Wil & Mark Go To Alaska

June 2022

Wil Smith and Mark Goodrich took off for a month long trek to Alaska on June 8th, working their way north, taking scenic roads to Fredonia, AZ.  Crossing into Canada at Sweet Grass, Montana they continued on to Calgary, Alberta.  After several riding days they reached the Alcan Highway in Dawson Creek, B. C.  The weather cooperated until two and half days of drenching rain, yet it did not hinder the progress.  The rivers were cresting in many areas but no delays.

 

There were numerous black bears, bison, big horn sheep and a few caribou and moose along the way.  Only one grizzly and one brown bear was sighted along side the road.  Beautiful roads most of the way with snow capped mountains, colorful water and a welcome hot springs along the way.  After some extended construction zones and chip seal projects, we made our destination - Dawson City, Yukon for the 30th Anniversary of the Dust to Dawson Moto Meetup.  This event attracted 200+ riders from all parts of Canada, U.S. and beyond.  Dawson City, an old mining town on the Yukon River, comes to life in the summer, yet, there are winter events as well.  ADV riders spent three days sharing stories, cleaning and maintaining their bikes, frequenting the various establishments, culminating in a series of bike games and poker runs.  The event was capped by the midnight photo shoot and handing out of the Dust to Dawson bike stickers….these are coveted by attendees.  

 

Leaving Dawson City via a short ferry ride, the next riding day was the Top of the World road from Dawson City to Tok, Alaska.  A border crossing was required in a beautiful yet remote area on top of the mountain, then on to the infamous Chicken, AK and on into Tok.  The Top of the World road is partly paved, but mostly packed gravel, which is easily managed.  

 

Our final destination of Fairbanks, Alaska was an easy ride culminating in a four day family visit.  After routine maintenance at a local motorcycle dealership, we moved south.  Highway 37 from just west of Dawson Creek, was perhaps the most beautiful part of the ride.  Stunning snow capped mountains, beautiful lakes, glacier in Stewart as a side trip and the general countryside vistas made the month long ride well worth it.  Riding the Stewart-Cassiar Highway to Jasper and south to Banff, was just not doable due to the heavy rain and clouds, however, the ride to Kamloops on the west side of the mountains was beautiful and easy despite a heavy weather system that passed through.  After an unsettled night from a motel fire and a middle of the night evacuation, we exited Kamloops early the next morning.

 

Returning to the U.S. was a great ride through some picturesque countryside and small towns crossing at Osoyoos, B.C.  We finally made our way back to Tucson via Idaho, Montana, and Utah.  

 

Mileage:  Total 8,100+

Days:  approx. 1 month

Gas:  Available, never had to use extra cans.  Some stops only had regular.  Costs - BIG.  $6 to $8+ U.S.  Equal to or higher than California.

Camping/Lodging:  Due to heavy rain and saturated ground our camping was limited in some parts of the ride.  Motels were available but some areas like Whitehorse, YT and Teslin were limited or non-existent.  Other than that, lodging was available.

Road Conditions:  Basically good.  Construction areas varied - some gravel and dust and others gravel and some mud. In two instances 15 kilometers long, others, chip seal with sections of packed gravel.

 

 

A must do ride in your life, IF, you’re able.  

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