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  1. Default June 15 - August Kentucky to Alaska "Iron Butterfly Tour" on motorcycle!

    I plan to start the trip by using secondary roads were possible and the first week run the great river road up to St. Paul, Mn. I hope to tent camp along the way and stay in motels about every three days. I plan to use Denali as a base camp in Alaska and take day trips out of there. I plan on dropping down into Glacier and then on to Yellowstone on the return trip. And then ofcourse end up at Sturgis during bike week. I would welcome any and all to join me on this tour even for a few days. I plan on riding around 300 miles each day and not kill myself doing it. I look forward to hearing from people who have made part or all of this trip, with suggestions and great camping spots.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    I've done the Alaska Highway, in both directions. You're in for a gorgeous trip. Bear in mind that June and July are rainy seasons along the Hwy, so be prepared for that.

    I would get a copy of The Milepost magazine for 2012, which should be released within the next month or so (if it hasn't been, already). It will give you mile-by-mile and will be worth its weight and bulk. (If you are carrying a Kindle or similar, perhaps there is a version out there for that....I'm not sure since I don't own one of those devices).

    Along the highway, there are so many places to stop that you may stop more often than you think you will. There are also lovely Provincial parks (Canada's "state parks") that are well cared for, and great places to stop. I highly recommend Liard Hot Springs as one of those, if you'd just like to take a good soak. We didn't stay overnight there, but was one of those "ports" we used for lunch and a dip. If we'd have been ready for an overnight spot, that would have been the place!

    Two other places we always recommend: at Dawson Creek, be SURE to do the Alaska Highway museum and film unless you see the Modern Marvels building-the-hwy film before you leave. It will make you appreciate your drive a lot more. The other place is rather tourist-y, but fun: the Sign-Post Forest at Watson Lake.

    We also loved Whitehorse. There, we took a walk along the Yukon River, saw a show which was tourist-y but we enjoyed it, and got groceries. We stayed in a commercial park, but the nearby provincial park looked inviting.

    The only thing that marred our trip, a number of years back, was the rain. We were rained on from the American/Canadian border, all the way up to Whitehorse.

    Our trip was 8 weeks long and included Banff and Lake Louise. I hope you're allowing yourself enough time to REALLY enjoy the trip, and what Alaska has to offer. It's a LONG drive. We've seen people blast through on a speed-run...this is NOT the place for a speed run.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default "Day" Trips

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The problem with Alaska is its shear size. The concept of a 'day trip' limited to 300 miles is pretty much foreign to the mind set up there. There are only a couple of places within that range (out and back) from Healy near the main entrance to Denali. The first is, of course, Fairbanks, but what I'd actually recommend is that you head up that way on one of the days when you're planning on taking a motel room, and spend a couple of days there. The University of Alaska usually has some good shows on the Aurorae, and the riverboat trip, although a bit touristy, is definitely worth the time and money. The other place you should check out is to the south - Talkeetna. This is a very quirky little town (supposedly the inspiration for the TV show 'Northern Exposure') and is the jumping off point for hikers climbing Mount Denali. You can also book a small plane here that will take you up and land on one of the glaciers coming off the mountain.

    A bit farther afield, but worth it if you have the time, is Seward down on the Kenai Peninsula as well as Turnagain Arm, Girdwood and Whittier on the way.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The Milepost

    Your first port of call should be to purchase The Milepost. This publication, which is the bible of all those taking the treck north, is published in March each year. You can place your order now.

    In The Milepost, and with the accompanying map (which is essential), you will find all the information required for all route options; all services available along each route; conditions to be expected; as well as area specific information for sighseeing, history, etc.

    In summer the trek north can be busy, and motorcycles (and bicycles) are by no means a rarety along these routes. Campgrounds, commerical as well as parks, are plentiful. And you will find that the major towns are all about a day's ride apart.

    As already mentioned, Alaska is BIG. And whereas there is plenty to see in Denali NP and Denali SP (great camping!) it is not really a base for day trips to anywhere much. Fairbanks would be a better spot for day trips. (GoNorth is a great hostel here.) But then so would be Anchorage, Homer, Valdez and Seward. All these are great bases for day trips of the surrounding areas. And if the opportunity arises, take a whale and glacier boat tour. They're ever so worthwhile. Back in 2004 we had a humpback and calf breach right in front of our little 18 passenger boat.

    It is a trip on which you will want to take your time, and make sure you absorb all the beauty, remoteness, and everything else the North has to offer.

    Enjoy.

    Lifey

  5. Default Thanks AZBuck

    I also have free places to stay in Fairbanks and Achorage to do day trips out of. Seward is also on my bucket list. I plan on stopping in Fairbanks and then wonder over towards the coast taking in as much as possible, no worry, no hurry.
    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The problem with Alaska is its shear size. The concept of a 'day trip' limited to 300 miles is pretty much foreign to the mind set up there. There are only a couple of places within that range (out and back) from Healy near the main entrance to Denali. The first is, of course, Fairbanks, but what I'd actually recommend is that you head up that way on one of the days when you're planning on taking a motel room, and spend a couple of days there. The University of Alaska usually has some good shows on the Aurorae, and the riverboat trip, although a bit touristy, is definitely worth the time and money. The other place you should check out is to the south - Talkeetna. This is a very quirky little town (supposedly the inspiration for the TV show 'Northern Exposure') and is the jumping off point for hikers climbing Mount Denali. You can also book a small plane here that will take you up and land on one of the glaciers coming off the mountain.

    A bit farther afield, but worth it if you have the time, is Seward down on the Kenai Peninsula as well as Turnagain Arm, Girdwood and Whittier on the way.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Thanks Donna!

  7. Default

    Thanks Lifey!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Which Coast?

    Quote Originally Posted by rugmaniii View Post
    ... then wonder over towards the coast taking in as much as possible, no worry, no hurry.
    Which coast are you planning to head to. If you are planning to go to the coast up north, you will have an opportunity to take in much of what most folk do not ever get to see.... the spectacular Brookes Ranges and the North Slope. And regardless of what they say about that road, it is just another dirt road which can be ridden with care, like any dirt road (in Alaska). We did see motorcycles along it in 2009.

    Might see you up there. :)

    Lifey

    p.s. Is this the same RUGMAN III who was on AOL Instant Message... all those years ago?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The 2012 edition of The Milepost will be released on March 20th, and amazon.com is taking preorders. No Kindle edition, unfortunately.

  10. #10

    Default

    Alaska in June – one thing for sure you won’t be short of daylight.

    If I remember right from my travels the Alaska Hwy runs from Dawson Creek to Tok in Alaska, about 1260 miles. Probably a bit repetitive to take this route all the way both ways – so suggest at Whitehorse, Yukon, take the Klondike Hwy to Dawson, “Top of the World Hwy, Chicken AK to Tok, a very interesting route.

    Dawson is a lively place and home of the Bonanza Creek gold rush area, Top of the World Hwy is wonderful – has the biggest mosquitoes I’ve ever seen and Chicken is a small fun place.

    At Whitehorse a good day side trip is Skagway, on the coast in Alaska, beautiful scenery down the hillside into the town. It is where all the gold rush people landed and made their way along trails to their gold dig sites.

    Iron Butterfly – you are giving your age away.

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