Regional Discussion Area > Alaska/Hawaii

AK Bike Routes

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Good suggestions by the OP. But, a few clarifications:

1. The Denali Hwy is a very nice road, with great vistas, little traffic, and almost no services. From Paxson (on the Richardson Hwy) to Cantwell (on the Parks Hwy) is only about 130 miles or so, and onto Healy adds another 20 or so. Figure 150 miles one-way, not 350 as the OP wrote (probably a typo).

2. I wouldn't say the Glenn Hwy is "low traffic," unless you are riding it in the winter, early morning or after dinner when all the RVs are parked for the night. It's a beautiful road, though, with lots of varied scenery. Some serious ups and downs, though! I was once driving back to Glennallen from Anchorage and came around a turn and almost plowed into a German bike tourist, who was stopped in the middle of the road on a hill because he was tired. After making sure he was OK, I suggested he might want to move over to the shoulder!

3. Glennallen to Valdez along the Richardson is a great route, really beautiful, especially when you get closer to Valdez. Be sure to swing by the old gold rush town and Native Alaskan village of Copper Center en route.

4. From the Rich Hwy, south of Copper Center, a nice ride (although not "grand" like the Glenn or the Rich to Valdez) is along the Edgerton Hwy to Chitna (paved), and then on the McCarthy Road (dirt) to McCarthy/Kennicott. The McCarthy Rd is not for the ill-prepared, though! You are going right through the middle of Wrangell-St. Elias NP with very few services.

Update on the Copper River Hwy Bike Trip:  Unfortunately, the Copper River Highway is closed until at least 2015.  This mighty river has taken out Bridge 139, one of 20 spanning the many river braids.  When the bridge is replaced, I recommend you rush out there and do the bike ASAP.  The road is expensive to maintain and one day the state may abandon it altogether. 

My Milepost (2005 edition) shows several lodges on the Denali Hwy: Tangle River Inn mp 20, Maclaren River Lodge mp 42 and Gracious House at mp 82. They offer the cycling tourist overnights.  There are camp sites, too.

I just recently found  this part of the forum. Not sure how I missed it 'til now.
Our tour plan starts the way the Alaska Randonneurs Big Wild Ride starts: Railroad to Whittier from Anchorage, ferry to Valdez, tandem road bike up the Richardson to Paxson, the Denali hwy to Cantwell, on to Denali Park. railraod back to Anchorage.
 You Alaska hands can answer a few questions I hope.
What is the grade up to Thompson Pass? Calculation from the topo looks like 8%. Any other noteworthy grades or road features? What should we not miss? How bothersome are the mosquitoes? Where should we eat or avoid--recognizing of course the limited choices? Kackona (sp?) is on our list. And we plan on staying in lodges, etc, not camping. Our daily mileage looks tobe in the 50 to 60 mile range, somewhat less on the Denali Hwy. No  rest days alotted yet. Suggestions for a great place to spend an off day? A great place is priority over the need for a day off the bike.
Recent phone calls to several places on the route have raised our enthusiasm.
Any  thoughts on gear, planning, bike shops, sights to behold,availability of water, prevailing winds would be valued.

Hey there!
This summer I am looking at doing the ride like the moive "Pedal to the Midnight Sun" From Seward to Prudhoe Bay

My question is it better to do it south to north or north to south? What are the earliest or best start dates for each? If possible, I would like to cross the arctic circle on or near the summer solstice.

Also, looking for the best deal for a shuttle to or from Prudhoe Bay/Fairbanks

Any info you guys have would be great



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