Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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Postby BGunner01 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:03 pm

Really glad to see this new forum topic open up. I'm recently retired and in the early stages of planning a trip from Nebraska to Anchorage and surrounding areas this year and need some help. I'm a "seasoned" rider with 40+ years (48 states and 4 Goldwings) of riding experience but I've never done a single trip of that many miles before. My wife won't be able to join me on this trip due to health issues so I'm thinking solo, although I would consider joining someone else who wouldn't mind adding a person to their group for all or a portion of their trip. I prefer budget motels whenever I can but I'll be taking a tent and sleeping bag in case I want/need it. I won't be pulling a trailer or camper. Necessities only for this trip.

I have several questions that I'd like to run by someone who has ridden their Goldwing to Alaska and is willing to offer their experience and suggestions. My most important inquiry is what route to take. I know how I will get from my home in eastern Nebraska to Calgary, Alberta but would like suggestions from there on. I want to take the "usual" routes (paved as much as possible) that most bikers use. Two friends of mine went there on their Harleys a few years back and utilized the Alaska Marine Highway on their return trip so that might be an option for me also. I recall that leg of their trip was three days long including two nights sleeping in their tents on the deck of the ferry.

My second question is what's the best (i.e., warmest) time of year for my trip? I'm presently thinking the month of July will be best for me. My wife and I took a 15-day Alaska tour/cruise in 2012 that started on August 18th. The weather during that time was absolutely perfect although we had frost both mornings at Denali Backcountry Lodge.

Other questions I have include recommended clothing layers, good rain gear, emergency equipment, how to legally transport a small caliber handgun through Canada, etc. It's probably best that other issues be discussed off this forum via email. If you're interested I'd really appreciate hearing from you.

There were wonderful things and great people in every place I visited on my Goldwing(s)!

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Re: ALASKA Help?!

Postby themainviking » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:54 pm

The nicest trip out of Calgary is Hwy 1 west past Banff to Lake Louise and then up to Jasper along the foothills to 16. Then over the Red Pass and continue to Prince George. Then if you continue on 16 to Kitwanga, you can catch Hwy 37 which meets Hwy 1 to Alaska near Upper Liard, on the more southwesterly side, which usually has warmer temps. That will run you right into A2 at the Alaska border.

I would just leave your guns at home son, don't take them guns to town. It is difficult to get permission to carry your handgun through Canada, but it is possible. If you get to the border with it, and have not made some arrangements, the Canadian Border Patrol will simply turn you back, and you could be restricted for a time from returning. If you get caught with it without declaring, it could mean prosecution, and permanent exclusion from entering Canada. Them boys got no sense of humor about guns. See here: ... canada.htm

and here: ... anada.html

I hope this helps somewhat.
Last edited by themainviking on Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ALASKA Help?!

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:55 pm

You might want to read through this one:


And one of the greatest stories about riding to Alaska on a Goldwing - a story that will take you hours to read, but make you feel like you went along, is here:

As for handguns in Canada - forget it, there is no way for a US citizen to (legally) bring a handgun into Canada. Closest you could come would be to drop your gun off at a licensed dealer for a good "cleaning" just before you cross the border, and then to buy another one in Alaska. Once you're ready to leave Alaska, visit a FFL gun shop and have them ship it to an FFL near your home that you could pick it up. Then pick up your freshly "cleaned" gun when you arrive back across the border in the lower 48.

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Re: ALASKA Help?!

Postby richwill1% » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:42 pm

One of the best sources of info that you will find about planning a road trip to Alaska is the latest year "Milepost" tour guide. It will help you plan your route, give you anticipated road repair conditions, weather, campgrounds, motels and sites to see. We did a three month tour of Alaska, BC and Yukon in our motorhome in 05. I'm a wing owner also. You may not be able to maintain 400-500 mile days during the Canadian/Alaska portion of your trip, because during the summer months is when they repair and resurface the roads. It can be tiring and it will slow you down. So you will need to plan for this. This is the kind of info that the "Milepost" will provide. So do a search on the title and purchase one as soon as you can. You'll have a lot of planning to do. Enjoy, Richard

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Re: ALASKA Help?!

Postby Wilcoy02 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:04 pm

I too am planning the trip to alaska-was going in 2014 but I want to go with others as it is wilderness So now it is 2015. The one thing I have found is to travel in pairs. 2 4 or 6 that way the camping is easier to split the cost. Most campground (so I have heard) allow for two tents. a third or fifth person makes the price go up for everyone.
There is not such a thing as cheap motels up there.

Yes forget the gun--buy bear spray. NOT pepper spray as you can not take it to Canadsa either -so I have been told.
Please post all your planning and things you pack and keep us posted of your travels.
I have googled motorcycle trip to alaska and found several diaries of others who have done this with lots of pics!!!!

Go down to alaska pic tour in this forum.

ENJOY and congrats on retirment.

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Re: ALASKA Help?!

Postby silverado6x6 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:42 am

Mid june is pretty good but can have heavy seasonal tourism traffic such as RVs. hard to say when is the best time, one year can be wet, the next dry, one warm, one cold. So far my winter has been mild, was cold at first, a fair amount of snow then we had a major heat wave almost all snow melted off, then yesterday locally 6 inches fell.
I think we will see a lot of late season snow and a wet warmer spring this year. Prepare for MUD on roads under construction. I have ridden as early as the first part of april but thats here near Wasilla, at the border it could still be well below zero. Usually everybody heads to Alaska immediately after Memorial Day, if the weather permits. Traditionally the second half of july on is our wet season, The best time of year for fun, fishing and riding is obviously june, sorry its such a limited frame of time, I have seen our local lakes still froze over in late may and snow still on the ground.
Accuweather seems to be pretty right on about predicting weather WeatherUnderground is useless.

In 1992 I drove up through Canada, started at the beginning of The Alaska Hiway at Dawson Creek, it was late march, it was spring in the lower 48, when I arrived in Fairbanks it was -20F, the Chena River was froze over as I was able to drive over it, lodging is horrendously expensive, just not a lot of motels up here. But there are lots of places to camp.You can buy the Magnum bear spray stuff almost anywhere up here, and if you have internet access you can buy local guns on, heck just keep your eyes open, I have bought most of my guns from street corner flea markets and garage sales. If you do get a pistol I recommend a .41, .44, a 10mm or larger. A .45 is marginally adequate but in the right hands its all you need. Thats what I keep in my truck.

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