Westerly Motorcycle Route to Alaska

map2San Diego down in the southwest corner of USA is considered the starting point of this westerly route heading up north to Alaska.

You will be riding along the breath taking views of Pacific Ocean thru California and Oregon. Each section below is proposed as a day trip. The maximum miles driven each day is kept between 400 and 300 miles to minimize the riding fatigue and to maximize enjoyment.

Day 1-San Diego to Santa Barbara, 225 miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/San Diego to Santa Barbara Westerly Route

Take I-5 North, ride thru Carlsbad, take Higway 1 towards Oceanside. You are in Orange County. Ride along with Pacific Ocean on your left and multi million dollar homes on either side of this scenic road. Soak in the sunny ocean scenery. Enjoy mellow downhills and uphills. Pass thru beautiful beach towns of Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Hunting Beach, Seal Beach.

Then you’ll get to Long Beach where LA county starts. After Long Beach, take freeway 405 North in order to avoid slow traffic thru the rest of Highway 1. Turn west on I-10 towards Santa Monica. Take Highway 1 North towards Malibu, then towards Oxnard and Ventura. The section after Malibu has some tight twisty turns. Enjoy the turns safely, as some of them are pretty tight, and the glitzy beautiful ocean is irresistible to any eye. Ventura down town is definitely worth checking out. Then comes Santa Barbara farther up on Highway 101 North. There is ample places to stay in and around Santa Barbara, hotels or campsites. Hotels here can be expensive and campsites full during high season and weekends.

 

Day 2-Santa Barbara to San Francisco, 362 miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Santa Barbara to San Francisco Ocean Route

Stay on 101 North, ride thru Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, San  Luis Obispo. Take 1 North after San  Luis Obispo to ride alongside the Pacific. Pass thru Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, then on to Carmel By the Sea, where watching the sunset is a favorite activity. Then comes historic Monterey which was the Capital of Alta California under Spanish rule. Whale watching and seeing the seals in the port are some of the popular activities. 119 miles north of Monterey along the coastal Highway 1 is famous San Francisco.

 

 

Day 3-San Francisco to Crescent City, 395 miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/San Francisco to Crescent City via Highway 1

Take 101 North away from San Francisco, ride thru Golden Gate Bridge, you are now in famous Marin County. Golden Gate National Recreation Area will be on your left for the next a few miles. After Marin City, look for and switch to Highway 1 North, continue on it thru Muir Beach and Stinson Beach. Pacific Ocean is now on your left. Stay on Highway 1. After about 210 miles from San Francisco, Highway 1 will turn towards North East away from the ocean. It will then merge into 101 North in about 10 miles. Continue on 101 North, pass thru Eureka, then pass by Red Wood National and State Parks. Then comes the next destination, Crescent City, CA. Famous Pelican Bay maximum security prison is here. Crescent City has been hit by several tsunamis, including the one that hit Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

Day 4-Crescent City to Portland, 346 miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Crescent City to Portland via coast

Take 101 North. After about 10 miles, you will cross into Oregon.  Sales tax in Oregon is 0%, you might as well do some shopping while here. You will ride alongside of the Pacific Ocean passing thru Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford, Coos Bay, and many other small towns along the Pacific Coast. After Lincoln City, take 18 East and follow the signs for Portland. Portland is famous with its coffee houses and food trucks. Enjoy some quick bites and sips.

Day 5-Portland to Vancouver, 315 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Portland to Vancouver via I-5

Take 5 North, follow signs for Seattle. Seattle is  home to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and Starbucks. Pike Place Market is a must see place and is walking distance to first Starbucks coffee house and to Beechers Handmade Cheese factory. They had free samples while I was there. You must sample the fresh cheese curds. While there, you might also wanna ride by the Space Needle which is not to far.

After Seattle, take 5 North and follow the signs for Bellingham. Stay on 5 North for Canada border crossing which is about 15 miles after Bellingham. 5 North turns into BC99 North after the border. Follow BC99 to Vancouver. Vancouver to Canada is like Southern California to US in terms of mild climate, expensive real estate and significant Asian communities. Be sure to have your papers (passport, insurance etc.) in order for a smooth border crossing. For more info on border crossing to Canada visit: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html

Day 6-Vancouver to Williams Lake, 322 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Vancouver to Williams Lake via Whistler

Take BC99 North from Vancouver, follow the signs for Whistler, home to  2010 Winter Olympics. Stay on BC99 North and then take BC97 North. Pass thru Pemberton, Lillooet, and Pavilion. After about 20 miles from Pavilion, watch for  BC97 and take it to North. Pass thru Clinton. You will start seeing several “Mile Houses”:70 Mile House, 93 Mile House, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House. These are communities that developed around the road houses that were built along the Cariboo Wagon Road during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Williams Lake is a city of about 11 thousand people with several hotels, shops and camp grounds.

Day 7-Williams Lake to Houston, 336 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Williams Lake to Houston

Take BC97 North, pass thru Quesnel and Hixon. Then you will get to Prince George, the largest city around here. It is not a bad idea to resupply or repair here if need be. In prince George, take BC16 West. Ride thru Vanderhof, Fort Fraser, and Burns Lake. Then you will arrive in Houston, a small town of 3200 people known as the “Steelhead Capital of the World”.

Day 8-Houston to Iskut, 360 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Houston to Iskut

Take BC16 West, ride thru Smithers and Hazelton. After Gitsegukla, look for and take BC37 North. Ride thru Kitwanga, Gitanyow, Meziadin Junction, Bell-II, and Tatogga. After about 2 miles from Iskut, find  Mountain Shadow on your left for lodging services. The area is known for its beautiful mountains and lakes.

Day 9-Iskut to Teslin, 346 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Iskut to Teslin

Take BC37 North and ride it all the way up until you cross into Yukon Territory after about 195 miles. You will pass thru Dease Lake, Good Hope Lake, Boya Lake Provincial Park before you enter Yukon Territory. Once in Yukon Territory, take 1 West towards white Horse. Ride thru Swift River, the road will  pass thru BC and then enter back into Yukon Territory again.  Teslin is a small town with a population of just over 100. There are RV parks and Motels.

Day 10-Teslin to Beaver Creek, 386 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Teslin to Beaver Creek

Take Yukon 1 West. Follow signs for Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Alaska Highway. Ride thru Marsh Lake and arrive in White Horse, the capital and largest city of Yukon, population 28 thousand. White Horse was at the heart of Klondike Gold Rush in 1897 as an arrival station for prospectors coming via the steam ships. Consider  stopping in White Horse if you need last minute supplies or maintenance. After White Horse, continue on Yukon 1 West. Ride thru Ibex Valley, Canyon, Haines Junction, Kloo Lake, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing, Snag Junction and you’ll soon arrive in Beaver Creek. You may consider Beaver Creek  RV Park & Motel or 1202 Motor Inn for rooms, gas, RV or tent camping.

Day 11-Beaver Creek to Fairbanks, 311 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Beaver Creek to Fairbanks

Take Yukon 1 West heading North. Cross into USA, Alaska. Continue on AK 2 East. Follow Signs for Fairbanks. Ride thru Tok, Delta Junction and then arrive in Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska with plenty of options for Hotel, motel, camp, RV sites and shops. You may consider resupplying and maintenance here if needed.

Day 12-Fairbanks to Coldfoot, 254 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Fairbanks to Coldfoot

Take AK-2 W out of Fairbanks and ride about 79 Miles. Continue onto AK-11 N/N Slope Haul Rd. This is the beginning of famous Dalton Highway to take you to the end of the world in the north. Soon after here, you will see the Dalton Highway Welcome sign for photo op. Dalton Highway runs parallel to the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, aka Alyeska Pipeline most of the time. In fact, pipeline and the oil in it, is the reason why Dalton Highway is ever built. About halfway between Fairbanks and Cold Foot is the Yukon River. You will cross over Yukon River and there is some lodging, food and gas service in Yukon River Camp north of the river. Ride about 59 miles more on AK-11 N for Arctic Circle where sun never sets on 21 June during summer solstice. There is a sign post for photos to reward and commemorate your achievement so far into north. Cold Foot is now 60 miles north. Cold Foot, a truck stop with some basic food, accommodation and gas services, is about halfway between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. Truck stop was founded by 1978 Iditarod champion Dick Mackey. His son Rick won the race in 1983 and his other son Lance Mackey also won the race in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The inspirational documentary “The Great Alone” is highly recommended, available on Netflix.

Day 13-Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay, 246 Miles:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay

Take AK-11 N, follow the road to north. There is not much else places to go except for following the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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