Trek to Alaska
21 Days / 20 Nights
4913 miles / 7860 km
Highlights of Trek to Alaska
Highlights of the tour include Jasper National Park, Anchorage, Seward, a Glacier Wildlife Cruise, Haines Junction, Skagway and much MUCH more!
Ridinwithstyle is very excited to offer a ride to Alaska. When we did the planning for this trip, we kept in mind that a high percentage of people who visit Alaska will only do it once in their lifetime, so we've included an action-packed 21 day 5000 mile journey that covers the entire state.
We've called it a "trek" to exemplify the Gold Rush in 1896-1899. There was an immigration of an estimated 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region to seek their fortune. Indeed, it was a trek for both the successful and those less fortunate
Our route takes us north to mile zero of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, BC. This piece of Canadian history was constructed in 1942. The completely paved road was built for the purpose of connecting the USA to Alaska through Canada.It stretches in length to 1390 miles, and was opened to the public in 1948. Scenic views of towering mountains, sparkling glaciers, and waterways are abundant along this historic highway as well as up-close encounters with wildlife such as sheep, eagles, and moose.
Hwy 97 stretches north to Fort Nelson then swings west to Watson Lake, Yellowknife Territories. This town holds many attractions one being the Signpost Forest that was started in 1942, a spectacle to see. Travelling northwest, we enter into Alaska, a state with an astounding amount of attractions, too numerous to mention. The excursion we have chosen for this trip is a cruise on a yacht to view the stunning sites of glaciers calving into the ocean. It will leave you with a memory that will last your lifetime. We must not forget the numerous sites and scenic routes the Yukon and British Columbia also have to offer as this trip makes a loop which covers a lot of country along the way. Our last stop for souvenirs will be Jasper, then on to Calgary, Alberta for our farewell supper and reminisce about the experience we have just enjoyed.
DAY 1 — Calgary AB — 0 miles / 0 km
Day 1 is your arrival day in beautiful Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Airport YYC). Calgary is known for the longest running outdoor rodeo the Stampede. Participants travel from all over the world to participate with large prize money divided amongst winners. This is where it gets its slang handle "Cow Town". Don't let that fool you - Calgary has a perfect combination of western cowboy country trails to a modern culture that boasts a high occupancy of the provinces' large corporate head offices that make the downtown core their home. With lots to do and offer Calgary is a stone's throw away from the Rocky Mountains, where our tour winds through for a full motorcycle adventure. Upon arrival you will hop on the hotel shuttle and have the day to enjoy all there is to do in the city, or just relax in the hotel pool until the group meets in the hotel ballroom, to enjoy a welcoming meal compliments of ridinwithstyle. We will then introduce ourselves and do an orientation for the upcoming trip.
Day 2 — Calgary AB to Jasper AB — 257 miles / 414 km
After a relaxing sleep in anticipation for the "Trek to Alaska" we pick up the bikes across the street from the hotel and head west to the Rockies. Once outside the city limits, the Mountain View begins, while riding thru the foothills on the four lanes you won't be able to keep your eyes off the mountain peaks which are normally snow covered this time of the year. The beauty of the Canadian Rockies is indescribable, not to mention the smells of the crisp mountain air.
Stopping for pictures at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are a must. Even a novice photographer can take incredible pics at these spectacular anomalies.
Back on Highway 93 north which is one of the most scenic tracks Alberta has to offer, we make a stop at the Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Chute Falls. Jasper is then just around the corner for the nights' stop at some rustic cabins.
Day 3 — Jasper AB to Dawson Creek BC — 326 miles / 525 km
We leave the famous Jasper, Alberta travelling west until the route turns 90 degrees north to take us through William Switzer Provincial Park. This is undisturbed wild land on the northern doorstep of the Rockies which is pure eye candy. Enjoy the foothills, meadows, evergreen and aspen forests, glacial lakes and wetlands.
When the road turns west at Grand Prairie you will see the only grain and agriculture farming area on this trek. Farmers face a short growing season to harvest these crops. It is not hard to notice this city relies on the oil and forest industry to provide a healthy living for its residents. Obvious with the sites of residential dwellings that line the outskirts of the city which would be dream homes for the average Canadian?
As we enter Dawson Creek, we will stop for a picture taking session at the monument "Mile 0" of the Alcan Highway and visiting an art gallery which holds much of the history behind the building of this engineering marvel. The journey now begins on the magnificent "Alcan".
Day 4 — Dawson Creek BC to Fort Nelson BC — 282 miles / 453 km
We begin our journey on the Alaska Highway; the area as we leave Dawson Creek is rich with oil. The highway for the first 75 miles is usually busy with oilfield trucks and tankers, soon the highway is ours and the heavily treed forest is surrounding us. The roads are in great shape but one has to keep an eye out for bear along the way as they are plentiful in this area. One of our first stops is the Kiskatinaw Bridge - mile 21. A 531 ft. curved structure, one of the first of its kind in Canada. It is the only original timber bridge built along the highway still in use. At mile 148 is suicide hill an awesome decent with spectacular views. Not that dangerous though! The importance of planning out gas stops has begun.
We are officially in North Country and settle for the evening in Fort Nelson.
Day 5 — Fort Netlson BC to Watson Lake YT — 319 miles / 513 km
This 300 mile stretch of the Alaska Highway is considered by many to be the most scenic part of the highway. Summit Lake is the highest elevation on the entire highway and Muncho Lake and its turquoise colors is simply beautiful. The highway winds along the lake for 12 km and gives unparalleled views of the blue green waters. The color is attributed to copper oxide leaching into the lake. The wildlife is so abundant that you will quit stopping to photograph after numerous photo opportunities. Bear, buffalo and sheep are a common site.
A stop at Liard River Hot springs with its natural hot water river, leaves you wondering how Mother Nature heats this water to a temperature almost unbearable. The pools are set to salsify everyone to their perfect so desired temperatures.
Before the day is finished we cross the border into the magic and mysterious Yukon.
Day 6 — Watson Lake YT to Whitehorse YT — 272 miles / 438 km
With plenty to see and do in Watson Lake a couple of stops should include, a trip to the department store which is a small store with everything you can imagine in it, along with the sign post forest. Most likely this towns' most favorite attraction. It all started in 1942 when Carl Lindley, a homesick soldier while working on the Alaskan Highway erected a sign and pointed it towards his hometown of Danville, IL. The collection of signs is constantly added to each year by visitors who wish to promote their hometown. The forest now contains over 72,000 unique signs.
Trekking north we again enjoy the sites Yukon has to offer. Viewing some large beautiful clear lakes Teslin and Marsh Lake to name a few. Carrying a fishing pole may be a good idea. Fuel and lunch stop in Teslin is a popular thing to do judging from the number of guests that stop there.
Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon is our place of rest for the evening.
Day 7 — Whitehorse YT to Tok, AK — 386 miles / 622 km
Travelling north from Whitehorse in the distance you can see the Wrangell-St Elias mountain range protruding to the sky. This mountain range contains many of Canada's highest peaks. One includes Mount Logan which stands the tallest at 19,551 ft., it is also the second highest peak in North America after Mount McKinley.
Haines Junction is the gateway to Kluane National Park covering 22,000 square kilometers. It is also home to Kluane Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Settling into Tok for the night, what we encountered today is only the start, in the days to come we will encounter everything Alaska has to offer.
Day 8 — Tok AK to Fairbanks AK — 202 miles / 326 km
On this day we complete the last leg of the Alaskan Highway. Delta Junction is host to a monument Milepost to mark the end of the historic roadway. Before turning onto the Richardson Highway a stop at the Buffalo center Drive Inn for a snack or just a soft ice cream or both.
Onto Fairbanks where a visit to our first Harley store on our route, to buy a Harley T-shirt just because that's what Harley lovers do!!!!
After checking into our hotel for the night a short walk over to the Pioneer Park Museum for a true Alaskan Salmon Bake. It is an experience not to be missed.
Day 9 — Fairbanks AK to Healy AK — 113 miles / 180 km
Traveling south, this route was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2009. It takes you through some of the greatest scenery that Alaska has to offer. The George Parks Highway provides the most direct access to Denali National Park home of Mount Denali which stands 20,320 ft and is North Americas highest peak. We will give the bikes a rest and take a bus excursion to near the base of the magnificent mountain here. Breathless picture views await us.
Day 10 — Healy AK to Wasilla AK — 205 miles / 328 km
Our trip today continues south on the Parks Highway with many views of the Alaska Mountain Range and many other small interesting spots to stop along the way. We end the day in a small community of Wasilla AK. Lots to discuss about the visit to the National Park. There is more to come!
Day 11 — Wasilla AK to Valdez AK — 267 miles / 427 km
At the halfway point of our trip, this day is a 267 mile ride that includes one of the most unnoticed and unadvertised scenic drives in Alaska, including the Chugach mountains and Worthington glacier, one of the only that you can actually drive up to.
At the Glen Allen Junction starts the Richardson Highway that leads to Valdez. This highway was the first route known to gold seekers in 1898 as the Valdez to Eagle trail. A great paved road that has motorcycle riders smiling each and every mile. Thompson pass is a relatively low elevation pass but you wouldn't know it as the cool temperatures and the dive in altitude when descending into the last stretch of highway into Valdez. We rate it has the top stretch of Highway on this 21 day trek. This town is often referred to as "Little Switzerland".
Day 12 — Glacier Wildlife Cruise — 0 miles / 0 km
RidinwithStyle is very excited to offer an amazing excursion that will allow wildlife viewing and the famous Columbia Glacier. Experience spectacular calving events; see for yourself as the ice falls into the sea causing thunderous explosions and massive plumes of spray.
This is a very sought after tour on one of the most prestigious yachts in the Valdez Harbour. No need to worry over rough waters as the route has calm protected waters on the Prince William Sound.
Day 13 — Valdez AK to Tok AK — 253 miles / 408 km
After a deserved day off the bikes, we gear up and reunite with the Highway again.
The reverse trip is a whole new trip on a bike. The sites you missed are seen on the return trip. The section that we backtrack is a motorcycle dream road. Many moose can be seen throughout Alaska but the second half of this stretch is a moose haven with lots of marsh areas that the moose love. We will need to pay attention to the ditches as we enjoy the road.
Day 14 — Tok AK to Haines Junction YT — 290 miles / 467 km
We travel south of Tok and cross the US/Canada border and enter Yukon. With Alaska getting a lot of our attention we seem to forget about the beautiful province of Yukon. This province has a very unique history and much to offer tourists.
The famous Klondike Gold Rush began after gold was discovered near Dawson City Yukon in 1896. The second major event in the Yukon's' history was the construction of the Alaska Highway during WWII. It also boasts the incredible St. Elias Mountains which span to include Wrangell St Elias National park in the USA. the Kluane National park in Canada and includes all of Glacier Bay National park in Alaska. The range also contains the highest mountain in Canada which is Mount Logan. We can't view this mountain from the Alcan, but there are many snow covered peaks that stretch into the blue sky.
We have now reached our destination, Haines Junction Yukon, yet another great day on two wheels.
Day 15 — Haines Junction YT to Skagway AK — 168 miles / 270 km
This 160 mile trip today is a pretty drive. Kathleen Lake is a striking view with clear waters casting shadows of the mountains in the background. Our first stop is the Million Dollar Falls, gorgeous but yet so powerful.
The Kluane National Park is one of the most beautiful that you will witness. The gorgeous lakes and snow covered peaks will leave you speechless, when will it stop, Alaska is full of eye candy views. As we pull into Haines you will witness a small village that is home to residents who would live nowhere else in the world. After a look around the town we head out to Chilkoot Lake. The drive out there along the Chilkoot River is amazing. A popular salmon fishing river where fisherman can be spotted along the shoreline casting rods and one eye on the shore due to the large population of bears who also like to fish in the river.
A short ferry ride to Skagway where the gold seekers started there trek to find and fill their pockets full of gold. Lots of gift shops to browse through before we rest for the night.
Day 16 — Skagway AK to Nugget City YT — 319 miles / 514 km
While you were shopping up and down the streets of Skagway if you didn't pick up more batteries for your camera you probably should have, this is another day of beauty.
Our route takes us past Tutshi Lake, Moon Lake and Bove Island; all three are picturesque mountain lakes.
A quick stop at Carcross, Yukon to learn about its history and a few pictures of the colorful murals on the buildings. We then jump back on the Alcan Highway for a short stretch back towards Watson Lake and stay over in neat little cabins at the Junction of Highway 3 and the Cassiar Highway which we will tackle tomorrow.
Day 17 — Nugget City YT to Bell 2 Lodge BC — 308 miles / 495 km
We continue our journey today by heading south on Highway 37 "the Cassiar Highway", this highway was completed in 1972 connecting the Alaska Highway in the Yukon to the Yellowstone Highway in British Columbia, stretching 450 miles in length. A very scenic route with sufficient fuel and service stops along the way. An abundant amount of bears should been seen along with caribou at Gnat Pass and Stone Sheep south of Good Hope. The highway is narrower than most and the north half contains no lines to divide the lanes.
The night stay is at a beautiful lodge containing log cabins and a central hot tub to rest the muscles after an awesome day of riding.
Day 18 — Bell 2 Lodge BC to Vanderhoof BC — 392 miles / 631 km
Today we complete the south 150 miles of the Cassiar Highway, the road surface is as smooth as glass and the view remains breath taking.
A quick stop to view some authentic totem poles at a small Indian village before we hit the Yellowstone Highway. Travelling east on the Yellowhead, Highway 16 which is a paved Trans-Canada Highway that extends from Winnipeg, Manitoba through Saskatchewan, Alberta and ends at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It is a very scenic Highway passing through mountains, forests and farmland.
The section of this highway passed us through many logging communities where huge stacks of logs await processing. This is the primary industry that supports the residents of these communities. As we pull into our stop for the night we check our odometers for 392 miles, our farthest distance travelled day. An excellent ride with great roads and lots to see.
Day 19 — Vanderhoof BC to Jasper AB — 294 miles / 473 km
Today we get to break from the mountain peaks and ride through a beautiful ranching/agriculture area with lots of rolling foothills that are an amazing green with a hint of silver poplar in the mix. We wind through Robson Valley and get incredible views from the Fraser River as it flows through this picture perfect valley.
The afternoon takes us back to the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Mount Robson Park contains the highest peak in Canada at 12,972 feet. After various photo stops we enter Jasper National Park and call Jasper our home for the evening. We can pick up some last minute souvenirs to remind us of our visit there long after the trip ends.
Watch for the huge number of Elk that roam the streets of Jasper with the attitude that it is their town. Take your camera if you go downtown as they don't mind posing for picture shots.
Day 20 — Jasper AB to Calgary AB — 257 miles / 414 km
This, the last day of riding will be another scenic overdose. South down Highway 93 towards Calgary stopping in Banff, at the Columbia glacier and so much more.
Highway 93, also known as the "Ice fields Parkway" was identified by travellers magazine as one of the 20 most "drives of a lifetime", with its jaw dropping scenery as it parallels the continental divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies. You couldn't ask for a more perfect roadway to end an awesome 21 day adventure.
Day 21 — Calgary AB — 0 miles / 0 km
Departure day and a safe trip home. A shuttle to the airport to send you on your way.