Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Cycling magazine features area


A six-page article about the Golden Circle route in the October-November issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine paints a glowing portrait of pedaling the road between here and Skagway.

Titled “The Golden Circle of Bears and Beers,” the article by Seattle writer Willie Weir rhapsodized about the ferry ride to town from Juneau – “one of the most beautiful in the world” – and the area’s landscape.

“This part of the world is insanely beautiful – mountain ranges that appear to go on forever, air so pure that breathing is akin to a fine dining experience, glacial rivers clear as glass,” Weir wrote.

Weir said that the thrill of the trip is heightened by brown bears (he and his pedaling partner wife had a close encounter near 75 Mile) and the Haines Highway, which he described as “beautifully paved and lightly trafficked.”

“We often felt as if we were on the world’s widest bicycle path,” Weir wrote.

Mosquito Lake campground and 33 Mile Roadhouse each get a favorable review, as does the spruce tip beer at Haines Brewing Company, which Weir said was the best spruce brew in the region.

“Our Golden Circle tour began and ended with a pint of spruce tip ale. We pedaled some of the most scenic roads our tires have ever rolled over. We saw eagles soar, a bear charge and even heard a raven sing,” Weir said.

The article includes photos of a bike rider on Haines Highway near Mule Creek, a coffee shop at Carcross, Y.T., and camping at Mosquito Lake. Adventure Cyclist is a publication of the Adventure Cycling Association and in each issue features bicycle touring trips from around the world.

Bike shop owner Thom Ely said the Golden Circle route has been a popular bike route for select groups of riders for years. He figures about 20 bicyclists per year make the trip on a self-guided tour.

Ely has offered supported tours of the route since 1989, taking about 30 cyclists a year and making three trips. He said he expected the article will provide “a lot of bounce” for his business.

“People see it, but don’t want to do it alone. They want a van along and bear protection. To do it alone, you’re carrying 60 pounds of gear. Plus, there’s no (grocery store) in Haines Junction now. So you have to take backpack food,” Ely said.