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Our Group of Bicyclists at White Pass Summit

Our Group at White Pass SummitView All Sizes

A Peaceful Pond on the Way Down

A Peaceful Pond on the Way DownView All Sizes

JOURNAL : August 22, 2010

Biking the Klondike Highway

Skagway > Alaska > United States

Series Biking the Klondike Highway

From Fraser, British Columbia I disembarked the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad and met with the biking team at the station. Bundled into two vans we headed a few miles down the road to the Pass to begin our 15-mile downhill trip to Skagway.

A valley near the international border between Alaska and British Columbia

A Valley near the BorderView All Sizes

Roadside Waterfall on the Klondike Highway

Roadside WaterfallView All Sizes

From White Pass Summit

At an altitude of 2,865 feet White Pass Summit is a great place to start. It's all downhill from there. After a brief orientation and safety meeting we were fitted with raingear and assigned a two-wheeled companion.

For about a mile we coasted downhill in single file, riding our brakes the whole time. We were instructed to keep a specific distance between each other and not to pass. Some in our group were seniors and our speed was geared for the slowest common denominator. After awhile this became very irritating. Often I was riding too close to the gentleman in front of me. Worse yet the group in front of us was even slower and soon we were scrunched up behind them and their van, inching down the mountain at an excruciating crawl.

The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad from the Klondike Highway

WP&YR Railroad from Klondike HighwayView All Sizes

The Snapping Point

Should I make a break for it? Consequences were weighed and ultimately I simply released the brakes and streaked passed both groups. Outta sight within seconds on the misty road. The adventure had begun.

The bicycle I rented to cruise down the Klondike Highway.

My Rented BicycleView All Sizes

Freedom at Last!

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun this was. Several factors were important. First, this roadway is super clean. Constantly washed with wet weather, the surface has excellent traction. In Southern California it rarely rains and oil builds up so the roadways are slippery when wet. Second, as a mountain biker the fun is usually offset with a healthy dose of pumping uphill. Not this time! Also, the scenery was amazing: Waterfalls, forests, rivers, mountains and valleys. I even saw the same train that had taken me up to Fraser. And finally, traffic was very light. More cars would have meant more attention to the road and less on the view.

U.S. Port of Entry on the Klondike Highway, Skagway

U.S. Port of Entry, SkagwayView All Sizes

Downtown Skagway, Alaska

Downtown SkagwayView All Sizes

A few miles down the road at the U.S. Port of Entry the driver caught up with me and issued a pleasant warning. It was obvious he understood the situation and there were no hard feelings.

Sockeye Cycle Co.

Because they were cool about my solo cycle, the folks at Sockeye Cycle Co. deserve a recommendation. Conveniently located in the center of Skagway, they offer exciting bicycling adventures in the vast area surrounding Skagway and Haines, as well as extended tours for cycling enthusiats. Check ‘em out!


Pitchfork Falls from Klondike Highway

Pitchfork Falls from Klondike HighwayView All Sizes

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Mineral Wells Picnic Area

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