Postponed.... The sequel to the Maya Rally 2012 -> The 2013 Alaska Rally!

Ronct110

Adventurer
If next year or perhaps another one setup for next year, I'd be interested. Understand June maybe the best time to go - is that right?
 

Colin Hughes

Explorer
I'll be watching this thread as I'm planning for a trip like that in July 2014. Leave Vancouver, head up BC along the interior (east side) into the Yukon, South Canol Road and up to Dawson, Dempster Highway to Tombstone (hiking), Top of the World Highway into Alaska (with time, a couple days at Denali), Back through Klune Park (more hiking), down the west side of BC to Bella Coola, Ferry along the coast to the top of Vancouver Island then back into Vancouver. I'll be interested to see your routes, results, etc and factor that into my planning as well. I'm looking at three weeks and bookending each way - Friday off the previous week, Monday off after the third week.
 

zimm

Expedition Leader
anyone on the east coast want to have a "seattle rally" to get to the "alaska rally"?

im cereal.
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Drove from Reno to Prudoe Bay in 2010 in this:


No problems on any of the roads, but like others have pointed out, the biggest shock to us was the lack of access to the backcountry. We are used to Nevada and surrounding areas where you can camp pretty much anywhere. Alaska, the small roads were usually gated or you would have needed a swamp rig to venture down them. We went at the beginning of September and the only downfall, was that a lot of things were already closed up for the season.

As others have mentioned, prepare for some serious windshield time, the distances are great.

Having said that, don't think I am a downer or that I am trying to say it won't be fun, just as someone else pointed out AK seems to be geared toward flying/boat/winter travel vs. road/vehicle travel.

Still thinking about doing this though...

Jack
 

zimm

Expedition Leader
i recall there being a Mark WHatley on the LCML that ran alaskan off road tours for land cruiser enthusiasts. perhaps he ought to contacted.
 

Co-opski

Expedition Leader
[...SNIP]As others have mentioned, prepare for some serious windshield time, the distances are great.

Having said that, don't think I am a downer or that I am trying to say it won't be fun, just as someone else pointed out AK seems to be geared toward flying/boat/winter travel vs. road/vehicle travel.

Still thinking about doing this though...

Jack
[..../SNIP]
Jack,
I agree with you but it is something all Alaskans have to live with yet hard to explain to someone from the outside.
Our road system is growing, not long ago many were just winter trails, but the soil just can't be a trail as most is tundra, taiga or swamp, which is why they were winter trails when they froze up. When roads are built and they are easy dirt ribbons, nothing too challenging for an off roader, coming from the meca of Cali, Colorado, or UT. Also most of the trails roads we do have don’t go anywhere, no infrastructure, unless you like old drill rigs or mines. I kind of like that they lead to nothing.
5 to 6 hours drives can become the norm up here, bush flights are very expensive, boats are mandatory toys/tools that almost all Alaskans should have, ATVs and snowmachines get you off the road system easily. The wonderful thing is that there is a way to get out and away, true wilderness. Ask any Alaskan they will tell you the backcountry is getting more and more crowded, try to find a pull off to camp on the Denali Hwy in hunting season, haha. I don’t feel that is a bad thing, one just has to go deeper, and that may just cost more with time or money. All are welcome to explore.
edited to add: Sorry for the long ramble, we like to stand up for our state, way of life, and it is hard to hear that some are not satisfied by it. Kind of like telling a New Yorker that New York was not it was all cracked up to be. no hard feelings :ylsmoke:
 
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Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
co-opski,

I don't think anyone is devaluing AK with any negative comments. I think it's just not well understood what the Alaska experience is. I know many overlanders think it's a never ending series of vistas and breathtaking views from Seattle to Whitehorse. In reality, it's hours and hours of trees interrupted with trees, and flanked with trees. Once in a while you get to see a river and a mountain peak. Sometimes the most interesting part of the day is a sequence of frost heaves you didn't see coming. :) Many also think that AK is a never ending series of offroad opportunities, when it's anything but. You can drive for hours and hours on some roads and not once see an opportunity to get off that road. It's just a different experience. If you take it for what it is, it's pure magic. Expect it to be something it's not, and you'll struggle.

You live there now. I did. I think we're on the same page.

In my mind, an overland rig is the worst platform for a genuine AK experience. I think a VW bus and a fat wallet to pay for chartered boats, ferries, planes and helicopters is the perfect AK experience.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Pretty much every state/country i visited is different than what "outsiders" imagined of it, it's not just Alaska. I grew up in Quebec and did a lot of driving up North, so I have a very good idea of what you mean. Northern Quebec is the same, tree after tree, except that we don't get the mountain. But we do get the mosquitoes.

I guess it's an advantage of doing the Rally in June/July, with days being longer, it gives more time to drive...
 

matt s

Explorer
First let me say the perception that alaska is a couple of highways without many good secondary/forest service orv roads is pretty on the mark.

However I think there are some pretty great trails to be done. There are many offshoot trails on the Denali highway. They don't go anywhere, if by that you mean a town or something they do head up to old mines, lakes, fish or hunting camps and get you into some incredible country. There are a couple off the Richardson I really want to see. I'd love to do the Demster too, find a local and I am sure there are trails that lead off from there. I am good for a few ideas and I know Rover guys on here have a few up their sleeve. Get a couple of Fairbanks guys to throw in their knowledge and you will have plenty of offroad should you choose.

Most of these are anywhere from 5-20 miles long. 5 doesn't sound like much but when you leave pavement from the middle of nowhere it doesnt take long to really be in the middle of nowhere. The trails are somewhat random and scattered about. They are generally not marked and if you don't know where to start you would miss them. I imagine that with the number of locals here we could come up with a list of day/overnight trip offroad excursions that people could hit along the way to the bigger destinations. Here is the rub. Most people up here won't share the locations over the Internet (we have our land use issues too, and overuse of unimproved trails is one of them). I don't always agree but I can see why too. However sharing via email PM or in person it's not an issue.

Long story short I really think you could plan a route that would include several of these side trip trails for the 4x4 contingent. People could run the highway and up a trail and camp in the mountains and run back to pavement for the next leg.
 

richjeeps

Eagle
Subscribed

I'm very interested and was planning on going to AK in 14. Unfortunately I can't make it this year.

I'm also interested in a pre-rally from east coast to Seattle but time would be a factor.
 

zimm

Expedition Leader
First let me say the perception that alaska is a couple of highways without many good secondary/forest service orv roads is pretty on the mark.

However I think there are some pretty great trails to be done. There are many offshoot trails on the Denali highway. They don't go anywhere, if by that you mean a town or something they do head up to old mines, lakes, fish or hunting camps and get you into some incredible country. There are a couple off the Richardson I really want to see. I'd love to do the Demster too, find a local and I am sure there are trails that lead off from there. I am good for a few ideas and I know Rover guys on here have a few up their sleeve. Get a couple of Fairbanks guys to throw in their knowledge and you will have plenty of offroad should you choose.

Most of these are anywhere from 5-20 miles long. 5 doesn't sound like much but when you leave pavement from the middle of nowhere it doesnt take long to really be in the middle of nowhere. The trails are somewhat random and scattered about. They are generally not marked and if you don't know where to start you would miss them. I imagine that with the number of locals here we could come up with a list of day/overnight trip offroad excursions that people could hit along the way to the bigger destinations. Here is the rub. Most people up here won't share the locations over the Internet (we have our land use issues too, and overuse of unimproved trails is one of them). I don't always agree but I can see why too. However sharing via email PM or in person it's not an issue.

Long story short I really think you could plan a route that would include several of these side trip trails for the 4x4 contingent. People could run the highway and up a trail and camp in the mountains and run back to pavement for the next leg.

i second you as trail leader.

quite gentlemanly for you to volunteer!
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I'd love to do the Demster too, find a local and I am sure there are trails that lead off from there. I am good for a few ideas and I know Rover guys on here have a few up their sleeve.
I live in Whitehorse, have been on the Dempster numerous times and hunt up there every year.

We know of one old trail that leads off, though I don't like your chances in summer, it's a nasty, boggy marsh. We ride it on snow mobiles in the winter.

Other than that, you really can't get far off the Dempster at all.

-Dan
 
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