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Alaska: Anchorage to Haines in July. Advice?

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Alaska: Anchorage to Haines in July. Advice?

Old 06-24-13, 09:33 AM
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Alaska: Anchorage to Haines in July. Advice?

Howdy folks! 3 of us are heading up to Anchorage on July 1 for a month. At first we were thinking about a loop but now we are considering this one-way

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=A...m&z=6&lci=bike

Does this route seem reasonable?

Probably going to take a plane back from Juneau since the Marine Highway System is a bit slow and expensive.

I have been scouring this site and crazyguyonabike.com for suggestions but was wondering if anyone had anything they'd like to add to the mix to make this whole process smoother.

From what I can tell the weather could be anywhere from 40 to 90 degrees F. Bugs could be anywhere from "Holy crap" to "no problemo". Rain might be daily or not so much. Seems like the general advice is "prepare for anything".

We are also considering trying to get down to Homer as the peninsula has a reputation for being pretty darn scenic.

Thanks!
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Old 06-24-13, 11:01 AM
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I don't know that any of these will be of use to you but here are 15 links to information about bike touring in Alaska.
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Old 06-24-13, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for the link! I saw that on an earlier thread but it is worth revisiting as there is a lot of good information in there.
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Old 06-24-13, 02:51 PM
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The section along Kluane Lake is long and exposed, so headwinds can be very frustrating (only part of riding from Fairbanks to Chetwynd B.C. I really disliked) At the south end of the lake is a huge fan of floodplain gravel a few miles across. If the winds are strong, you will notice what will look like smoke from a forest fire, well before reaching there, but it is dust. It is best to wait until the winds are calm (early morning, or into the evening) before riding across that fan.

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Old 06-24-13, 03:03 PM
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I have ridden from Haines to Kenai which is south of Anchorage but on a motorcycle and it was in 1980. As I recall our trip was close to 1000. We did it in late May and the mountain passes in the Yukon were cold and snowy. I assume you will be on the AlCan which as I recall was dirt (mud) in the Yukon but pavement in the Alaskan portions. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It will be tough on a bicycle ride and I wish you luck.
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Old 06-24-13, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by robert schlatte
I have ridden from Haines to Kenai which is south of Anchorage but on a motorcycle and it was in 1980. As I recall our trip was close to 1000. We did it in late May and the mountain passes in the Yukon were cold and snowy. I assume you will be on the AlCan which as I recall was dirt (mud) in the Yukon but pavement in the Alaskan portions. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It will be tough on a bicycle ride and I wish you luck.
It's all a great paved highway now, and a lot of the narrow, windy sections have been eliminated.
I cycled the Al-Can in 2 phases, Fairbanks to Watson Lake in 1999, and Watson Lake to Chetwynd in 2001.
The only gravel sections were under construction. I had absolutely no road surface problems at all.

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Old 06-24-13, 06:56 PM
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It is good to hear that the Canadian section has been paved. In the spring, road crews sprayed it with a substance that dried to a hard uniform surface. When it was wet, however, the road surface was a muddy mess that made keeping our cycles upright difficult. At the time, I heard that the US government offered to pay for the paving but Canada rejected the offer because they did not want to be burdened by the maintenance expense. I would love to get back to that part of the world.
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Old 06-24-13, 11:15 PM
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Big Lew - Thanks for the tip! We are always looking to avoid headwinds. Never heard about that lake before either.
Also, it is excellent to hear that things are paved. I think generally we will be geared for pavement, but are taking widish tires.

Robert- Sounds like you had some adventures. Hope you can get back there soon.

I have never done much fishing in my life before but am curious about the opportunities up there. Sounds like you need a permit.
I want to catch a fish and eat it!
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Old 06-30-13, 12:14 AM
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Only a couple days until your scheduled departure, but I figured I'd post anyhow.

I don't know much about that section itself, but a buddy and I rode through the Teslin, Whitehorse, Carcross, Skagway area. Highly recommended. If you are open to changing your route, I'd consider going through that area. There are some beautiful spots in that area, and the ride from Carcross to Skagway is breathtaking. Probably the most beautiful day of riding I can ever remember.

Also, this is coming up: https://www.teslintlingitheritage.com...ion/index.html
Granted, I'm biased cause I am Tlingit and thus partial to such events, but experiencing new things is often a part of touring. I'll be up at that event, and I know a lot of people will be camping out for it anyhow (myself and a bunch of friends included), so you'd fit right in.

Modifying the route you posted to include this area would bring your mileage in the range of 1,350 - 1,500, depending on which way you wanted to go (Dawson v. no Dawson). You could theoretically attend the event, and ride down to Skagway, take the ferry to Juneau and fly out within the month time frame you mentioned.

Just some thoughts. Let me know if you have any questions. If not, best of luck with your trip.
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