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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #16  
Old 22 Jun 2023
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Originally Posted by krtw View Post
From Prince Rupert its hiway 16. At Kitwanga Junction there's hiway 37 going north called the Highway 37 Stewart-Cassiar Scenic Route. 450 km, does anybody have information on this road. Specifically gas stations and conditions? According to wikipedia, its mostly paved.

Thanks.
Found it. Longest stretch is 270 km - no problems.
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  #17  
Old 22 Jun 2023
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Originally Posted by krtw View Post
I'm coming in to BC from the east. It appears like the best route to Tuk then may be to go to Vancouver Island, then take the ferry to Prince Rupert and start there. Its saves a lot of km riding north and is NOT that expensive.

From posts here it looks the main dirt road begins on the Dempster at Dawson City - I'm having tires shipped to me, so I'd change tires there. And once again when I get back from Tuk.

I'd most likely book a hotel in Inuvik and do a day trip to Tuk and back. Assuming the weather is ok (I understand this is a big assumption) how much time should one assume for the ride from Dawson City to Inuvik? 774 km according to google maps. Aprox 250 km a day? So like 3 or 4 days?

Prince Rupert to Dawson City - looks like 5 days at least. Maybe 6 again depending on weather and road conditions...So total days to plan for, from Prince Rupert = 8 to 11 days one way. Is this reasonable?

I have 2 gas tanks on my F800gs for a total of 23L plus 2 6L gas bags that tie onto the crash bars. This should be adequate. Comments?

Once I start heading south, the time frames become less critical as the weather will hopefully start to warm up. I'm looking at being in Vancouver on or about July 2 - there's a ferry on the 3rd. This time frame seems good. Comments most welcome.

All roads lead south after this, to Central America where I plan to take a break for a while in Panama, get the bike serviced, learn some Spanish, and then take on South America.

Learned a LOT on my eastern trip. The weather was terrible. Highway 389 north from Baie Comeau was a lot of dirt riding, at least 200 km, and lots of that in the pouring rain with temperatures hovering around 3 degrees.

I hope the weather north is a little better.

The next search, doing it right now is on fires to see if this path north is even open.

Any and all comments, suggestions are welcome. And I believe this post makes a little more sense.

Thanks.
IIRC it took 4 days from Prince George to Dawson, 5 days from Vancouver. Both times. Places along the route to stop by: Stewart/Hyder, hot springs at beginning of Klondike highway near Whitehorse (they have good hostel there too).

Dropping stuff in Inuvik and riding to Tuk isn't a bad idea, that's what we did in 2018 when it opened up. Took ~7hr for round trip.

Your tank range should be sufficient. It is 250mi/400km from turn-off to Dempster to Eagle Planes. I have heard that gas station at junction had closed, add another 20km from Dawson City.

There's a campsite at Rocky River. When you enter go 3/4 around access road. There is a netted bunkhouse with roof you don't have to break tent out and wait for it to dry out.

Generally Dempster is good when wet but new/newer sections have silt and calcium chloride so they will be very slippery if they have enough moisture.

Eagle Planes has rooms but you need to reserve in advance. If you won't find hotel in Inuvik there are a couple campsites. One in town another one before you enter to town.

Good luck. Keep the rubber side down
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  #18  
Old 22 Jun 2023
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Originally Posted by krtw View Post
I'd most likely book a hotel in Inuvik and do a day trip to Tuk and back.
I think the vast majority of people do it this way... but I can't imagine riding all the way to Tuk, and not visiting the place. It's a great community. The people are so friendly, welcoming, and curious...

I stayed two nights, and strongly considered a third!
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  #19  
Old 22 Jun 2023
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Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
I think the vast majority of people do it this way... but I can't imagine riding all the way to Tuk, and not visiting the place. It's a great community. The people are so friendly, welcoming, and curious...



I stayed two nights, and strongly considered a third!
There's a free campsite at The Point in the middle of the town right off the beach
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  #20  
Old 22 Jun 2023
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Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
There's a free campsite at The Point in the middle of the town right off the beach
Wasn't free when I was there!

CAD$60 per night when I was there last year, though they didn't collect the fee on Canada Day.
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  #21  
Old 23 Jun 2023
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Wasn't free when I was there!



CAD$60 per night when I was there last year, though they didn't collect the fee on Canada Day.
It was free in 2018 when road to Tuk just opened. Time flies.
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  #22  
Old 23 Jun 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
I think the vast majority of people do it this way... but I can't imagine riding all the way to Tuk, and not visiting the place. It's a great community. The people are so friendly, welcoming, and curious...

I stayed two nights, and strongly considered a third!
Great to know. Maybe I'll alter my plans....
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  #23  
Old 24 Jun 2023
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I rode from Vancouver Island up the Dempster last summer (all the way to Tuk) and summer before last to the arctic circle sign.

Alcan is mostly paved and they were in the process of chip sealing the super smooth unpaved parts both times I was up there. If you're not heading through Alaska you will miss pretty much all the unpaved/chipseal parts.

Dawson City is tiny and you may have better luck getting your tires changed in Whitehorse. Yukon Yamaha has been doing that for many years in Whitehorse.

Arriving in Vancouver on the 2nd and catching the Prince Rupert ferry is not realistic. The ferry leaves at 7:30am from Port Hardy, which is almost 500kms from Nanaimo where the ferry from the mainland comes in. So arriving in Vancouver on the 1st makes more sense. That would give you enough time to catch the 1 1/2 hour ferry to Vancouver Island then do the ride up to Port Hardy where you'd stay overnight.

If you go via the Port Hardy / Prince Rupert ferry I suggest going north from Terrace towards New Ayansh where you'll ride through some relatively new lava fields. Paved to New Ayansh, gravel back to the Cassiar Highway.

Alaska Ferry Service does not have a vessel stopping in Prince Rupert this year as per their website. Something to do with coast guard regulations.

I rode the Dempster in two days each way but I had amazing weather and it was 29 degrees and sunny in Tuk, allowing me to go for a swim in the ocean.

If you're going up the Cassiar Highway I recommend taking the stunning detour to Stewart and then up the gravel road to the Salmon Glacier ...google it.

Have a blast
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  #24  
Old 24 Jun 2023
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all booked

I have a friend who is connected in Dawson City. Got me hotel booked, a mechanic booked, a place to ship tires to and a place to store some of my gear before the Dempster.

My ferry is booked for July 5th - much more reasonable. The only thing left, to the best of my current understanding, is to get a room booked in Prince Rupert the night the ferry lands....it will be 12:30 AM and a room would be good.

Looking at the rest of the posts here - thank you all. Looking very much forward to getting back on the road.
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  #25  
Old 23 Jul 2023
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Where are you now...?? I'm in Prince George

Sent from my SM-G781B using Tapatalk
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  #26  
Old 2 Sep 2023
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Hi Get yours tyres booked in advance yukon Yamaha whitehorse new set there will get a you up the Dempster and back down and to fairbanks on tkc80 s, yukon motorcycle park in whitehorse camping or luxury tents and workshop
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  #27  
Old 2 Dec 2023
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stewart- cassier highway

hi
The Stewart Cassier highway is spectacular, fuel at Dease lake and Maziadin Junction, Camping at 10 k north of dease lake was great.
looking at posts-

Fuel - just need to have fuel range of 400 k biggest distance on dempster was bottom of dempster to eagle plains. in summer time, lots of traffic. So someone will help you out if the worst happens.

Tyres - Whitehorse Yamaha were great. Order tires in advance!!!!, don't turn up and expect to have tires in stock. I rode the dempster 2021 there where 10 bikes getting tires there.
Stay at Yukon motorcycle park, Whitehorse. you can change your own tyres over. Yukon Yamaha Stored my part worn tires till I got back for the dempster I had TKC 80s got Whitehorse , tuk and then up to Fairbanks, Alaska then where not going to get me home front was fine, back was done.
My route was Revelstoke - jasper- Dawson creek- Dawson city - tuk - Dawson city - Fairbanks - Holmer - Whitter - Valdez- Tok - then Cassier highway back to Revelstoke which took about 7 weeks and 11000 k
Might like to consider changing over to Michelin Anakee Wild tires just changed over from TKCs they last alot longer 6,000 miles mixture 60 /40 road/Gravel

Have a great trip
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  #28  
Old 27 Dec 2023
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morning

This is a great trip.
I have done it in summer and I have done it in heart of winter. I much preferred it in winter. But let's stick to summer riding. I have advised many riders on this journey. I always start with this.

It is not hard, nor is it rocket science. Remember. There are guys who do it on Electra glide Ultra 900 lbs HD's with wife and gear on road tires (close to 1500 lbs total) with no issues. The Dempster is awesome. The almost 1600 kms of gravel the Dempster is from the junction of road to Dawson city is well maintained. Your enemies will be dust when dry and meeting the trucks from Inuvik. They drive like they own the road and in many ways they do. The plus is that you can see the cloud of dust a mile away. Pull over, wait till they go by, let the dust hurricane dissipate and resume. Trust me! You cannot ride through it.

They use Calcium chloride to control dust. but it goes away kind of quickly. Two things will make or break your trip on the Dempster. The rain and the weather after you clear Eagle Plains. the rain will turn the road into soup that can be simply impossible to navigate if they graded it not too long before you ride on it.
Also about graders. Depending on the crew and the skills of the operators they might leave a winroe so high that it is impossible to ride across.

If it is in your lane make sure to be stuck on the right of it. You do not want yourself and incoming traffic stuck together in a narrow lane together. there is a road crew station near the entrance of the Dempster. stop and ask about condition. the guys are great and if they are not too busy you might be stuck there chatting and drinking .

Eagle plains! If you have never done the Dempster, reserve a room at the Eagle Plains lodge. Awesome place to rest and get your shit and bike checked and ready to go to Inuvik and fuel. Fuel, fuel fuel fuel when you can. Remember that. They also have great food. Sure It is expensive but you do not do this journey to save money. If that is your goal, do not go. you will regret it. But if living, being in awe of the Ogilvie and Richardson Mountain range, the endless tundra, the permafrost as far as the eyes can see and the camaraderie you will experience on the road with other travellers are your focus; it is a memory you will carry to your last breath. Also make sure to stop in Fort McPherson to rest and fuel at the northern store.

Tires. Each time I have left Victoria I did the whole trip on road tires. On one set. If carrying extra tires is a must for you; do. The road is shale and might slice the rubber. Your call. But personally? I do not believe it is needed. But if carrying a spare set of donuts adds safety to you and that you enjoy the look of the over prepared adventurer, by all means do it. tires can be expensive in Dawson city. There are also a couple places you can leave your extra rubber along the way. I would suggest to sleep at the Air force lodge in Watson Lake on your way up. the owner is a rider. German guy. https://airforcelodge.com/

Awesome dude. You can leave your tires there (He did not mind then) to put them on when you come back. again! Your call. also make sure you stop at the Braeburn lodge in whitehorse. https://www.facebook.com/gianormousfood/
they have the world's best and biggest cinnamon buns. The size of your head. take one with you. you can feed of this monster for three meals.

I have been all over the north, and my opinion is that the Dempster is the true last Adventure ride left. The alaska Highway is paved all the way and is a nightmare composed of camera toting, straw hat wearing, map reading, slow as %$#@! motorhome and camper driving twits. If George can do it on his 45 foot Class A motorhome towing his Escalade without issues, do not try to approach this with your bike as an adventure trip thinking it is going to be trip where your mind and heart make love all day with risk, uncertainty, adventure conditions and the ever smiling doubt of whether or not you will make it to the end of the day.

You can also go north doing the two part Canol highway. But this is small bike country and roads (Read track)
this old pipeline road will leave you breathless and scared all day. My type of road. Between the sound of your self-doubt and the branch crackling sounds of bears roaming around, bugs the size of a B-52 Bomber that will fly away with your lunch after chewing a piece of skin the size of Grandma slice of apple pie and a litre of your curled blood, your mind will constantly ask "At what point did this sound like a good idea?"

But if you ride something no bigger than a 400, have enough Rotopack to fuel you the US army corps of engineer on your way there. Just kidding! Not really, you can exit the Canol and reach fuel station and stores at a few points. But they are hard to see and you do not want to miss them.

I think legend says that the grizzlies have learned to wait there at these exit points to see an " I look and act like an adventurer but have no clue what I am doing" motorcyclist go by pushing his DRZ400. Guaranteeing them their next dinner. LOL!

Joking aside (Am I?) stick to the dempster if you have never been in these Parts. I have been living on Vancouver island for 35 years. the ferry from Port Hardy to the Prince Rupert is great. But it robs you a a few thousand kilometres
of inland riding that offers breath taking scenery and that is a must.
My tires of choice for me have been each time the Metzeler Tourance EXP on my 1150 GSA or 1200. I made it up to Inuvik and back home on one set no issues. EVER! I kept my PSI at 45 on rear to minimize flex on the soft Dempster which in turn reduced heat and ultimately sidewall flex that the shale loves to bite on. I ride at no more than 100 KM/h. not only to enjoy the scenery first but to give my tires a break. My buddy had TKC 70 and also made it back.

I know plenty of guys who took off on Karoos, TKC 80's an 805's as well as 706's and they DID NOT MAKE IT back having to change their tire on their way back in a shop charing a mortgage payment an hour, or wanting your girlfriend for three hours in exchange of a tire install.
People on the Dempster all the way to Inuvik will stop at every stopped vehicle. People are great. You will meet people who walk it all, bicycle it all, drive and ride it all. shoulders are mostly non existent but the ditches are wide and mostly flat.

you can pull over in this easily if mechanical attention is needed or the urge the take a whiz is more important than the scary realization that these huge flying monsters could fly away your manhood and/or jewels.

Bug spray on your manhood might sound crazy, but it works! ) feels better if you are circumscised. let me know if your try this. I have not! LOL!!

All in all it is not that hard, but sure is the best there is left. Use common sense, prep your bike the way it deserves as it carries precious cargo. (YOU) and realize that you are in the middle of nowhere, with mother nature spreading her beauty on an amazingly beautifully painted canvas that most people will ever see.

As for your bike. They use calcium choride on it. This eats through metal, aluminium causing permanent damage. Use Amsoil MP metal protector and spray it all over your bike. I mean everywhere. This stuff dries to a yellowish tint and cannot be power washed with soap and water. But spray a light petroleum product on it like WD40 and it melts away. It will protect your bike 100% it looks like shit while you are on the raod as the only clean part is your headlight, but you will look badass.

I have over 75K of winter riding, salt and that chloride shit on my Dakar and there is no rust.
https://www.amsoil.ca/p/amsoil-mp-me...BoCUkwQAvD_BwE

Hope all this helps. Like I said, I offered this, assuming you will do the dempster. do not worry about time of year. May to September. You will either deal with heat, rain, bugs and dust the earlier you go, or cold, maybe snow late in evening or early morning and/or frost. I prefer the later as the road is better.

Good luck. Have fun, live lots, laugh hard and love harder. Tomorrow may never come

Paul Iceman Mondor
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Tuktoyaktuk and the Dalton - seek advice and more-ff3e3fb1-e48e-4138-bcd1-c248fb5968d3.jpg  

Tuktoyaktuk and the Dalton - seek advice and more-2018a68d-b55d-40fe-88e9-3f3c372304d4.jpg  

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  #29  
Old 28 Dec 2023
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Originally Posted by Iceman_Mondor View Post
This is a great trip.
Unfortunally there has not been much activity in this thread for some time but nevertheless this is a really good post with lots of information and well writen.
I am sure it will benefit someone some day. This post really does good to this great site. I enjoyed reading it.

In name of all of us, thank you very much for taking the time to set up such a masterpiece of a reply.

Best regards,

Rögnvaldur
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  #30  
Old 28 Dec 2023
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Great post Iceman Mondor and thanks for posting! Very sound advice there! I agree that the Dempster is more adventourous than the Dalton. Would also mention that if one are on a budget the halfway point to Inuvik at Eagle Plains also have a simple campground.
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Last edited by Snakeboy; 29 Dec 2023 at 19:04.
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