What It’s Really Like to Ride Your Motorcycle Around Alaska

We heard stories about the Alaskan roads, some have said you can not take a cruiser motorcycle on them, some said pack extra belts, tires and kidneys. Others have said not a worry at all and any bike can ride on them and so we thought we would find our for ourselves and report back to you.

We wondered about distances between gas stops, what would the price be for tank of fuel, the quality of the motels and heard stories about the size of their bugs. Would we be eating a lot of protein while riding?

The month of June seemed to be the best time of year to head up to Alaska, the weather, the roads, the views, the animals and the people. Find out first hand information about riding your motorcycle to Alaska!

What’s it like to ride around Alaska

What You Need to Know About Riding to Alaska

map of trip to alaska

Ride Details

  • Safety: Is it safe to ride your motorcycle in Alaska?
  • Daylight Hours: How many hours a day could I ride?
  • Border Crossing: Passports needed, cross back and forth a few times and not open 24 hours
  • Alaskan Roads: What are the Alaskan roads really like? Learn about seasonal roads
  • Places to Ride: Great Rides like Dust to Dawson, Top of World Highway you just have to ride, but use Caution!
  • Gas: Are there lots of gas stations? What is the price of fuel like?
  • Biker Friendly Accommodation: What sort of options are there for clean cheap motels?
  • Ferry Crossings & Attractions: Lots of fascinating things to see, unexpected views along the highway. You will want to know this about Ferry Crossings.
  • Service & Tires: you’ll want to be aware of this
  • Weather: Surprised us that is for sure!

Planning a Ride to Alaska?

Read the rest of this page for trip planning details. You’ll be glad you did. If you find it useful, please share it

Ride the Top of the World Highway to or from Alaska

See What Riding Top of the World Highway is like

Riding the Top of the World Highway from west to east or vise versa, is an adventure all on it’s own. The highway is 127km or 90 miles of road that changes from year to tear, season to season, and even day to day. We rode this unbelievable breathtaking highway on a sunny day, on V-Twin motorcycles, 2 guys and 2 gals, what a memorable ride…
Caution… be prepared for road conditions . If you don’t have a sunny day you may not want to ride the Top of the World Highway…
read about Top of the World Highway

Dust to Dawson

A great fun ride which we missed riding by a few days,
we did talk to one of the original organizers, Dick,
he told us some interesting things about the ride that started with a few riders..

watch interview with Dust to Dawson organizer

 

Is it safe riding in Alaska?

weather can change quicklyThe biggest concern as far as safety would be the animals on the road, the RV’s on the road, the weather changing in a hurry and not being aware of your surroundings.

Does a Bear shit in the woods?
This old wives tale may have just been busted… the bears like the heat of the pavement and enjoying doing their business on the road, we saw more bear turds than bears!
RV’s by the 1000’s
Alaska does a great job of promoting RV’ing, all shapes and sizes are on all the roads, keep in mind majority of these RV’s are rented, meaning new driver on that unit, be extra aware of them and their sudden moves, controlled or not controlled swerves.

How many hours of Daylight will you experience?

Something that kept amazing us were the long days, riding there in June, Summer Solstice takes place and literally they have only a few hours of dusk.
Riding 24 hours in Alaska

Body & mind adjust nicely to daylight
Whether you are used to getting lots of sleep or not is irrelevant in Alaska, it is natural to not be tired when the sun is shining

What happens in the winter with no daylight is a total different story!

read about Riding with lots of daylight hours

Biker Friendly Hotels in Alaska – Some Reviews

a review of arctic fox anchorage alaska

Arctic Fox Inn Anchorage Alaska

Bed & Breakfast: Walking distance to down town
Motorcycle Friendly: Covered Parking
Phone: (907)274-1239
Website: Arctic Fox Inn

our rating: 4 / 5

price: starts at $109 US/night

* US Cash or Credit Cards preferred

  • Great bedrooms with own bathroom
  • Very clean
  • Decks for outdoor lounging
  • Laundry service on site, could buy soap from them
  • Delicious Homemade breakfast
  • Free Wifi

Review: Young's Motel Tok Alaska

Young’s Motel in Tok Alaska

Lots of rooms, couple seperate buildings on east side of town
Motorcycle Friendly Pull right up to your door
Phone: (907)883-4411
Website: Youngs Motel Tok AK

our rating: 2.5 / 5

price: starts at $89 US/night

* US Cash, credit card

  • Rooms are OK, 2 queen size beds in each room
  • Clean, no A/C
  • Good restaurant and bar right at motel
  • No Laundry at motel, one down the road
  • Free Wifi with code from front desk

review of Sgt Preston's Lodge Skagway Alaska

Sgt. Preston’s Lodge Skagway, Alaska

Lots of rooms, couple separate buildings:Busy Spot
Motorcycle Friendly: Park right out in front of your room
Phone: (866) 983-2521
Website: Sgt Prestons Lodge

our rating: 3 / 5

price: start at $99 US/night

* US Cash, credit card

  • Rooms are good & clean, 2 Queen size beds.
  • Bathroom is full size with lots of hot water
  • Walking distance to restaurants and downtown
  • Free Wifi close to lobby

Many Details and tidbits about Riding in Alaska

What Are Alaskan Roads Like?

See What the Roads in Alaska are like

So much conflicting information about the roads in Alaska we were not sure what to expect. We researched as much as we could but didn’t find any concrete information about what are the roads like and were they going to cause us any grief? We asked our fellow riders this exact question and this is what they had to say.

  • “be prepared to ride some gravel – even the paved roads need repairs”
  • “over all the roads were better than expected”
  • “the gravel was very dusty especially through construction”
  • “we were told there would be frost heaves and ruts… there was!”
  • “the Alcan Highway was for the most part in great shape”
  • “roads were way better than we first would have guessed”

There’s a few more details we’d like to share, so have a look at our post about it.

read more about Roads in Alaska

Getting Gas along the Alcan Highway

weather can change quickly
Lots of options for gas on the Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan Highway, from your larger centres to the remote small family run stops along the road.

More gas stations than 5 years ago Previously riders may have experienced running out of gas, with a smaller tank, and had to ask a local farm for fuel.
We prepared for this and carried additional fuel in Jerry cans the whole trip. We didn’t need them.

However… be prepared for the price of fuel.
We discuss that in the post about getting gas while riding on the Alcan Highway.
 
read more about getting Gas en route to Alaska

Attractions You have to check out

What are the first few things that come to your mind when you think ALASKA?
Generalizing one thinks Bald Eagles, Cold Weather, Reindeer…
but as we found out, there is SO MUCH more than that
superb attractions all over this state

  • Mount McKinley & Denali National Park
  • The North Pole, Santa’s Workshop
  • Chicken Alaska is a community of 17 people
  • Homer Spit, Halibut Fishing Capitol
  • Hyder Alaska is famous for getting Hyderized

read about All the fun you can have touring around Alaska

Ferry Crossings

Riding around this beautiful state you will have to take a Ferry to connect you to another part of the country. It could be a short 5 minute ferry crossing or a larger 45 min Ferry ride to or from Skagway.

The larger ferry (Fast Ferry) used to go to and from Haines Alaska has daily departures for you and your motorcycle, they also have ferries just for passengers. There is a rate per person and per motorcycle that you will have to purchase before getting on the ferry.
Ferry Crossing Schedule
The smaller ferry is at Dawson City Yukon where you cross the Yukon River, the George Black Ferry is a free service, that operates 24-hours-a-day in the summer months. The interesting thing about this ferry docking structure is it is made out of sand/dirt with a loader on stand by to keep it in place and sturdy.
 
 
read here for more Details about Ferry Crossings

5 Border Crossings into Alaska

Alaska Border Crossing width=

A valid passport is needed, there are only two 24 hour border crossings, and one that no longer inspects…

  • Poker Creek & Top of the World Highway: OPEN 8-8
  • Alaska Highway & Beaver Creek Yukon: OPEN 24 hours
  • Dalton Cache & Haines Junction Yukon: OPEN 8-Midnight
  • Skagway & Fraser BC: OPEN 24 hours Apr-Oct then 8- Midnight
  • Hyder & Stewart BC: No US Inspection, Canadian Border is 24 hours

read here for more Crossing the borders into Alaska

Motorcycle Service and Tire Repair

The major centres/cities like Fairbanks and Anchorage have a variety of dealerships and service centres to get you back on the road. Smaller locations like Homer, Wasilla, Skagway, Delta Junction and Juneau have one or two and service a wide variety of motorcycles. If you are riding a bike that is a little harder to find parts etc, always a good idea to carry some with you. The dealerships in most places have apparel and gadgets for sale, pretty cool place to get a souvenir we would say!

If you are not sure if there is a dealership that can service your motorcycle, click this link for all the places in Alaska that service motorcycles

Weather, not what you would expect

Alaska Border Crossing width=
Alaska; The Great White North… sounds chilly doesn’t it? We expected to wear layers of clothing & gear between the cooler temperatures and just the wind of riding… we were totally shocked by the warm sunny days. Of the 22 days we were gone, and half of them were spent riding around Alaska, we had very little cold, rainy weather, in fact record high temperatures were made, some days it was 30 Celsius (86F). Now the funny part about the heat, is that very few motels have air conditioning in their rooms, as it doesn’t get that hot to need them. Some nights we were melting but couldn’t open the windows too much as the bugs found their way in quite quickly. The front desks did offer fans every where we stayed which was good!

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Watch the 2 Episodes of Alaska Here!

Episode 3: Riding Up to Alaska

Riding our Motorcycles to Alaska has been a big dream and goal for us and thankfully 2 great Victory rider friends mentioned it a while back. We are closer to Alaska than any of the United States and there is no reason why we or you, can’t ride there and back in a few weeks.

Read Episode 3 trip log

Episode 4: Riding Around Alaska then Home

Arrive in Anchorage for the longest day of the year, 24 hours of daylight!! WOW! Riding out on the Homer Spit was absolutely fantastic and seeing several Bald Eagles was a highlight. We put on a lot of miles on this trip, over 9000km by the time we reached home, Calgary Alberta.

Read Episode 4 trip log