Author Topic: Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington  (Read 10802 times)

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Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« on: October 21, 2007, 04:07:51 pm »
 Hello we are researching riding from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington (May/June 2008) and want to know what route options are available, what "don't miss" tractions are there, how many kilometers it is, and how long it takes to do it at a slowish pace?


Tim and Cindie Travis
Traveling since 2002

Bicycle Touring Continuously Since 2002 - no plans to stop

Offline litespeed

Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 12:01:38 pm »
The northern part of this trip isn't particularly scenic but once you get down into Alberta and B.C. it gets truly spectacular. Jasper and Banff parks have about the most impressive scenery on earth and I've been to about 60 countries.
Google "Alcan Highway" for general information. You could e-mail Tom Snyders (, the travelling bicycling comedian, and ask him for his impressions. He did Prudhoe Bay to Key West a number of years ago.

Offline biker_james

Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 08:33:40 am »
I have to agree, the Icefields parkway between Banff and Jasper is spectacular, and worth seeing even if the aarea seems like a real tourist trap.
You could certainly take the Alaska Highway down to its beginning in Dawson Creek, BC. Then its just across the border to Grande Prairie, Alberta, and south through Grande Cache and Hinton and into Jasper National Park. South through Jasper to Banff national Park, and then continue through into Kootenay National Park, which is back in BC. Hwy 3 across southern BC is a beautiful ride out to the coast.
My wife and I rode from the coast (Vancouver Island, actually) along Hwy 3, and through the 3 National Parks and ended out trip in Jasper this year. We thought it was spectacular. We have also done the section from Fort St. John on the Alaska Highway through to Hinton, which is on the eastern edge of Jasper Ntl Park. That was also a great ride.
The ride from the Coast to Jasper along Hwy 3 took us most of the 3 weeks we had for holidays, and I think came out to about 1450km.  Going by memory, I think from Fort St. John to Hinton would be about 550 km, and the Alaska Hwy from Fort ST. John north to Fairbanks would be about 2400 km. A little computer work tell me that going this route would be a total of about 4600 km (2875 miles), give or take a couple.
Are you planning on spending time back home in the States for a while, or just a pit stop on your tour? You might find this area of yur trip more remote, and less inhabited than most of the areas you have cycled. Things tend to be quite a ways apart in the north.
The other option is to take the Stewart Cassiar highway, go to Prince Rupert, and ferry down the Coast to Vancouver Island. If you do tht, let me know and I'll be sure our spare room is ready whnen you come through Nanaimo.

Offline brad

Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 02:11:13 pm »
isnt this the polar star route?

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline windrath

Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 10:34:47 pm »
Hi Tim & Cindie -

I rode from Fairbanks (AK) to Vancouver (BC) in 2005.  The suggestions of getting to Banff and Jasper take you all the way to the eastern side of BC and western edge of Alberta - very far off the most direct route.  If you have the time, it is an excellent ride though.

The most direct route from Anchorage will be to head east on Hwy 1 to Tok and then east on the Al-Can Highway.  The ride on Hwy 1 is supposed to be awesome.  From Tok eastward, it is lovely riding although the rough shoulder slows you down.  Almost all is paved.  In good weather, there was headwinds if you are going north to south.  In rainy weather, the opposite is the case.  In early June, we encountered overnight lows in the upper 20s or low 30s.  Kluane Mtns are awesome.

If you want adventure, head south on Hwy 37 at Watson Lake.  It is the Cassiar Highway (also known as Grizzly Alley) and 400+ miles of remote and beautiful riding.  Not the easiest riding, but generally safe and little traffic.  There are unpaved sections that slow you down, but all are doable.

At the southern end of the Cassiar, you connect with the Yellowhead highway that takes you east and the traffic picks up into Prince George.  Take Hwy 97 south out of Prince George until you get to Clinton where you will head west again towards Lilloett.  From Clinton to Windsor and into Vancouver, the riding is extreme and as awesome as anything you will see.

By extreme, I mean 13% grades for 10 miles west out of Lilloett.  At the end of the day though, there was 8 miles of 15% descent - wow!  At 51, I was the youngest of the group and everyone made the grade - no pun intended.  :)

Our ride was 2,200 miles and we covered it in 35 days with 2 rest days.  All camping.  You can go to for the details or e-mail me back.  The only real drawback was traffic was fierce for the second half of the ride.  

Good Luck - it is an excellent adventure.

Offline windrath

Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2007, 10:36:23 pm »
Hi Again -

As you start planning this trip, get yourself to the library or order a copy of The Milepost.  It details every mile of the roads throughout BC, Alberta, and Alaska and can help alot with trip planning.

It is worth the investment of $30-40 USD.

Paul Windrath