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Old 11-22-2009   #16
markgroce
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

I would really like to do it Tom. As you have done the researxh (more than once) what do you estimate the cost to be?
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Old 11-22-2009   #17
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Three of my friends and I did it in three weeks in '99. We hauled the bikes to Kalispell, Montana and stored the truck and trailer at a storage lot. We went the last week of July and the first two weeks of August. We had plans to ride to Prudhoe Bay but only rode to the Arctic Circle. It can be done fairly easy in three weeks, we had one day of loafing around in Fairbanks and spent too much time in Chicken due to a mishap on Top of the World Highway.

We tried to stay off the main roads and rode some logging trails for a day or two. We had a good range of weather, from 36 to 92 degrees. There were two R100GS's, a Yamaha XT and a Suzuki DRZ.

You're not necessarily running out of time, our oldest rider was in his 60's. I'm 65 and planning on doing it again within the next 5 years (and on the same bike).
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Old 11-22-2009   #18
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

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Originally Posted by markgroce View Post
I would really like to do it Tom. As you have done the researxh (more than once) what do you estimate the cost to be?
Well, there for a couple years I kept saying that fuel alone was gonna cost me $1000, but realistically (with today's gas prices) it's probably closer to $600-$800. The biggest expense is potentially lodging, and that's a big variable. It just depends on how often you get a room, and how many ways you split it. When it's late and you're exhausted, it's real easy to slap down $100 for a nice place to sleep when there aren't any other options, but with a trip like this, you just can't do that (well, certainly not very often). Then there's food. That's not a huge expense, but 20+ days adds up. Tires, maint, unexpected breakdown (or is that expected?), misc things like tolls, park fees, whatever. It can probably be done for less than $2k, but I think that would be the lower end.
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Old 11-22-2009   #19
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

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Originally Posted by jvandervort View Post
Tom, I'm dumb enough to try it.
Keep me in mind.
Will do.
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Old 11-22-2009   #20
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Tom, I did the trip in '91 in 3 weeks and 1 day. Last 2 weeks of June, first week of July. My friend and I rode Venture Royales. I rode 8700 miles in that time he rode an extra 1K cause he was from Balitmore Maryland. Now we didn't do the Artic Circle thing just went to Fairbanks, but we also spent 3 days in Seattle and 3 days in Anchorage. No maintance problems, no road problems. We took the ferry from Billingham up the inside passage and got off in Haines,rode into the Yukon and up to Anchorage then by Denali and into Fairbanks. Our camping was done on the back of the ferry! Yes it's expensive but it's worth the ride(the ship) and it's a thousand miles you won't put on your tires! It's a great trip and if I could afford it right now I'd go with ya! Oh and I do have a friend here in Dayton that DID do the Artic Circle and he was on a 1200 Trump Trophy! And the horror stories you here about the roads and finding gas and such might be true from Fairbanks up but from Fairbanks back to here the only place we ran out of fuel was Montana!! Anyway thanks for bringing up all the memories, DO IT MAN you'll love it.
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Old 11-22-2009   #21
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

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We took the ferry from Billingham up the inside passage and got off in Haines,rode into the Yukon and up to Anchorage then by Denali and into Fairbanks. Our camping was done on the back of the ferry! Yes it's expensive but it's worth the ride(the ship) and it's a thousand miles you won't put on your tires!
I looked into the ferries briefly a few years ago. Because of your note, I looked again. Several touring agencies are saying that leg would be somewhere between $800-$900, without lodging (camping on the deck). One was showing some drastically reduced rates if you were going Southbound, but I didn't quite understand everything about it. I think this would certainly make the trip more enjoyable, but that's a big expense. I think I'll hafta look into this some more, but on a budget-minded trip, I find it unlikely. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-22-2009   #22
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Wouldn't taking a ferry for a thousand miles take away from some of the adventure?

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Old 11-23-2009   #23
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Here's some thoughts that I've been struggling with.

My objective, is to ride to the Arctic Circle. That's my goal. To cross that line. Prudhoe Bay is another 300 miles beyond that (actually Deadhorse is likely as far as I can go). That's a 600 mile round trip, and the most risky part of the journey. Is it worth the extra 600 miles, the extra couple days of travel, and the extra risk? Do I just stop at the Arctic Circle sign, snap off a photo, and turn around?

It is actually possible to reach the Arctic Circle via the Dempster Highway up through the Yukon, which cuts more than 500 miles off the total trip (round trip), but that would skip Alaska entirely. If I took this route and trimmed the entire trip down to a minimum, I think I could skim by on one set of tires. The Dempster Highway has a certain appeal to me, a bit more so than the Dalton Highway, but coming that far without seeing Alaska (even though Alaska and that area of the Yukon probably look pretty much the same), just seems wrong. Doesn't it?

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Last edited by witttom; 11-23-2009 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 11-23-2009   #24
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

If I were doing this trip, I'd consider five northern endpoints (from north to south):

Prudoe Bay
Deadhorse
Atigun Pass (Brooks Range)
Coldfoot (cool little town)
Arctic Circle Landmark

By car the group I was traveling with made it to Atigun Pass, about 150 miles south of Prudoe Bay, but we decided that we wanted to spend more time in the Yukon rather than heading further north.

I'd recommend a northern route through the Yukon, stopping at Dawson City along the way. This is about as "western" a town as you'll ever find, and a "must visit." Want a ferry ride? Take one across the Yukon River from Dawson City and make towards Fairbanks (via Tok) on the "Top of the World Highway" before making the final push northwards towards the Arctic Circle and beyond.

On your return trip, I'd recommend spending some time in the Yukon capital city of Whitehorse. Really a quaint, cool town. You also have lots of return options from there.

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Old 11-24-2009   #25
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Oh, I want to stop at Gobblers Knob Tom! Can we? Pleeeeease?
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Last edited by markgroce; 11-24-2009 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 11-25-2009   #26
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

I would also consider getting home flight medical insurance and maybe some kind of bike shipping insurance. If something should happen it can get r e a l l y expensive.
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Old 11-27-2009   #27
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by markgroce View Post
I would really like to do it Tom. As you have done the researxh (more than once) what do you estimate the cost to be?
Quote:
Originally Posted by witttom View Post
Well, there for a couple years I kept saying that fuel alone was gonna cost me $1000, but realistically (with today's gas prices) it's probably closer to $600-$800.
One little detail that I've recently realized that I overlooked after speaking with some of my Canadian contacts, is that fuel prices in Canada, based on average "low" fuel prices in Alberta that I looked up, is currently somewhere around CA$0.85-CA$0.90/Liter. A friend in Alberta is telling me it's more like 92-$1.04. So Canadian fuel prices for 87 Octane, is currently about US$3.00/gal to US$3.75/gal. So I'm thinking a more realistic fuel cost window is something like $700-$900 (for my gas guzzling carbureted bike). A small spike in fuel prices on either side of the border, could easily push it past the $1,000 mark.
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Old 12-13-2009   #28
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Re: Arctic Circle via Alaska

Driven - The Arctic Circle from Mundo Bravo on Vimeo.

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Old 12-13-2009   #29
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2010 Alaska Tour: Tag the Deadhorse

Not the most cost effective way but fastest way would be fly out to fairbanks, rent KLR's for the 4 day trip.. and Fly back. This way you do in a week ( more of my timeline to do this) I'm sure you seen this from AeroStich Tours

http://www.aerostichtours.com/2010-a...-tag-deadhorse



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An expertly supported exploration across Northern Alaska to the Arctic Ocean. Experience incredible riding, phenomenal natural environments, and a powerfully renewing adventure on this trip from Fairbanks to the end of the continent at Deadhorse, Alaska and back. This is a world-class ride through some of the most remote parts of North America
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Old 12-13-2009   #30
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Re: 2010 Alaska Tour: Tag the Deadhorse

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Originally Posted by Dave Bannister View Post
Not the most cost effective way but fastest way would be fly out to fairbanks, rent KLR's for the 4 day trip.. and Fly back. This way you do in a week ( more of my timeline to do this) I'm sure you seen this from AeroStich Tours
I've considered it in the past, but it's not really the trip I want to do. So I guess I'll meet you in Fairbanks?
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