I've been that route. Lots of horse flies, and trillions of big, hungry mosquitoes. If you are well prepared, the only thing I might suggest is--extra time, water, and an extra dose of determination. The gravel road was dry, well maintained, and relatively smooth, with few troublesome hills on the way up. On the way back it was a nightmare of slippery, sticky mud for many, many miles. As soon as it rains, the road, especially the northern half, is almost impassible by car or bike. The section south of Peel River, when wet, is the worst as it has natural oil deposits. Fortunately it drys up quickly as soon as the rain stops, and the road crews repair it quickly. The other need for extra time involves the 2 ferries. If it rains for very long, the rivers, especially the Peel, rises quickly and the ferries won't run. You have only the Klondike Inn at the start of the Dempster, Eagle Plains cafe/store/motel/bus stop about half way, Fort Mcpherson (mainly an unfriendly native village) about 4/5 the way, and then Inuvik, which is a surprisingly large town with well stocked stores. It's quite an adventure, have a great, dry trip.
On the way back it was a nightmare of slippery, sticky mud for many, many miles. As soon as it rains, the road, especially the northern half, is almost impassible by car or bike. The section south of Peel River, when wet, is the worst as it has natural oil deposits.
It should be a fun ride. I assume you've gotten information you can from The Milepost. I found that a good source for details about places along the way. My journey from Dawson City to Inuvik was a while ago now, but is documented here: http://www.mvermeulen.com/yukon.html I can second the information about the mud on the road south of Peel River.
I noticed your interest in solving the question of panniers vs. trailers. I have one bit of advice from my last summer's trip on Quebec 389. I had been given the advice to use a trailer by a LBS guy. I had already picked up a Tara Tubus lowrider rack and Deuter bags so it was a moot point. My brother used a Yak Big Tow on a California trip the two of us took a few years ago. He had an issue a couple of times when at speed the trailer kinda pushed him on lines he wasn't actually wanting to follow. If you have a trailer, be careful on downhill curves. Reduce speed. I was using panniers and could easily outdistance him on the CA Rt. 1 downhills.
This past summer's ride gave me experience with lowrider bags for the first time. I needed the extra cargo room because Q 389 requires self-supported riding, much like your plan this summer. Here's the caution from my experience. If you hit loose gravel at high speed the lowriders seem to help the front wheel track straight until speed is significantly reduced, then steering gets a bit squirrely but only the slower you go. With a trailer pushing me into loose gravel I can only think the results would have been significantly more messy. I never regretted not having the trailer from the moment I hit that first pocket of loose gravel at the bottom of a long hill. If you've got a trailer be careful in situations like that.
the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
a little bit of bailing wire never hurts on remote tours.
bring a bandanna for ones neck.
A hatchet is always nice when you're timber cruising but I don't know if you're that type of woodsman. Always fun to work up a big fire after a rainstorm and the only way to the dry wood is with a hatchet or an axe at the middle of things.
[QUOTE=Newspaperguy;12822958] As for the trailer, I've done some test rides with it to see how it will behave. I've also compared the bike handling with panniers to the bike handling with the trailer. [QUOTE]
Will you have any cell phone coverage up north? Say north of Whitehorse? If not, maybe ( Spot ) would be worth a look, so your family and friends at least have an idea as to how things are going.
Cell phone coverage north of Whitehorse is spotty. There are a couple of communities with service, but that's about it. I will, when possible, keep in contact with friends and family in a number of ways.