Originally Posted by jcman01
I bought a 2012 copy of the MilePost a couple of weeks ago.. I'll get a later version sometime in the future.
Curious to know how long it took you to go, each way, and how much time you spent in Alaska. Do the motels and campsites on the AlCan fill up at night?
When travelling on the Interstate, I sometimes have trouble finding a vacancy at any decent hotel. Driving back East from New Mexico, there were some motels that made me wish I had a shell on my truck, after being turned away from the better hotels due to no vacancy.
If I understood you correctly, you think the Cassiar is more scenic?
I've been to most states in the U.S. My goal is to hit all of them. Maybe I should expand that to include all Canadian provinces, too.
Well, we've pretty well hijacked this thread, haven't we?;)
I spent the first two weeks of the trip riding in Colorado and South Dakota with my riding partner. He headed back to work and I went north. I flopped in Calgary, rode up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper and followed 16, the Yellowhead Hwy, to Prince George. We'll call that day 1. I flopped at the Prince Motel, a decent, reasonably priced motel. Not fancy, but clean. Next day, I continued on 16 to Kitwanga, the junction with the Cassiar Hwy and rode up to Meziadin Junction where 37A runs down to Stewart and Hyder. That's a spectacularly beautiful road. I spent the night in Hyder, AK. So that's day 2. Stewart has a campground and a couple of motels and the only gas station in the area, but it's in BC, so it's expensive and heavily taxed. Hyder, on the other hand, has no taxes, no gas station and rooms in the local bar. I've stayed there twice and enjoyed it. Next day, I rode the rest of the Cassiar to the junction with the Alcan, then headed east a few miles to Watson Lake, where I flopped at the Air Force Lodge. The highway runs along a beautiful mountain range and crosses the continental divide at Dease Lake. Watson Lake has a grocery, gas stations, camping, cabins, a couple of motels and restaurants. So that's day 3. Day 4 took me to Haines Junction. Flopped at the Cozy Motel. Decent room, coffee maker, fridge, no wifi. The more upscale places were booked. The town has gas, camping, motels, cabins and a really nice bakery/coffee shop. On day 5, I made the run to Tok. After Haines Junction the road begins to deteriorate. Beyond Destruction Bay, there are lots of frost heaves. Didn't slow me down much on the motorcycle, but the RVers were having a rough time. Tok has everything you need. Best place to eat is Fast Eddies. Day 5 was really a half day because I was ready for a break.
On the way back, I rode from Fairbanks to Haines Junction, then Watson Lake, then to just east of Dawson Creek. From there, I made a side trip up to Yellowknife, but could have made it home in about 6 days.
So, on a motorcycle, 10 days each way is probably reasonable. In a Taco, you can do longer days, so it shouldn't take as long. I had camping gear, but I'm an old geezer and would prefer not to sleep on the ground, so my daily runs were planned so that I could be where there was a good chance of finding a room. A motorcycle has somewhat limited fuel range and there are some long stretches without fuel, so you have to pay attention. In a Taco, it wouldn't be an issue. With respect to places being booked up, it wasn't a problem for me because I got on the road early and quit early each day. My body was running on east coast time, so that was easy. Places did tend to fill up later. I think I spent about 10 days in AK and found that there was plenty left to see next time. If you have the time, spend every bit of it that you can; there's lots to see. I spent about 6 weeks on the road and covered 15,000 miles.