Can You Say Monomaniacal?
An invitation to ride to Prudhoe Bay by MotoQuest founder Phil Freeman
When I started Alaska Rider Tours in 1998, before it morphed into MotoQuest, I had no idea I would become an authority on something. But, after having ridden to Prudhoe Bay 17 times, I quietly and consciously became aware that I may have done that run on a motorcycle more than anyone on Earth. Over the years, I have seen the Dalton Highway, AKA The Haul Road, change very little. When I talk to prospective riders for our Prudhoe Bay Adventure, I review the good, the bad, and the ugly of that sometimes very challenging road. (Read the Dos and Don’ts of Dalton).
Alaska Rider Tours’ first official guided ride up the Dalton in 1999.
MotoQuest’s most recent Prudhoe bound guided ride in 2020.
If you have ever seen my Alaska slideshow presentation you would note my argument for riding to Prudhoe Bay instead of stopping short at the Arctic Circle sign. First of all, the most challenging part of the road is between Fairbanks and the Arctic Circle. After the Arctic Circle, it is paved (chip sealed) all the way to Coldfoot. This stretch of road is perhaps the loneliest and loveliest ride anywhere in the world.
From Coldfoot, you have 245 miles of pristine wilderness without gas stops. This stretch takes you north of the tree line, over the Brooks Range, and onto the north slope, stopping just before the Arctic Ocean. Atigun Pass through the Brooks Range is nothing but superlatives in terms of scenery, and my favorite part of the trip. After crossing the pass, you have another 100 miles of rolling tundra dotted by roaming caribou and musk oxen until you reach the outskirts of Deadhorse, Alaska. The extreme latitude you are traveling through is palpable: the sun never dips down below the horizon, and there are oftentimes no souls in sight for miles. It’s a humbling, exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The ride on the Dalton Highway is sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. Road conditions can range from easy pavement-ish deliciousness to downright sloppy rainy unfun. The chance of seeing wildlife is excellent: we’ve spotted Dall sheep, caribou, musk ox, grizzly bear, and even wolves from the saddles of our motorcycles. We have seen snow in the middle of July and felt temperatures change 50 degrees on the last 70 mile leg to the Arctic Ocean. To be sure, this is no Sunday drive, and is not for everyone; but, if you are the type of person who craves a little more discomfort to get to that one point on the map that few have, then our Prudhoe Bay Adventure might just be the best ride yet.
Alaska is open for business, it awaits those adventurous souls who are obligated to challenge themselves. Even though I have been there many times, I am always up for one more trip to the farthest point of the road system in North America.
Well- monomaniacal-ism aside- because there is no other ride like it in the world. Challenge accepted!
Do you have what it takes to ride to Prudhoe Bay? If you do, get on board with us, and get ready for an epic adventure. After all, what else is there?!
Prudhoe Bay Adventure
May 30 – June 28, 2021
July 24 – August 2, 2021
May 29 – June 7, 2022
July 23 – August 1, 2022
For our guests who are looking for an Alaskan motorcycle vacation that sticks to pavement, our Best of Alaska guided adventure can’t be beat! Ride past the tallest mountains on the continent, visit historical gold rush areas, and immerse yourself in the epic Thompson Pass in and out of the quaint fishing town of Valdez, Alaska. This ride is the best way to explore coastal and interior Alaska in one fell swoop.
This is our most popular couples trip in Alaska, and solo riders can’t get enough either. At the moment, both of our 2021 rides are almost fully booked.
In seven days of riding, you will experience more of Alaska than most Alaskans!
Best of Alaska Adventure
June 11 – 20, 2021
June 25 – July 4, 2021
June 10 – 19, 2022
June 24 – July 3, 2022