Get ready for the trip of a lifetime by taking on what is arguably the best combination of challenge and adventure that we offer. This Adventure Cycling classic, run first in the 1980s, has been newly researched and completely updated, and we offer it now for the first time in six years.
Beginning in Adventure Cycling’s hometown of Missoula, Montana, we’ll strike northward through a continuum of spectacular country, including some of the wildest areas remaining in North America, as we traverse the remote roads of northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Come share this amazing experience with a group of fellow adventurers and explore the farthest reaches of the North American continent. We guarantee you won’t find anything like it anywhere else!
|Start Date:||Jun 14, 2014||End Date:||Aug 13, 2014|
|Start Location:||Missoula, MT||End Location:||Anchorage, AK|
|Total Days:||61||Riding Days:||49|
|Average Daily Mileage:||55.6||Surface:||Paved/Dirt|
|Riders:||15||Elevation Alert:||High Point: 6,500'|
|Airport:||Missoula International, Ted Stevens Anchorage||Tour Leader:||Wally Werner|
|Type:||Self Contained||Technical Difficulty:||Moderate|
|Physical Difficulty:||Advanced+||Level of Support:||Self Contained|
We’ll meet in Adventure Cycling’s hometown, the beautiful and vibrant college community of Missoula, Montana. Beginning our journey north, we’ll ride between mountains and lakes through the picturesque Seeley-Swan and Flathead valleys to the ski and summer recreation area of Whitefish. From there, we’ll continue north, passing through northwest Montana’s Tobacco Valley before crossing the Canadian border at Port of Roosville to begin our trip through southern British Columbia.
This week provides some of the premier scenic highlights of the entire tour, as we ride north along the headwaters of the Columbia River to the resort town of Radium Hot Springs, make the long climb through Canada’s Kootenay National Park to Vermillion Pass, and cross into Alberta and Banff National Park. Following a layover day at scenic Lake Louise, we’ll make our way toward Jasper National Park with three unforgettable days of riding along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, which should be on the top-10 bucket list of every cycletourist.
After a revitalizing layover day in the town of Jasper, we’ll launch a 10-day, 550-mile journey westward on the Yellowhead Highway, quickly reentering British Columbia. The Yellowhead, which follows several major river systems, will provide us with unforgettable overnight stops in some of B.C.’s most popular provincial parks, lakeside resorts, and summer vacation towns.
This week we’ll turn north to tackle the Cassiar Highway, a backcountry byway short on services but long on amazing scenery. We’ll visit a string provincial parks and small villages, including the First Nations village of Iskut, before reaching the Yukon Territory and the town of Watson Lake on the Alaska Highway.
The meaning of the word “remote” becomes clearer than ever as we depart Watson Lake for a week of pedaling on the unpaved Campbell Highway, which arcs north and west into the vast emptiness of Canada’s Yukon Territory. Overnights at a series of lakeside campgrounds will be interspersed with visits to two small villages before we join the paved Klondike Highway and head directly north again.
Five days of riding on the Klondike Highway brings us to a well-earned layover in historic Dawson City, which played a major outfitting role during the Yukon Gold Rush of the late 1890s. After that, we’ll head into the isolated country traversed by the unpaved Top-of-the-World Highway and toward the Canada-Alaska border; eventually, we’ll merge onto the Taylor Highway, which takes us to the Richardson Highway and the town of Tok. The Taylor Highway leg includes an overnight stay in the improbably named village of Chicken, Alaska, which will seem to us as much like the edge of the earth as Top-of-the-World did. Story goes the town was originally to be called “Ptarmigan,” but townspeople couldn’t agree on the spelling, so Chicken was the name chosen.
From Tok, three more days of northward riding will take us to the storied outpost of Fairbanks, the high point of our tour, in terms of latitude (from Fairbanks, it’s only 198 road miles to the Arctic Circle via the Dalton Highway). After a layover day to enjoy Fairbanks, we’ll ride for two days to Denali National Park and Preserve, where we will spend two more days exploring the park’s scenic wonders by both tour bus and bicycle. Our North Star adventure formally ends upon our departure from Denali, but Adventure Cycling has arranged for that departure to be as special as the rest of the trip: You and your bike will board the Alaska Railway’s Denali Star and make tracks to downtown Anchorage, from which point you will head for home — changed forever, no doubt, by the remarkable journey you have just completed.
This is a new tour, or one we have not offered in awhile. Sign up and be one of the first cyclists to contribute to this testimonials page! For now read what past tour participants have said about some of our other trips.
"The ride exceeded my expectations in every way. I will certainly participate in other Adventure Cycling rides in the future."
2008 Tour Participant
"Overall, a great experience...largely due to the staff and the beautiful terrain..."
2008 Tour Participant
“I immensely enjoyed this tour! I have completed several other tours but this is the most enjoyable ride I’ve encountered--smaller group, more relaxed, most beautiful scenery by far.”
JAN WERREN MCINNLEYVILLE
"Loved every minute of it!"
2012 Tour Participant