Valdez to McCarthy/Kennecott, to Denali Hwy
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Thread: Valdez to McCarthy/Kennecott, to Denali Hwy

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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    Valdez to McCarthy/Kennecott, to Denali Hwy

    I did a trip with my friend at the end of July. Me on my klr, and she on her tdub. Both of us prefer to camp (never in campgrounds) the trip was 8days. We rode through the tunnel to Whittier, where we caught the ferry to Valdez. We rode around looking for a suitable place to pitch the tent. I have spent quite a bit of time skiing/snowmobiling in the spring there, but never in the summer.image.jpg
    From there, we went through Thompson Pass (in my opinion the best skiing in the world). image.jpgAfter the pass, we headed to Chitna, the start of the McCarthy Road (and thankfully the end of the pavement!). The McCarthy road is an old rail bed that is super fun on a bike. Camped under a bridge that is an amazing feat of engineering even today.image.jpg. There are no cars allowed into McCarthy. Bikes, no problemo.
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    r80rt, B-dub, MCC1776 and 2 others like this.

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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    Meh, I got logged off while typing the next segment and lost everything. I'll get back to this at a later date. Sorry

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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Summer 2012 we (family) went to McCarthy and all over Alaska via our camper and not TW. Wish we would have had room for the TW. Along the way I found an old railroad spike from the "road bed". Also saw some of the rails peaking through the gravel road. For sure gotta be careful on the motorcycles. Can't wait to see more of your RR.
    Sledhead likes this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    Sledhead. Yes Thompson pass is beautiful anytime of year. I was working at the Valdez tankfarm across the bay. Had my TW with me. Was great on the gravel bars. The thing I was impressed about is the snowmobile tracks right up and over the mountains at the pass. That is one machine I will not get on. To many folks have been buried with them. Went into the back country moose hunting. Alaska is where my heart is. Can't wait to get back up there and start my cabin. Piece of property just out of Palmer on Lazy Mountain.

    Love that old road down the river from Chitna. Went down dipping salmon. Too bad it still isn't open to cars. Those old trestles sure have some good timbers going to waste.
    Last edited by plumbstraight; 11-27-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    Just up the road from McCarthy, is the massive and beautiful Kennecott mine. Some friends are building a house above the mine. They have since bought a tw. Check out the view from their bedroom window!image.jpg. We spent a few days there exploring and playing. The water was cold as @&)&$(!image.jpg. From there we headed back out the road. It's fun to haul a$$ on gravel roads like this one.image.jpgimage.jpg From there we headed to the Denali Hwy

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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    Cool to read that Plumb Straight! I hear you on the avy danger. The mountains are to be treated with respect! However, it is like the ocean (my job), you don't go when the conditions are bad. I don't work in the winter and sledding/skiing off my sled is what I'm most passionate about. Look me up when you come back. I have friends that live right where your property is.

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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    We spent four days on the Denali hwy. There are many trails/old mine roads that go way into the backcountry on it. The loaded (+gas for the tw) took a nap on a trail.image.jpg. We camped above treeline most nights here so we couldn't sling our food up high (bear country). This is our solution, food ratcheted in a big tarp covered with rocks. It worked (lots of scat around)image.jpg
    Naps on the tdub are different than klr naps....image.jpg. We went about 20 miles up an old mine trail. Had to leave the klr and double on her tdub. Yah, riding DOUBLE on the tw where I couldn't make the highway re-geared klr. I don't have any pics of the rough stuff but the tw was just amazingimage.jpgimage.jpg.
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    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Sledhead, thanks for sharing that adventure with us. To me, Alaska has always been truly "the Last Frontier." It was even more so after I made a couple of self-guided hunting and fishing trips there. Fortunately I did a lot of research before going, but even then only blind luck kept my first trip from being a near disaster. Weather is unpredictable, even in summer. Your pictures bring back many great memories. Thank you again.
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    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    image.jpgimage.jpgWe made it to the top of a pass where there was an abandoned mine. Spit a chain on the double ride up. This is the coolest bar on the Denali hwy. The bartender was a bush pilot from way back in the day (amazing stories!). He was shocked we made it to the top of the pass.image.jpg. Most of the weather on out trip was hot and sunny. I'm not a fan of the hot stuff and my power ranger outfit made it worse. We had rain on the Denali hwy! It was nice and made the riding more fun.image.jpg
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  11. #10
    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    From Cantwell, it's about a 300 mile pavement ride back to Girdwood.
    I am on a boat 6months per year. This year, I had some time off in the summer. This trip was awesome! It showed me how capable the tw is off trail. Now that I have one, I sit around and fantasize about taking the dubs' deep into zones not accessible to street legal bikes. The top of the world hwy is one that I've done a couple times on the klr, but with the tw, we could do some serious exploration into the mtns from the hwy...... Definitely need a bigger tank and better tires first. This is an amazing forum. Time for me to sit back and learn!image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
    MCC1776 likes this.

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