In researching bicycle rides in Alaska, my goal was to ride alot and ride hard, see alot and as much as possible cause I knew I wouldn't be back, not be pampered too much but be basically taken care of, and not pay alot. I found exactly what I was looking for in Pedalers. More really. Each day made me happy to be there and proud of the riding I was able to do. Each day was tough, but each day Tom took care of us by providing picturesque and bountiful roadside sustenance as well as surprisingly exquisite campside meals. For me personally, it was the right amount of on-your-own ruggedness with the comfortable knowledge that someone was there for you when and if you needed it.
... Jamie J, July 2012
Bike Tour Details
13 days (9 days cycling) Camping or Inn to Inn Level: C
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Great Places to Lay Your Head
Latitude 62 Hotel
A classic Alaska log cabin lodge in the heart of eclectic Talkeetna.
McKinley Village Lodge
Elegant lodge just outside the entrance of Denali National Park.
Rivers Edge Resort
Beautiful cottages on the banks of Fairbanks' Chena River.
Mountain Sky Hotel
Nice hotel on the edge of the fishing village of Valdez.
The hotels listed here are the few that have their own websites to explore. Many of the other accommodations used on the Inn to Inn tour are small mom & pop lodges and traditional roadhouses. The camping tour will use the same hotels during our stops in Talkeetna, Fairbanks and Valdez.
Day 1: Your group will gather in Anchorage's train station, then shuttle by van to Talkeetna. Enroute enjoy vast views of Kink Arm and Alaska's bush country. Upon arrival, we will have orientation and bike prep, then you have the balance of the day to stroll through "downtown". This historic Alaskan frontier town was the inspiration for the TV series Northern Exposure.(breakfast & lunch on your own camp & motel trips)
Day 2: We start the day with a fun 14 miles of brand new bike path following the Talkeetna Spur Road out to the Parks Highway. The Parks Highway will be our avenue for the first half of this tour and while many people assume it was named thus because of the National and State Parks along its course, it was actually named for George Parks one of Alaska's first governors. The ride rolls through lush forests, enroute to our goal for today of Byers Lake in Denali State Park. 63 mi / 101 km
Day 3: Today we cycle through the Alaska Mountain Range, crossing over at Broad Pass. The ride slowly gains altitude, as the towering mountains rise into view, with the their patchwork shrouds of snow. The scenery is spectacular and the riding enjoyable. Riders expecting a dramatic pass crossing a la the Alps will be disappointed, as Broad Pass is aptly named, a long relatively flat pass stretching for miles. If it weren't for the maps, you would never know you crossed the pass. We roll downhill a bit to Denali Village, just outside the National Park and our home for two nights. 91 mi / 146 km (dinner on your own hotel trip)
Day 4: The day is yours to do as you please. There are a variety of bus tours (website) that explore inside the park, or you can hop a shuttle deep into the park then ride back out. Or perhaps some whitewater rafting or hiking or shopping. (all meals on your own camp & motel trips)
Day 5: We ride north from Denali Village this morning, rolling through the Nenana Gorge and out into vast areas of tundra and forests. Today's route is relatively simple and flat taking us through typical scenery of Alaska's central region. Your goal is the historic river port town of Nenana, another tiny outpost of rugged Alaska. Nenana is best known for the "Ice Classic" a big cash pool for the best guess as to when the ice melts on the Nenana River. 67 mi / 108 km (breakfast on your own hotel trip)
Day 6: Your last ride of the first leg tackles the scenic Nenana Hills. You will be treated to some spectacular overlooks as you roll through the hills, before descending into Fairbanks. Along the way, several roadhouses provide diversions from the cycling, including the notorious Skinny Dicks, whose colorful character might not be suitable for the more modest amongst our group. 55 mi / 88 km (motel accommodations for camp trip, dinner on your own camp & hotel trips)
Day 7: Your bike gets a day off, as we layover in Fairbanks. A chance to catch up on your laundry, email and postcards and a chance to explore this far northern city. There is a great museum on the University campus and Pioneer Park, featuring historic houses that have been moved there for preservation and a delicious "all you can eat" Salmon Bake. (motel accommodations tonight for camp trip, all meals on your own for camp & hotel trips)
Day 8: Century Day today. We set off on a winding ride through the suburbs of Fairbanks and North Pole, avoiding the morning traffic, then hook up with the Richardson Highway, the first road pioneered in Alaska. Our route follows the Tanana River, with a few hills and fantastic views of the Alaska Range paralleling our bike tour to the south. In a few days you will be crossing that range. Our goal is Delta Junction, the upper terminus of the notorious Al-Can Highway. 100 mi / 161 km (breakfast on your own for camp & hotel trips)
Day 9: We leave the traffic behind today, as we head further south along the Richardson Highway. We'll cross Fort Greely, which serves as a training & testing ground for the Army during the harsh winter months. Other then the occasional view of the Alaska Pipeline, there is not much civilization along this road. We will be cycling into the Alaska Range today, with numerous photo opportunities and tonight we bed down on the south end of Summit Lake, tucked in at the highest point on the highway. (pass: Issac Pass - 3280 ft) 78 mi / 125 km
Day 10: Today we roll down out of the Alaska Range and start getting some glimpses of the majestic Wrangell Mountains, as well as the Chugach. The ride is another day of forests, mountains and rolling highways. Our goal is the tiny community of Gakona and its beautifully restored Gakona Roadhouse. We camp on the grounds of the historic roadhouse and you have the chance to swap lies with locals over beers in the roadhouse's bar or perhaps check out the awesome deserts they serve in the cafe. 65 mi / 104 km
Day 11: You will pass through one of the few towns along the Richardson today, Glenallen. We will also visit historic Copper Center, site of the first agricultural experiment station in Alaska and the Copper Center Roadhouse. The displays of the Wrangell National Park's visitor center also highlights today's ride. We'll camp tonight at another roadhouse, Tosina Lodge, tonight. 53 mi / 85 km
Day 12: Our last day of riding is spectacular, most folks consider this part of the Richardson to have the most dramatic scenery along any road in Alaska. Towering mountains, thick forests, rushing rivers flank our bike tour today as we head south towards Valdez and the Prince William Sound. We will pedal up and over Thompson Pass, then enjoy a thrilling finale, swooping downhill off the pass and through the beautiful Keystone Canyon into the tiny fishing port of Valdez. 76 mi / 122 km (motel accommodations for camp trip)
Day 13: A day off the bikes, as we enjoy a trip across Prince William Sound on the Alaska Ferry System. Perhaps we will be blessed with views of the glaciers calving into the bay, seals and other sea life enjoying the ocean waves and more. After arriving in Whittier, we will shuttle you to Anchorage Airport or the Long House Hotel, where we all bid a fond farewell to our fellow Alaskan Adventurers. (breakfast, lunch & dinner on your own for camp & hotel trips)
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