Author Topic: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico  (Read 1101 times)

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Offline KeepPedalin

Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« on: November 25, 2013, 07:34:17 pm »
In the planning stages for my next tour once i get out of the Navy and plan on cycling from Anchorage to San Fransico.  As far as the route goes i will be using the aca maps for the west coast but curious if anyone has any tips or previous routes they have used for a similar ride.  I know the ACA has the north star tour from missolua to anchorage havent seen any maps on their site for that specific route.  Mostly want to find a good route that will have places with food and water, not worried about hotels as i will be camping and cooking the majority of my meals.  This is my second bicycle tour so im not to new to the touring game any help would be greatly apreciated

Offline mbattisti

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 10:15:12 pm »
for Alaska, the Yukon, BC, and the Northwest Territories, the Milepost, a publication updated yearly, could be your best bet for amenities up north.  Just a little big and heavy to carry the whole thing in your handlebar bag!

Offline KeepPedalin

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 05:57:57 pm »
Looks like something worth looking into.  Ill order it than probably just scan the important parts i want into my laptop or iphone.  I will more than likely have a gps to help navigate along the way as well

Offline karungguni

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 10:23:19 pm »
If you do do the trip would be interested to read a journal of it.

Offline KeepPedalin

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 07:09:40 pm »
I will more than likely do another crazyguyonabike journal again like i did with my first tour.   I wont be doing this one till the spring of 2015 just planning ahead

Offline janetanorth

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2013, 07:33:16 pm »
when you buy "the milepost", they will give you a code that makes their digital version available from their website.
unfortunately, it only reads from south to north- very irritating for those going the other direction.
enjoy!

Offline windrath

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 08:19:06 pm »
Keeppedaling -

In 2005, 8 of us rode from Fairbanks to Vancouver.  The details are at http://www.windrath.info/alcan2005/index.html.

The Milepost is excellent and it is what we used for our planning - wonderfully detailed although some had gone out of business.  You will be on the Al-Can highway for the first part.  At Watson Lake you will have a choice to take the Cassiar Highway instead of staying on the Al-Can.  It is less traffic with a few less services, but awesome scenery.  It is a more direct route than going all the way over to Missoula.

Of course, if you go over to Missoula, you will also see some great areas by Banff and Jasper and the Icefields.

The nice part is there are not many options for roads between Anchorage and the States.  You won't need your GPS.

The bugs are terrible.  The campgrounds are set up for RVs, so your tent is often going to be on hard gravel.  The roads are rough, so your speed will be affected by 2-3 mph.  There are not any huge climbs, but the roads are not flat, so you are going up and down all day long.  We left Fairbanks at the end of Memorial Day weekend and got to Vancouver right around July 4th.  During the first week, we had overnight temps in the mid-20s, so a little chilly rolling out of bed. 

Headwinds were quite strong.  We were told by the locals that sunny weather means headwinds (going north to south) and rainy weather usually means tail winds.  Take your pick.   :)  We only had 3 days of rain.

In June, you will not have a lot of traffic on the Al-Can since most vehicles are going north.  As you get down towards Prince George, you will encounter significant logging traffic going very fast. Just have to be a little careful.

Do not think about going south to north because the traffic will be more challenging and, what climbs there are (around Whistler and Lillooet will be much steeper.

Good Luck - it is a great route to ride.  If you have questions, let me know.

Paul Windrath

Offline KeepPedalin

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 04:57:56 pm »
Hey Paul
Checked out your website from your 2005 tour looks awesome.  Just makes me that more excited for when i can finally do it.  You guys ever do any wild camping or mostly just stay at actual camp site if so how much were they to stay the night.  My last tour way i saved so much money was avoiding campsites and just camping in city parks or just somewhere hidden off the road.   Only fear of doing more wild camping up in alaska and canada is all the wild life and making sure to take all the right precautions that one wont come stumbling around my campsite looking for food.  I ordered the milepost but im currently on deployment in the middle of the ocean so it will take a month or so for me to get my hands on it and really start planning a route.

Offline windrath

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 06:03:58 pm »
KeepPedalin'

We did not wild camp because there were 8 of us and couple of the group wanted the SAG Wagon option, so 2 guys took turns driving the vehicle with a trailer attached (very long story).  Therefore, we needed to stay in campgrounds.  The cost ranged from $5 per night to $50 for the group of 8.  Many of the sites were honor system, so do what your conscious will allow there, I guess.

Having said that, some of the places we stayed sure seemed like wild camping (lol).  Wild camping is going to leave you even more exposed to bugs than a campground/RV site will have. You will want to be able to purify water or have the ability to carry 1-2 gallons with you at all times.

Unlike the US, the towns you will go through are very small and city parks (except in a couple of areas) were non-existent.

If you have access to the internet, you can find a lot of the Milepost info on their website.  You will have to print off things or make notes.

Having done the ride, I would suggest you find someone to ride with you - just in case.  Cell phone service will be spotty at best.  Bears will be prevalent in June.  The Black bears won't be much of a bother, but grizzlies can be.  In early June, you worry about bears.  In late June, as one park ranger told us, you won't worry about the bears because the bugs chased them away.  The Ranger was correct.  If you have a full body mosquito net, bring it!

It was an awesome ride.

Paul

Paul

Offline KeepPedalin

Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 07:43:01 pm »
I have a small water purifier that i will be bringing with me and i plan on picking up a water sack that i can strap to my bike or keep in one of my panniers that can hold about a gallon plus ill have 3 water bottles then probably a couple extra strapped to the rear rack thinking that will be sufficient.  My last tour i tried getting several friends to come along for the ride but all of them backed out.  Its just hard for most people to drop their work and commit to something like that.  I feel more than connfident taking on the challenge solo but it would be nice to have someone to ride and share the experience with.  Nice to see another person from mn into touring.  I havent met anyone else into it around me im from st. cloud