A Bicycle tour unique in scope and adventure!!
Our ALCAN Highway Expedition is a ten day
tour from Haines to Anchorage, a distance of 700 miles over some
of the most remote paved highways in the world. The Alaska
Highway was built in a crash program by the U.S. Army in 1942,
and while the road has been upgraded many times since, the
wilderness around the road is virtually untouched. We average 65
miles per day over a nine day stretch, and for those who are
interested, bonus miles are available!
Day 1: Haines is the Bald Eagle capital of
the world, and while the concentration of eagles is highest in
the winter, there are still lots around when we visit. We take
an afternoon bicycle ride out Goose Bay Road to Chilkat State
Park to see the eagles, then spend the night at the historic
Day 2: A hop in the van takes us through
Canadian Customs up to Chilkat Pass where we mount our bikes for
a spectacular ride down the Haines Highway to Haines Junction.
The entire day is spent amidst the mountains of the Coast Range,
as we pass from the maritime climate zone to the much warmer and
dryer Yukon Interior. While we start the day at the high point,
and end it at the lowest, along the way we encounter the 'Hills
of Significance'. While these hills are guaranteed to get your
attention, don't panic! They are the steepest on the tour!
Standard mileage is 75 with a century day option available.
Day 3: From Haines Junction we turn onto the
ALCAN Highway and head up toward the Shakwak Valley. On our left
loom the St. Elias Mountains, The highest of which, Mt. Logan
(19,500 feet), is the highest mountain in Canada. We spend the
night, at Destruction Bay on the banks of Kluane Lake. Kluane
Lake is the largest lake in the Yukon, and its turquoise blue
waters and spectacular mountain surroundings make it one of the
most beautiful spots in the world.
Days 4 and 5: We cycle along the Alaska
Highway along the Shakwak Valley. The Shakwak Valley was created
by the Denali Fault, one of the major fault lines of North
America. The road follows a series of long narrow valleys
through the wilderness. The St. Elias Mountains are continuously
on our left as the road crosses several of the largest rivers in
the Yukon Territory. A recent highway project has brought most
of the highway up to modern standards, while the surrounding
areas are unpopulated and pristine. Itís an unbelievable
bicycling experience! Mileage: Day 5, 56 miles / Day 6, 83
Day 6: Twenty miles into day seven we reach
the U.S. Border, and once again we are in Alaska. The St. Elias
Mountains have blended into the Wrangell Mountains, the largest
volcanoes in North America. We will be tracing a great
semi-circle around the Wrangells for the next three days.
Immediately below us on the left, the Chisana and Nebesna Rivers
merge to form the Tanana River, the largest tributary of the
Yukon River. The road parallels the Tanana River as we curve
behind the Alaska Range to the northernmost point on our tour,
the small town of Tok. Standard mileage is 75, with a century
Day 7 and 8: We head south on the Tok-cutoff into
the Alaska Range. The Alaska Range is geologically very young
with steep mountains stained with vast mineral fields. We pass
through the range at Mentastna Pass, only 2,400 feet and drop
into the Copper River Valley. Directly in front of us, across
the valley loom the Wrangell Mountains, with Mount Sanford at
16,237 feet dominating the incredible view. The road bends to
the right and crosses a vast tableland with the Wrangell
Mountains on our left, and the Alaska Range on our right.
Spectacular! We eat dinner at the historic Gakona Lodge (est.
1906). Standard mileage is 75 with a century day option.
Day 9: We wind our way up the Tsaina River,
toward Thompson Pass. On the way we stop off at Worthington
Glacier, only yards from the road! Thompson Pass is only 2,678
feet, but far above treeline, and the views from here are truly
spectacular. Don't forget your camera! We now drop 2,500 feet in
six miles into the Lowe River Valley. Following the Lowe River,
we ride through the vertical rock walls and numerous waterfalls
of Keystone Canyon. We spend the night in Valdez, port for the
Alaska State Ferry, and across the bay from the Trans - Alaska
Pipeline Terminal. Total distance 56 miles.
Day 10: We wake up early and board one of
the ships of the Alaska Marine Highway for an unforgettable
trip across Prince William Sound. Whales, sea lions, seals,
eagles, and otters populate the sound in large numbers, and the
ship makes a side trip near the face of the enormous Columbia
Glacier. We leave the ship in Whittier, and board a shuttle for
a fifteen minute ride UNDER the Chugach Mountains to the Portage
ALCAN Highway Expedition - 10 days 9
nights - $3995 U.S.