Riding to Alaska
I'm leaving Columbus Ohio in July this year and after a stop in Glacier NP I'm riding to Alaska. It's a dream trip I've had in mind for over 30 years. I'm riding a K1600GTL and will stay on pavement except for construction areas. I'll leave Columbus with fresh oil and OEM tires. I'm planning on putting new tires on in Calgary, Alberta. I've got a couple of tire repair kits. After riding a K1200 at the Rider Rally in Steamboat Springs, Colorado a number of years ago I said that BMW was my next bike. Actually BMW wasn't my next bike but I never forgot the demo ride on the K1200 and planned on getting a BMW someday. I rode Gold Wings for years, my longest trip was 9,000 miles in 30 days. I'm estimating over 13,000 miles over about a 10 week period. If anyone has been up that way and would like to share your experience and/or suggestions I'd like to hear from you.
..welcome aboard the the bmw lifestyle Gary! For a lifelong "dream trip" nothing will stop you or a GTL if you ride well & are smart.
Start with some "thinish" cardboard & good painters tape to cover some of that nice lower bodywork, cover that completly with good
layer of duct tape! Even use that duct on the "not hot" metal components (fork tubes, ect..). Are you going just to Hyder, for the still
something "I've ridden to AK" or to the big show a journey away north of the 60th parallel ? On a GTL, even determined to plan pavement,
road construction could bring plenty of "other surface"...and depending on weather, that bike wrap will provide some piece of mind.
Folks ride all sorts of bikes way up there; but you realize lighter is better... so between tires & weight, your on the verge of seeking excitement.
But hey... you got the adaptive headlight & heated seats! The guy's "buying a used KLR to ride dream trip to alaska"... don't have those!
And that's what makes the BMW bikes & people like you great... many other folk's say "wow" Enjoy the trip Gary, plan & prepare...it can work.
"travel'in" john.... never been up there...... but like you, if I own it & want to go; step aside. The difference between adventure & adversity..
The ride to Alaska is half the fun..... Get to Cody WY - Take Hwy 120 north from Cody to Hwy 296 (Chief Joseph Byway) - Ride the Chief Joseph Byway to the Beartooth Hwy and then over the Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT - Ride from Red Lodge on Hwy 78 to Absarokee and then north to Hwy 12 - Hwy 12 west to Helena then I15 north to exit 200 (6 miles of slab) - west on Hwy 279 over Flesher Pass to Hwy 200 - East to Hwy 287 to Hwy 89, north to Hwy 2 then west thru Glacier Park (or go all the way to St Mary and ride the "Road to the Sun" thru the park) - Hwy 2 to Bonners Ferry ID - North into BC and go to Crawford Bay - ferry (free) to Balfour - then Kaslo, New Denver, Nakusp - North to ferry from Shelter Bay to Galena Bay (free) - Hwy 1 to Hwy 93 (Banff Park) - west on 93 to Jasper (Icefield Parkway)- (Hwy 16 Yellowhead Hwy) - west on Hwy 16 to Kitwanga - Hwy 37 (Cassiar Hwy) to Hyder turn off (side trip to Hyder AK well worth the 80 mile round trip) - Cassiar north to ALCAN vicinity Watson Lake - ALCAN to Whitehorse - Klondike Hwy north from Whitehorse to Dawson City - ferry across the Yukon (free) to the Top of the World Hwy and Taylor Hwy (100+ miles of dirt) thru Chicken Alaska back to ALCAN vicinity Tok - ALCAN to Delta then Richardson Hwy to Fairbanks. Or if you want to avoid the dirt roads, from Whitehorse stay on the ALCAN all the way to Tok. If the timing is right then try to attend Dust 2 Dawson (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830583).
June is the driest month in the interior of Alaska (Fairbanks area). I'd recommend taking at least 4 weeks and leave OH on or about 10 June. Maybe a bit chilly, but tends to be drier and with fewer mosquitos.
The Arctic Circle is at mile 115 of the Dalton Hwy. Much of the 115 miles is paved (at least 70 miles if I remember correctly). The start of the Dalton is at mile 72 of the Elliot Hwy. All of the Elliot up to mile 72 is paved. The start of the Elliot is about 12 miles north of Fairbanks. If you go to the Circle you might as well go on up to Coldfoot at mile 172 and stay the night and get fuel; the other fuel is at the Yukon River (mile 60 of the Dalton) and Hilltop (mile 5 of the Elliot). Checkout the dorms at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for reasonable accommodations. Checkout the Museum of the North on campus and the car museum of of College road.
I used to live in Fairbanks and have been on these roads many times.
Hope you have a great ride!
An Intrepid Incompetent
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
Sounds like a great bucket lister.
I posted a thread here about my trip from Detroit 6/28 to Calgary then over to the west coast then down to LA. My two friends are continuing on to AK. They are riding Harleys and plan on 2 weeks to get there. Not sure how many weeks they're are planning for the return.
I'll watch your post with interest.
Do you have a finalized departure date yet ?
Good lucka nd stay safe.