let the fun begin!
Fly into Ft St John, transfer to Dawson Creek
We will gather in Dawson Creek in late afternoon, where you will have a chance to get your bike ready, meet your fellow riders and review the adventure to come.
Cycle Mile Zero to Kiskatinaw Bridge, shuttle to Pink Mountain
After the mandatory photos at Milepost Zero, we are off up the notorious Al-Can built in a short 9 months during World War 2. Our route starts on a more modern stretch, with the prerequisite traffic, but soon we turn off on an original stretch of the highway to curved wooden Kiskatinaw Bridge. Our ride today winds down in small Taylor, sitting the in deep Peace River Valley. From here we will shuttle to Pink Mountain (1 and a half hours), avoiding the highways biggest city, Ft St John, and the heavy traffic from the oilfields.
Wilderness cycling, shuttle to Ft Nelson
After breakfast we head out for a fifty mile spin through the quiet, tree covered landscapes of British Columbia. The traffic is light, the air clear, the hills rolling and deep green. We will pass the locations of some of the old notorious sections of the highway, such as Suicide Hill and the Drunken Forest. The highway of today no longer follows those rough stretches, so we will just enjoy a bit of verbal history. Finish our leg with a shuttle back into civilization in Ft Nelson. (1 & half hours).
Cross Steamboat Mountain, Tetsa River Ranch
One of the toughest days of cycling on the tour, takes you up and over Steamboat Mountain to Tetsa River Ranch, the Cinnamon Bun Center of the Galactic Cluster (yes they are that good). The views from high a top Steamboat are awe inspiring, a fitting reward for the long gradual ascent. And of course an enjoyable winding descent to Tetsa River Ranch, a long time working ranch, whose kitchen puts out great homemade breads and artisan meats, which we will enjoy at our dinner BBQ.
Cycle Summit Lake to Toad River Lodge
Today we cross the highest point on original the Al-Can Highway, Summit Lake. Because you didn't descend as much as you climbed yesterday, our uphill is shorter today through Stone Mountain Provincial Park. Relax a bit at Summit Lake, before descending to Toad River, a small community tucked away of bright green poplar forests. Tonight we sleep in lakefront cottages at Toad River Lodge renowned for its hat collection, nailed to the ceiling of the restaurant (more than 10,000 hats, yes we mean ten thousand).
Muncho Lake Provincial Park, Northern Rockies Lodge
One last day in the mountains, cycling from Toad River to beautiful Munch Lake Provincial Park. For the last couple of days the Alaska Highway followed much of the original winding route and today stays true to form. The final miles follow right along the lake shore (literally inches away), a dramatic landscape to finish the day. The short 36 miles of today's ride leaves ample time to relax on the lake.
Liard Hot Springs
Relaxation beckons us today, with a short morning ride to Liard Hot Springs in store. This natural hot spring surrounded by lush forests, ferns & orchids is a rather unique environment along the highway and a favorite stopping off point since the highway was first surveyed. Keep your eyes peeled for Woods Bison and Black Bears which are frequently seen along the roadsides here.
The bikes get the day off today, as we shuttle to Watson Lake, another small reminder of civilization. You have the day free to explore Watson lake, perhaps visit the sign post forest with its thousands of city signs, or perhaps the Northern Light Theatre & Space Museum.
Teslin Lake, Johnson Crossing
After breakfast we will take shuttle to Teslin Lake, home of the Tligit Nation, visit the George Johnson Museum before setting out on our bikes for the ride to Jake's Corner. Along the way we will explore a bit of the history of the Canol Road and stop in Johnsons Crossing for their homemade soups, sandwiches and delicious basked goods. The ride winds down at Jake's Corner, from where we will shuttle into Whitehorse the capitol of the Yukon Territory.
Cycling to the St Elias Range
We will shuttle out of town to the tiny village of Champagne, a First Nation settlement, to avoid the heavier traffic coming into the city. As you pedal down the Alaska Highway, the snow covered peaks of the St Elias Range start popping into view as you crest each small hill. Our goal for tonight is the small outdoor town of Haines Junction, sitting at the foot of this majestic mountain range, home to Canada's tallest peaks. Perhaps a rendezvous at Mile 1016 Pub for some local craft beers from the Yukon.
Kluane Lake, Destruction Bay
Today we are enroute to the turquoise waters of Kluane lake which runs along the foothills of the St Elias Mountains. Kluane Lake which formed due to a change in the river's flow caused by a glacier, has once again seen it water source reverse, as that glacier receded. We will relax tonight in the town of Destruction Bay overlooking the lake.
White River / Discovery Yukon
You will continue your ride along the Kluane Lake today, pedaling first to Burwash Landing, where we will visit their beautifully designed natural history and the historic parish church. The planned ride is 50 miles of beautiful wilderness, but folks feeling like they want more can opt to ride all the way to White River, our stop for the night at 84 miles. Perhaps try some of Discovery Yukon's unique salmon lasagna tonight.
Your final day in Canada today, as you pedal across the border into Alaska. But first you will visit Beaver Creek, Canada's western most town, with its unique church built from re-purposed military quonset huts. Today's ride winds down at the Tetlin Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center about 30 miles past the border. After time to discover nature, we will shuttle into Tok for the night.
End of the Road, Mile 1422
The upper end of the Al-Can, milepost 1422 approaches. If the group is ambitious, we can pedal the entire 100 miles to the finish, otherwise we will shuttle out to diminutive Dot Lake Village and bike the final 63 miles of the famed Al-Can Highway. A round of congratulations, mandatory photos at Milepost 1422 and an awesome final dinner with great Alaskan craft beers finishes your taste of the Al-Can. We will spend the night in Delta Junction.
After breakfast, we shuttle back towards Fairbanks Airport, but along the way we will visit Rika's Roadhouse, a restored historic roadhouses and the Knotty Shop with its great homemade ice cream. Then fond farewells at Fairbanks Airport bidding everyone a safe flight home.