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Planning a trip from Toronto, Ont to Anchorage this summer. Planning well in hand, but I would like to visit Dawson City, Yukon and the Top of The World route to Alaska from there is marked as not paved. I have read various reviews on the route and they are pretty mixed.

I have a 2002 Goldwing and pull a Time Out camper (a good size). I'd hate to miss Dawson, but might not have enough time for everything if I have to double back from Dawson to Whitehorse to get into Alaska. Also, my wife is nervous. Have to admit, the reviews have been so mixed, I'm nervous.

Looking for advice from experienced riders. What is the road surface? what are the risks?

Looking forward to our visit to Alaska and loving the planning!!
 

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Planning a trip from Toronto, Ont to Anchorage this summer. Planning well in hand, but I would like to visit Dawson City, Yukon and the Top of The World route to Alaska from there is marked as not paved. I have read various reviews on the route and they are pretty mixed.

I have a 2002 Goldwing and pull a Time Out camper (a good size). I'd hate to miss Dawson, but might not have enough time for everything if I have to double back from Dawson to Whitehorse to get into Alaska. Also, my wife is nervous. Have to admit, the reviews have been so mixed, I'm nervous.

Looking for advice from experienced riders. What is the road surface? what are the risks?

Looking forward to our visit to Alaska and loving the planning!!
If it is raining on the Taylor Hwy/Top of the World (Alaska side, where it's gravel) even truckers don't like it - it can get slick. But dry you shouldn't have any trouble. As with many gravel roads, it's probably advisable to let the weather forecasts influence your decision.

If you have to miss Dawson City, don't worry, it will just give you time to hit somewhere else that you might have had to sacrifice to get to Dawson. Regardless if you had all summer, you still can't see everything there is to see, so do the best you can, and hope for an opportunity to make another trip... or three. :p
 

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AK Roads

Hi. Jerry here...

As you can tell. I am not from Alaska, but I am up here right now. In a nut shell, the roads up here are much worse than I imagined. Ed and I came up to Prince George, BC to meet up with two guys from California, then the four of us took off for Fairbanks. The roads in the Yukon Territory are a joke. The dirt/gravel roads are much better than the so-called "paved roads". Once we got into AK, they were much, much better, but still not all that good. We left Fairbanks yesterday morning and the only BMW in our group developed an oil leak so we are holed up at the Totem Inn in Healy making repairs. If all goes well with the beemer we will start heading for Anchorage in the morning. I hope the road quality gets better as we get near the city. We bumped into a guy on a KLR headed back south a few days ago. He said he was able to get up the Haul road OK, but it had rained while he was up there and had big trouble getting back. He said the mud was very slippery and dropped his bike while he was trying to get over for an on-coming semi. He said it was so slippery that he couldn't get it picked up without help from the trucker.

And that's another thing... rain. We have been rained on every single day, so make sure you have your rain gear. Also, I would add that you will need a mosquito net for your whole body. A small can of Deep Woods OFF goes for ten bucks up here and worth probably twice that. Bring all you can carry... especially if you intend on camping. We camped one night and have stayed in Hotels ever since. It was worth the extra cost to avoid being eaten alive. If I knew then what I know now I would have left the trailer at home and planned on *not* camping at all.

After going back and reading what I just wrote, it appears as if I am not having a good time. Not true. I am having a blast! I have been around and know you gotta take the good with the bad. Any bike trip is better that work.

Hope this helped.
 
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After going back and reading what I just wrote, it appears as if I am not having a good time. Not true. I am having a blast! I have been around and know you gotta take the good with the bad. Any bike trip is better that work.

Hope this helped.[/quote]
Jerry, the road south from healy is much better than the road to Healy from Fairbanks. Not near as many frost heaves. Deep Woods Off works quite well in down town Anchorage. About 30 minutes outside of Anchorage though, you find yourself in Alaska. For that you want Bens 100% deet. It comes in a small orange bottle with a black cap. It is a liquid, kinda messy putting it on, but it works! Ask the person behind the desk at the Totem and he/she should be able to tell you where to find it in town. If you can't find it prior to Wasilla, I know you can get it there. After passing Wasilla Lake, on your left, you'll come to a stop light. The hwy heads up hill just past the light. As you start going up look to your left. There is a Sportsman Warehouse there. They will have Bens.
BTW, Dairy Queen just opened in Anchorage about 2 years ago. If you need good ice cream stop in Houston. That's the first place after Willow, not to far from Wasilla. As you come into town you can look in front of you and see folks leaving town. It's not real big. There will be a string of shops on the right side. You're looking for Millers. It's in about the middle. It's a small town version of a 7-11. They also sell burgers, dogs and some of the best soft ice cream you'll find in Alaska.
Get the Bens, I guarantee it will help. Hope you enjoy the rest of your ride.
 
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Hi. Jerry here...

The roads in the Yukon Territory are a joke. The dirt/gravel roads are much better than the so-called "paved roads".
They did some wonderful things when they paved the ALCAN. It is now straighter, wider and they have gone around mountains you used to have to climb and decsend. However, I have to agree, I don't like the pavement. I much preferred it back in the 60s. Yeah, the mud was butt deep during break up and almost as bad in fall, but you didn't have to worrry about frost heaves.
 

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From Chicken you've got about 65 miles on the Taylor to Tetlin Junction and back on the Alcan.
Good memory! This sign is at Tetlin Jct -


And a person's perspective of the road conditions change between coming north, seeing the frost heaves for the first time, and heading back south after enduring hundreds of miles of them. After many, many trips back and forth, all my vehicles have beefed up suspensions to accommodate our "interesting" roads. Came across this sign just recently -

A closer look at the sign above reveals that somebody took a piece of black tape and added the first "1" to make the sign more accurately predictive of actual conditions. :lol:
When I accompany riders to Deadhorse, they almost always ride slowly and cautiously going north. But by the time they turn around for the trip back to Fairbanks, they are usually going twice as fast. Hard to convince most of them, but they are riding safer on the way south than going north, thanks to the extra stability that comes with the increased speed.
 

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Planning a trip from Toronto, Ont to Anchorage this summer. Planning well in hand, but I would like to visit Dawson City, Yukon and the Top of The World route to Alaska from there is marked as not paved. I have read various reviews on the route and they are pretty mixed.

I have a 2002 Goldwing and pull a Time Out camper (a good size). I'd hate to miss Dawson, but might not have enough time for everything if I have to double back from Dawson to Whitehorse to get into Alaska. Also, my wife is nervous. Have to admit, the reviews have been so mixed, I'm nervous.

Looking for advice from experienced riders. What is the road surface? what are the risks?

Looking forward to our visit to Alaska and loving the planning!!
So did you make the trip? I made it three years ago and it was a great. Daughter is bugging me to do it again next summer before I get to old and worn out. Roads are rough but not a real problem as long as they aren't wet. Didn't find out until I got back but they mix a soap substance with the gravel / dirt base they put down, I think to stabilize it. Once wet, it is slicker than anything you have ever ridden on. Least wise it was for me. Went down on Haul Road,,,, like grease. On the way from Anchorage to Tok, we had heavy rain and in the banked left curves, starting all the way at the top, we would slide all the way across the on coming lane to the bottom. No way to stop it even at slow speeds. If you are one that likes a clean shiny bike, be advised that a wash job is not going to get it back to where it was before you made the trip. Pretty much takes a disassembly to get it clean.

As for risks, I guess if you are riding alone, is going down in some remote area without help. But I would have no problem doing it. Stop for gas before you need to. We were using the Milepost but ran across multiple stations that were closed. The guys with the trailers got down to fumes a couple of times. I had a couple of spare bottles of gas but never needed them.

Here are some pics of the trip,,, the one titled Alaska will show road to Chicken. http://tytex.net/
 

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Planning a trip from Toronto, Ont to Anchorage this summer. Planning well in hand, but I would like to visit Dawson City, Yukon and the Top of The World route to Alaska from there is marked as not paved. I have read various reviews on the route and they are pretty mixed.

I have a 2002 Goldwing and pull a Time Out camper (a good size). I'd hate to miss Dawson, but might not have enough time for everything if I have to double back from Dawson to Whitehorse to get into Alaska. Also, my wife is nervous. Have to admit, the reviews have been so mixed, I'm nervous.

Looking for advice from experienced riders. What is the road surface? what are the risks?

Looking forward to our visit to Alaska and loving the planning!!
A friend and I rode to Alaska from Mississippi in July, The roads in the Yucon and Alaska are terrible....rough is not good enough to say about them...lots of maintenance....dust, mud rocks in the road etc. Not many courtious folks out there.....IF you take your time, and air compressor/patch kit, you will enjoy the trip!! Be safe the weather changes by the mile......
 

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I hadda chuckle at AK Oldman's post about Miller's in Houston. When we lived up there, that was one of our favorite places to stop, and after a GWRRA meeting of Ch. M in Wasilla, we would ride to Miller's for ice cream. There's also a Little Miller's ice cream place at the intersection of Bogard and Seldon Rds. But you have to get off the beaten path to get there.

I do have to say, if you think Alaska roads are bad now, you should have seen them 30+ years ago! Alaska is hard on roads because of the temperature extremes. New smoothly paved road this fall will be poor road after breakup next Spring. Sigh. Guess this is really job security for the DOT.
 

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They did some wonderful things when they paved the ALCAN. It is now straighter, wider and they have gone around mountains you used to have to climb and decsend. However, I have to agree, I don't like the pavement. I much preferred it back in the 60s. Yeah, the mud was butt deep during break up and almost as bad in fall, but you didn't have to worrry about frost heaves.
:agree:
 

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If the weather is bad

I don't know why nobody else came up with this. You'll have a second chance to hit Dawson City on the way back! I rode this a couple of years ago and the Canadian side was great but the Alaskan side was the pits. We were both pulling camping trailers and did around 45mph in Canada and 25-30mph in Alaska. I would suggest not be in a hurry and enjoy the scenery as it is fantastic!!
 

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everyone seems to have a different opinion about the roads up there

i thought they were mostly pretty decent but we were lucky and didn't have much rain
 

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I was up in 07 and ran into Cycledude a couple times and I agree I though the roads were in good shape. They are not lower 48 interstates but its Alaska and better than I expected. We went up the first of June trying to miss most of the rainy season and it worked
 

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I lived up there for 51 years, and I can tell you that the roads now are wonderful compared to what they were in the past. At least they are constantly working on them to improve them. Unfortunately, Mother Nature seems to have taken a different point of view and blesses that part of the country with extreme weather that wreaks havoc on the roads. So we put up with the frost heaves and patches of broken pavement. The roads in Alaska, in the broad scheme of things, aren't really all that bad--just not as good as other places in the "lower 48." So don't avoid going to Alaska because of tales about the roads. Just go up there and enjoy it.
 

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ALCAN and Alaska Roads

I am from and living in Alaska. I ride a 2005 Goldwing. As far as the ALCAN goes, the roads are mainly chip seal surfaces and are affectionately reffered to as "Hell's Sandpaper". I have made a run to Penticton, BC on the ALCAN and Casiar Highways in Summer of 2009 and 2008. You will need a new set of tires when you get home! This chip seal creates a tremendous amount of vibration as you ride on it. Watch you vibration dampers on you handle bars. I have lost three of them. There is no shortage of construction projects along lengthy stretches, sometimes, up to thirty miles long. Be able to handle your bike in deep, uncompacted D1 gravel. Frost heaves are numerous, especially between Whitehorse and the Alaskan border. Dirt bike experience is a plus . . .be able to read the terrrain in front of you in advance! Your trip should be quite the adventure for you both!

Alaska Dan
 

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I lived up there for 51 years, and I can tell you that the roads now are wonderful compared to what they were in the past.
:agree:

Way better than my first trip over the Alcan in '62, and a trip two of my buddies took from Michigan to Fairbanks in '63 - on their Harleys.

Been up and back countless times on my Suzuki, Concours, and GL1800 without any problems - other than the time I went down on my Concours. The snow on top of ice... on a hill that was steeper than it looked at the time... might have had something to do with that. ;)

Just be prepared to take it easy in the rough stuff, and to watch the surface for gravel, potholes, breaks - as well as scanning the sides of the road for critters that can ruin your day, if not your entire trip.
 
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