Alaska Loop By Bicycle

Cycling in Alaska is different from touring in the lower 48.  The big difference is the very long distances between supply locations.  Even along the “major” highways, we found that places to buy provisions were sparse and far between.  For example, in the Mileposts book (the Alaska road guide that you can pick up at any grocery store), we were expecting there to be “food” at Milepost 156.2.  We scuttled around, but all we could find was the long abandoned Igloo Hotel.  Because of our daily mileage, we did not have enough food in our panniers to make it to the next town.  Fortunately, many Alaskans are friendly, and a man who referred to himself as “Ten Bears,” helped us out by sharing some of his camp food with us.  We would later visit him in his home town of Anchorage nearly 2 weeks later.  Highway 8 – which crosses from Cantwell to Paxon is almost entirely unpaved.  By this point, we were a little more prepared – and thus we were packing larger amounts of food for this “crossing.”  Paxon, however, does not have much of a store.  If you’re relying on the Mileposts guidebook, you really need to assume that it is inaccurate – stores can easily have been closed for years before the MP guide was published, or they could just randomly be closed on the day you are passing through.  Once we became accustomed to this rule, we carried plenty of food, and were fine.

We discovered that the route we took is not the most aesthetic.  For subsequent trips, I’d prefer to explore the more “natural” area of the Kenai peninsula, which is in the Southern Coast of Alaska.  The scenery inland is relatively mundane, with the exception of Denali, which is extraordinary).  The scenery near Valdez, and the crossing of the Prince William Sound (which we did by ferry) is also fantastic.

 

GPS Track for this Route Day 1

GPS Track for this Route Day 2

GPS Track for this Route Day 3

GPS Track for this Route Day 4

GPS Track for this Route Day 5

GPS Track for this Route Day 6

GPS Track for this Route Day 7

GPS Track for this Route Day 8

GPS Track for this Route Day 9

GPS Track for this Route Day 10

GPS Track for this Route Day 11

GPS Track for this Route Day 12

GPS Track for this Route Day 13

GPS Track for this Route Day 14

 

 

Overview of our Route

Overview of our Route

Float Plane Dock in Wasilla makes for good swimming

Float Plane Dock in Wasilla makes for good swimming

56 406b 407 62 18 403 404 63

Glacier near Valdez

Glacier near Valdez

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

Talkeetna

Talkeetna

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1 Response

  1. Hops says:

    It is interesting how you have been able to upload all this retro data to Strava. I am wondering what some of the earliest retro Stava posts are? Today, I learned that Strava means To Strive in Swedish.

    BTW- nice trip. My Alaska excursions were primarily: the inland passage, AlCan road trips(in a 66 VW Van), and the area around Nome.