of nothing. Lots of wind.

JT
 

davidc83

Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Messages
2,235
Reaction score
176
Points
63
Location
Southern Indiana/Central Florida-part time snow bi
Hi all,
I'm in the early stages of planning an Alaska Highway, Alberta, British Columbia sort of ride this summer. I'm not so much planning to go deep into Alaska, or ride the Dalton Highway, but seeing the Canadian Rockies and touching Alaska is my main focus. I'd be originating from the Midwest (USA). I'm getting the maps together, thinking about the timing, which bike to ride etc. I have much yet to learn to plan this trip, but maybe somehow I can gain some knowledge from the NC forum group.

I can ride the bike from home, or there is even the possibility I could trailer the bike to, say, Montana, and ride Canada/Alaska from there. Trouble is, I'd need a secure place to leave the truck/trailer.

If any one else with experience is wanting to ride a similar trip, well maybe organizing a small group ride is another option.

So this is a rather open ended hunt for knowledge and ideas, but if anyone cares to offer comments or suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance.
Dang it Greg, if I was retired, I would be joining you on this trip...somehow I need to find time to mark off some more riding items on my bucket list (riding out west is one of them)...
 

Red Rider

Elite Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
459
Reaction score
36
Points
28
Location
Alabama
Hi all,
I'm in the early stages of planning an Alaska Highway, Alberta, British Columbia sort of ride this summer. I'm not so much planning to go deep into Alaska, or ride the Dalton Highway, but seeing the Canadian Rockies and touching Alaska is my main focus. I'd be originating from the Midwest (USA). I'm getting the maps together, thinking about the timing, which bike to ride etc. I have much yet to learn to plan this trip, but maybe somehow I can gain some knowledge from the NC forum group.

I can ride the bike from home, or there is even the possibility I could trailer the bike to, say, Montana, and ride Canada/Alaska from there. Trouble is, I'd need a secure place to leave the truck/trailer.

If any one else with experience is wanting to ride a similar trip, well maybe organizing a small group ride is another option.

So this is a rather open ended hunt for knowledge and ideas, but if anyone cares to offer comments or suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance.
Little knowledge and short on ideas but I would agree with the post on ND and Eastern Montana being pretty desolate and windy.
Comments and suggestions? Just hope ya have a terrific trip. I’m meeting a couple fellow retirees in Colorado in June and heading to Glacier NP. We plan to slip into Canada for a day while we’re up that way and then head back down taking in Yellowstone, the Tetons and all points in between as we work back to Denver. Much of this ground I covered years ago but never made it to GNP. And while I’ve visited and fished Canada in the past, this will be my first time there on two wheels. Alaska is still outside my reach I’m afraid - for now. My longest ride to date was 4300 miles. This one will exceed 5000 round trip.

My buddies will be on their Harley tourers. I gave up my HD and GW and have been enjoying the relative ease of travel and maneuvering that the NC provides. (They’ll get there one day...:rolleyes:) If my buddies give me “the business” I’ll just tell ‘em they’d better be nice to me or I won’t be there for them when they drop one of those hogs on a switchback somewhere.:p :cool:

Have a great trip North!
 
Last edited:

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
Little knowledge and short on ideas but I would agree with the post on ND and Eastern Montana being pretty desolate and windy.
Comments and suggestions? Just hope ya have a terrific trip. I’m meeting a couple fellow retirees in Colorado in June and heading to Glacier NP. We plan to slip into Canada for a day while we’re up that way and then head back down taking in Yellowstone, the Tetons and all points in between as we work back to Denver. Much of this ground I covered years ago but never made it to GNP. And while I’ve visited and fished Canada in the past, this will be my first time there on two wheels. Alaska is still outside my reach I’m afraid - for now. My longest ride to date was 4300 miles. This one will exceed 5000 round trip.

My buddies will be on their Harley tourers. I gave up my HD and GW and have been enjoying the relative ease of travel and maneuvering that the NC provides. (They’ll get there one day...:rolleyes:) If my buddies give me “the business” I’ll just tell ‘em they’d better be nice to me or I won’t be there for them when they drop one of those hogs on a switchback somewhere.:p :cool:

Have a great trip North!
That sounds like fabulous trip you have planned, RR. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.

I have done trips with a couple Harley riders, with me on the NC. Without going into details on some of the quirks of that arrangement, let’s just say it was interesting.
 

Wcmike

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
184
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Florida
Anything more on the specifics? Do you have any idea of when you will be leaving? Will this be a month long trip or a bunch 500 mile days? I'm trying to figure this one out myself. Except I have joy of leaving from Florida.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
Anything more on the specifics? Do you have any idea of when you will be leaving? Will this be a month long trip or a bunch 500 mile days? I'm trying to figure this one out myself. Except I have joy of leaving from Florida.
I’m thinking maybe a 3 week trip. I’m not thrilled with doing long travel days. I’ve got nothing to prove doing that. It could be in June or July, maybe a bit into August. I’m flexible on that. Going when the weather is potentially best makes sense.

Depending on where you are in a Florida, I might have a good 2 day head start on that, being in the Midwest.

I got the 2019 Milepost book yesterday. I’m going to spend some time reading that now. Maybe I’ll be wiser in a week or so.
 
Last edited:

HarveyM

Active Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
517
Reaction score
30
Points
28
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
look at tewster2 on the adv forum. He also has videos of several trips to alaska. Great detail, roads etc. Lots of info in these threads

Tewsters Traveling Circus Alaska 2018 (the ride) | Adventure Rider

Tewster's Traveling Circus Alaska 2017 | Adventure Rider

Tiny Bike to Alaska 2016 (Planning and Bike Prep) | Adventure Rider
Building on this, here's a link to Tewster's 2018 Points of Interest GPX file
Alaska/Canada Recommended Fuel, Motel, Campgrounds, Food | Page 2 | Adventure Rider
 

TacomaJD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
238
Points
58
Location
Northeast Alabama
Greg / Fuzzy, I assume you guys are retired? I can't imagine the fun you guys are having on this adventure! I wish I had that kind of free time from life's responsibilities to take off on a trip like this! Safe travels and post pics! :)
 

Fuzzy

Active Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Messages
4,181
Reaction score
18
Points
38
Location
South Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
Greg / Fuzzy, I assume you guys are retired? I can't imagine the fun you guys are having on this adventure! I wish I had that kind of free time from life's responsibilities to take off on a trip like this! Safe travels and post pics! :)
Yes, all retired. How else does one get enough time. Want to do it while I still can and have a 2 month pass from wife. (I'm sure it will cost me.)
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
I am back home from my Alaska trip. Fuzzy and Nuke are still up there somewhere weaving through the forest. It took me 6 days straight, averaging 575 miles per day, to get home from Dawson City, YT. That’s when I realized how far away I had been.

I did not ride the NC700X, so perhaps this post doesn’t belong on this forum, but nonetheless I thought I’d wrap up this thread with some closing comments.

I rode a GL1800 instead of the NC for the following reasons:
1) Better seat comfort (ZERO butt discomfort after riding 9000 miles in 24 days. The NC would have had me sore at the 2000 mile mark).
2) Longer fuel range, a benefit due to the rare gas stops in the Yukon and Alaska.
3) Better weather protection. Conditions ranged from rain in the upper 30s (F) in Montana, to a hailstorm is Saskatchewan. (Generally though, the weather was often too warm for me. The ideal riding temperature for me on the Goldwing is 55-60F if it’s sunny, and 65-70F if it’s cloudy).
4) Tires that could last the whole trip with no need to change them midway.

The only time the Goldwing was not at home was on the 130 or so miles of gravel on Top of the World Highway, but it got the job done. For all the rest of the trip, it just ate up the miles.

The ‘Wing consumed no oil in 9000 miles. The only problems were a low beam bulb the burned out (got a new one at Walmart) and a loose socket for the other low beam (fixed alongside the road with a pocket knife). The clutch lever pivot needed lubing at one point (used oil off the engine dipstick), but that was due to my negligence in not lubing it before the trip.

I stayed at hotels 11 nights and camped 12 nights. I actually preferred the camping, but the hotels were necessary when the weather was bad or when clothes needed washing in the sink/tub.

My thoughts on traveling to Alaska:

1) It’s all big. Real big. Canada is also big. It’s a long ways away. When you decide to go somewhere, the question isn’t how many hours will it take, but rather how many days will it take. Going from one significant town to another might be 350-400 miles. That’s like the entire length of Illinois with basically nothing in between. Here’s an example of the vast distances and scarcity of roads: if the ferry across the Yukon River at Dawson City broke, and you wanted to get to the other side, you could take roads to get there instead. You could ride to Whitehorse, over to Tok, back up through Chicken, and across gravel back to West Dawson. Then you’d be on the other side of the river. That little detour would be, by my estimate, over 900 miles.

2) Going on what I said above, we take a great risk when we travel in Yukon or Alaska. So you have a roadside assistance plan that includes 100 miles of towing? Haha! A breakdown could easily have a tow truck running a 600-800 mile round trip to haul your butt and your bike back to a motorcycle shop. And if you're heading up the Dempster or the Dalton, towing could cost you, well, let’s just say “megabucks”. And, breakdowns can be due to surprise things beyond your control, such as a failed fuel pump, voltage regulator, open connection inside a battery, etc. After completing this big adventure, I reflected on how very fortunate I was to have completed the trip with no mechanical or injury/health problems. These risks are something I’d more seriously consider before going back, having seen the situations, the place, and the conditions first hand. A mobile phone is useless between cities and gas station/roadhouses, so a Spot or a Garmin InReach satellite radio is a necessity. I used an InReach to communicate to and share my location with my wife back at home. It worked great. Fuzzy and Nuke also had InReach radios.

3) The Alaska, Klondike, and the Haines highways were in far better condition than I had imagined. They are modern two lane highways with wide lanes and shoulders, and a wide right-of-way cut through the forest. The wide clearing makes it easier to spot wildlife along the road before they potentially enter your path. At one point, I had to brake fairly hard for a black bear crossing the road, but I’m glad I had time to react. The only issues with the roads is they have a coarse surface that eats up tires, and summer construction season means there are sections torn up and returned temporarily to gravel, as well as large, loose gravel simply spread all over the top of the pavement for many miles.

4) I realized at some point that it didn’t get dark outside for about a week. If I remember correctly, sunset in Dawson City the night before the first day of summer was about 01:30 am, and sunrise was about 03:55. It never got dark. The length of visible light was 24 hours. Bedrooms have dark shades over the windows.

5) I wondered before the trip, what would I see along the way? The answer, I found, was everything. For gorgeous mountain scenery, the Canadian Rockies and Alaska blow away anything I’d seen before. If I took every mountain scene I’d experienced in my lifetime of travels and any mountain scenery pictures I’d seen in books or on calendars, and packed those all into a couple weeks of travel, that’s what I saw on this trip, and more.

6) Finally, seeing wide open, natural spaces untouched by humans makes me happy. Seeing crowded, industrialized cities makes me sad. My biggest takeaway from this trip: I was very happy to see that Alaska and Northern Canada still contain enormous expanses of beautiful land, largely unspoiled by human activity.
 
Last edited:

Chabon

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
104
Reaction score
18
Points
18
Location
Carpinteria, CA
I am back home from my Alaska trip. Fuzzy and Nuke are still up there somewhere weaving through the forest. It took me 6 days straight, averaging 575 miles per day, to get home from Dawson City, YT. That’s when I realized how far away I had been.
Thanks for the synopsis. Was following the Three Old Guys thread on ADV. I leave in a week for Dawson City and Top of the World Highway. Toyed with the idea of going on to Inuvik and Tuk but think I will be happy without all the gravel and mud miles. Been to the Yukon last three years (once on a WR250X and twice on the NC). I go to the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Nakusp as my jumping off point and meet up point. Always a good event HU Travellers Meeting Canwest 2019 | Horizons Unlimited
 

TacomaJD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
238
Points
58
Location
Northeast Alabama
I am back home from my Alaska trip. Fuzzy and Nuke are still up there somewhere weaving through the forest. It took me 6 days straight, averaging 575 miles per day, to get home from Dawson City, YT. That’s when I realized how far away I had been.

I did not ride the NC700X, so perhaps this post doesn’t belong on this forum, but nonetheless I thought I’d wrap up this thread with some closing comments.

I rode a GL1800 instead of the NC for the following reasons:
1) Better seat comfort (ZERO butt discomfort after riding 9000 miles in 24 days. The NC would have had me sore at the 2000 mile mark).
2) Longer fuel range, a benefit due to the rare gas stops in the Yukon and Alaska.
3) Better weather protection. Conditions ranged from rain in the upper 30s (F) in Montana, to a hailstorm is Saskatchewan. (Generally though, the weather was often too warm for me). The ideal riding temperature form me on the Goldwing is 55-60F if it’s sunny, and 65-70F if it’s cloudy.
4) Tires that could last the whole trip with no need to change them midway.

The only time the Goldwing was not at home was on the 130 or so miles of gravel on Top of the World Highway, but it got the job done. For all the rest of the trip, it just ate up the miles.

The ‘Wing consumed no oil in 9000 miles. The only problems were a low beam bulb the burned out (got a new one at Walmart) and a loose socket for the other low beam (fixed alongside the road with a pocket knife). The clutch lever pivot needed lubing at one point (used oil off the engine dipstick), but that was due to my negligence in not lubing it before the trip.

I stayed at hotels 11 nights and camped 12 nights. I actually preferred the camping, but the hotels were necessary when the weather was bad or when clothes needed washing in the sink/tub.

My thoughts on traveling to Alaska:

1) It’s all big. Real big. Canada is also big. It’s a long ways away. When you decide to go somewhere, the question isn’t how many hours will it take, but rather how many days will it take. Going from one significant town to another might be 350-400 miles. That’s like the entire length of Illinois with basically nothing in between. Here’s an example of the vast distances and scarcity of roads: if the ferry across the Yukon River at Dawson City broke, and you wanted to get to the other side, you could take roads to get there instead. You could ride to Whitehorse, over to Tok, back up through Chicken, and across gravel back to West Dawson. Then you’d be on the other side of the river. That little detour would be, by my estimate, over 900 miles.

2) Going on what I said above, we take a great risk when we travel in Yukon or Alaska. So you have a roadside assistance plan that includes 100 miles of towing? Haha! A breakdown could easily have a tow truck running a 600-800 mile round trip to haul your butt and your bike back to a motorcycle shop. And if you're heading up the Dempster or the Dalton, towing could cost you, well, let’s just say “megabucks”. And, breakdowns can be due to surprise things beyond your control, such as a failed fuel pump, voltage regulator, open connection inside a battery, etc. After completing this big adventure, I reflected on how very fortunate I was to have completed the trip with no mechanical or injury/health problems. These risks are something I’d more seriously consider before going back, having seen the situations, the place, and the conditions first hand. A mobile phone is useless between cities and gas station/roadhouses, so a Spot or a Garmin InReach satellite radio is a necessity. I used an InReach to communicate to and share my location with my wife back at home. It worked great. Fuzzy and Nuke also had InReach radios.

3) The Alaska, Klondike, and the Haines highways were in far better condition than I had imagined. They are modern two lane highways with wide lanes and shoulders, and a wide right-of-way cut through the forest. The wide clearing makes it easier to spot wildlife along the road before they potentially enter your path. At one point, I had to brake fairly hard for a black bear crossing the road, but I’m glad I had time to react. The only issues with the roads is they have a coarse surface that eats up tires, and summer construction season means there are sections torn up and returned temporarily to gravel, as well as large, loose gravel simply spread all over the top of the pavement for many miles.

4) I realized at some point that it didn’t get dark outside for about a week. If I remember correctly, sunset in Dawson City the night before the first day of summer was about 01:30 am, and sunrise was about 03:55. It never got dark. The length of visible light was 24 hours. Bedrooms have dark shades over the windows.

5) I wondered before the trip, what would I see along the way? The answer, I found, was everything. For gorgeous mountain scenery, the Canadian Rockies and Alaska blow away anything I’d seen before. If I took every mountain scene I’d experienced in my lifetime of travels and any mountain scenery pictures I’d seen in books or on calendars, and packed those all into a couple weeks of travel, that’s what I saw on this trip, and more.

6) Finally, seeing wide open, natural spaces untouched by humans makes me happy. Seeing crowded, industrialized cities makes me sad. My biggest takeaway from this trip: I was very happy to see that Alaska and Northern Canada still contain enormous expanses of beautiful land, largely unspoiled by human activity.
Thanks for the update, I don't care what type of bike you rode, even if it was a Harley, the experience is worth sharing regardless. That sounds like an amazing trip, one I hope to be able to do before my passing day. That is the type of trip you reflect on for quite some time afterwards. Glad you had a safe trip, hope the others return safely as well!
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,706
Reaction score
678
Points
113
Location
USA
Thanks for the synopsis. Was following the Three Old Guys thread on ADV. I leave in a week for Dawson City and Top of the World Highway. Toyed with the idea of going on to Inuvik and Tuk but think I will be happy without all the gravel and mud miles. Been to the Yukon last three years (once on a WR250X and twice on the NC). I go to the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Nakusp as my jumping off point and meet up point. Always a good event HU Travellers Meeting Canwest 2019 | Horizons Unlimited
That’s great. Good luck on your trip. You are a braver man than me, thinking of tackling the Dempster. Maybe they were just trying to sound tough, but some guys were telling stories of broken bikes and bodies being hauled off the Dempster on the way to Tuktoyaktuk.
 

Rapturee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
140
Points
63
Location
Post Falls IDAHO
Congrats 670, so glad you went and had a great time! I followed with great interest/excitement as i will be heading up there June 2020!! I went to high school up there and my Dad still lives in Fairbanks. Amongst other things, he has made hundreds of trips on the Haul road in a big truck hauling supplies over the years. I have driven the AlCan highway a few times but never on a bike and since i bought the NC it has been a great desire of mine to make the trip on the NC. Except for my Cot/Tent, i have everything condensed to my Frunk, Topbox and two Side bags. I'll mount 2 brand new Shinko 705's just for that trip and anything else that comes up i can have shipped to my Dads or fix/repair at his place or he'll come and rescue me haha..!! :{P

He is just down the street and around the corner from the Super 8. He has offered any assistance that he can to anyone else that is making the trip if needed, pm me and you may have his contact info. He is elderly but has been a welder/fabricator/machinist all of his life and still has an amazing assortment of machines/welders/tools. :{)
 
Top