Tours of Alaska are plentiful in the summer and easy to arrange:
Gunsight Mountain – The notch of the Gunsight is plain if one looks closely.
Eureka Lodge – This is first lodge built on the Glenn Highway, opening in 1937.
The unincorporated community of Mendeltna – It was originally a stop used by Natives
traveling from Lake Tyone to Tazlina Lake. Gold brought prospectors into the area of
Mendeltna in the 1800s.
View of Tazlina Glacier to the south.- During the last ice age, this glacier and others spilled
out of the Chugach Range and covered the whole Copper River Valley.
Glennallen – Glennallen is the hub of the Copper River Valley. The name Glennallen is
derived from the combined last names of Capt. Edwin F. Glenn and Lt. Henry T. Allen, both
leaders in the early exploration of the Copper River Valley region.
Mile 75.5 of the race route, just beyond Glennallen, riders will turn right onto the Richardson
Highway. The trip from Glennallen down and into Valdez is one of the most beautiful
highways in Alaska. With its alpine tundra filled with miniature flowers and fireweed it has
long been called the Switzerland of Alaska. Before the riders descend to sea level at
Valdez, they will need to climb a series of rolling hills that take them to the top of Thompson
Pass, an elevation of 3000 feet. The climb, however, will seem gradual compared to the
“Prime Climb” out of Valdez to the top of Thompson Pass on the way back to Sheep
The Richardson Highway connects Fairbanks, the capital of the interior of Alaska, with the
seaport of Valdez. At the turn of century, thousands of gold seekers, starting at Valdez,
traversed the trails over the glaciers and mountains by wagon and sled into the interior of
Alaska. In 1920, the wagon route to Fairbanks was upgraded for vehicular use, and in 1957
this route was paved.
Copper Center – Founded in 1896, Copper Center, founded as a governmental agricultural
experiment station, was the first white settlement in this area. Gold Miners poured into the
area at the turn of the century. A post office was established here in 1901, the same year as
the telegraph station.
Trans-Alaska Pipeline – The pipeline parallels the highway in numerous spots.
Edgerton Highway Junction – The Edgerton provides access to the Wrangell-St. Elias
National Park and Preserve.
Mid-point of the Richardson – The route climbs to tundra meadows dotted with numerous
lakes and river crossings.
The Worthington Glacier – This is the closest one can get by road to a glacier in the state.
Thompson Pass – Record snow falls are recorded here – over 200 FEET. It can snow any
day of the year.
Keystone Canyon – The route winds along the Lowe River in the canyon. The canyon walls
contain countless waterfalls and interesting rock formations, including the 360′ Bride Vail
Falls and Horsetail Falls.
Valdez – Valdez is located on an estuary of the Valdez Arm in Prince William Sound.
Valdez developed due to its excellent ice-free port as the major debarkation point in Alaska
for those seeking a route to the Klondike and to the interior of Alaska. Tsunamis generated
by Valdez 1964 earthquake destroyed the original city of Valdez, and the community was
rebuilt afterwards in a more sheltered area. The Alaska Oil Pipeline ends here, as does the
200 mile Fireweed race.
Anchorage is a city of approximately 300,000 and sits alongside the Chugach Mountains on
the East and Turnagain Arm on the West. It boasts of an urban culture in town with a
playground of outdoor activities within Anchorage city limits and beyond. There are several
bike shops, miles of paved bike trails, miles of single tracks, and phenomenal hiking in the