Looking for a great motorcycle or driving tour? Alaska's Prince of Wales Island has more than two thousand miles of roads that follow the coastline and carve through mountain forests. There's little to zero traffic; small, beautiful towns; and clean, fresh air. The Alaska Marine Highway can get you, your friends and your bikes here and back Friday to Friday.
Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan, AK and Prince of Wales Island (+)
Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan, AK and Prince of Wales Island (-)
Catch the ferry at Bellingham, which departs every Friday evening, year-round. Get your camera out and enjoy the magnificent cruise up British Columbia's coast. You'll arrive in Ketchikan on Sunday morning. Spend the morning exploring Ketchikan, then catch the afternoon Inter-Island ferry to Hollis, on Prince of Wales Island. Ride 40 minutes to Craig and have dinner, then check into your lodge or B&B or, if you're planning to pitch a tent, find your campsite.
Riding or Driving Prince of Wales Island (+)
Riding or Driving Prince of Wales Island (-)
The fun of riding and driving Prince of Wales Island is that there are so many options. Seven communities on the island are connected by the road system. A good example itinerary would be to start in Craig and ride up the coast to see the totem poles at Klawock, a Tlingit village. Then, head further north to Coffman Cove. Have dinner or do some fishing. If you camp on the beach at Luck Lake, you can grill the salmon you caught for dinner.
Make sure to spend some time exploring the wilderness on old logging roads. It's advisable to contact the U.S. Forest Service or Alaska State Troopers to get updated maps and check road conditions. You can get onto a logging road from Thorne Bay or Coffman Cove. Logging roads will take you into the cedar-covered mountains of the island's interior, where only bears, bald eagles and their friends live. Another great option is to rent a U.S. Forest Service cabin. Cabins sleep from three to eight persons and are equipped with wooden sleeping platforms, a wood stove, a table, chairs or benches, and a nearby latrine. Designs vary by location.
Ride the Ferry Back to Bellingham (+)
Ride the Ferry Back to Bellingham (-)
Catch the morning ferry at Hollis. Once back in Ketchikan, ride eight miles to Ward Lake for a hike or simply ride to both ends of the road, about 30 miles. Get on the afternoon ferry and you'll be back in Bellingham Friday morning. If you wish to spend additional time in Alaska before heading home, travel north to Wrangell and Petersburg or all the way to Haines or Skagway to connect with the road system again.