Alaska - General Information
Most people fly into Anchorage from outside Alaska. Registration on Thursday before the races and the Awards Ceremony the Monday after the races are in Anchorage. All races start at Sheep Mountain Lodge, 115 NE of Anchorage, a 2.5 hour drive on good roads from Anchorage. Rental cars tend to be expensive in Alaska in the summer. The 50, 100, and 400 miles races end at the Sheep Mountain Lodge. The 200 miler ends in Valdez on the coast.
REI in Anchorage will accept shipped bikes, assemble them for you if you wish, and tune them. All bike shops in Anchorage have expert bike mechanics.
Weather is usually 40 at night and 60 during the day. Rain showers are common on the Fireweed course.
Occasionally, we have racers contact sking athletes in Anchorage to be their drivers for the 400.
Tours of Alaska are plentiful in the summer and easy to arrange.
Arctic Bicycle Club, Our sponsoring bike club! The Road Racing Division is http://www.abc-cycling.com/
Sheep Mountain Lodge, http://www.sheepmountain.com/. Fireweed400 race start. Lodge can only accommodate 40 people. Make reservations early.
Airport Weather Sheep Mountain, http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/PASP.html
Weather at the race start 24 x 7 x 365 from the dirt airstrip 2 miles away.
Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge, http://www.majesticvalleylodge.com/index.html
One mile up the road from the start. Accommodates 60 people. Make reservations early.
NOVA River Rafters and Glacier Hikes, http://www.novalaska.com/
Raft trip starts 6 miles from Sheep Mountain Lodge. Great for race spectators.
MICA Glacier Guides, http://www.micaguides.com/glacier.html
Glacier tours start 10 miles from Sheep Mountain Lodge.
South-central Alaska web site, http://www.alaska.com/akcom/southcentral/
Location of The Fireweed400 and Anchorage.
Anchorage Daily News, newspaper in Anchorage, http://www.adn.com/
Find out what is happening in Anchorage. Searchable for Alaskan locations.
The Milepost, http://www.themilepost.com/
AAA for Alaskan roads with mile by mile commentary on the entire race route.
Xtranormal explains it all at http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/12674956/cycling-explained
There are 8 bike shops, a zoo, 5 golf courses, and 300 bike racers in Anchorage.
The Arctic Bicycle Club is a main sponsor of the Fireweed.
Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites - Official Anchorage Hotel
1200 L Street - Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Toll Free: 800-544-0786
907-276-0110 FAX: 907-258-4914
Sheep Mountain Race Start
Sheep Mountain Lodge
Race Start Headquarters - mile 113.5 on the Glenn Highway
$135 for 2 in a cabin.
HC 03 Box 8490
Palmer, Alaska 99645
(Located Mile 113.5 Glenn Hwy.)
Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge
Mile 114.9 on the Glenn Highway (race starts mile 113.5)
$115 to $135 double occupancy
HC03 Box 8514-I
Palmer, AK 99645
Phone: (907) 746-2930
Fax: (907) 746-2931
Luxury Accommodations - NEW in 2007
King beds with Private baths
Overlooks Matanuska Glacier
On 100-mile Lake on the Glenn Highway
34301 West Glenn Highway
Only 4 suites. $180-$250 a night.
Grand View Lodge Cafe & RV Park
22518 West Glenn Hwy
Milepost 109.5 Glenn Hwy, 4 miles toward Anchorage from the race start
Glacier View, AK 99674
(907) 746- 4480, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations at http://www.alaska-rv-park.com/facilities-and-rates.html
26 RV sites, of which 19 are pull-through sites. Clean coin operated showers & laundry on premise.
Standard site (30 Amp electric water. Back in or pull through) $34
Full 30 (30 Amp electric with water and sewer) $36
Full 50 (50 Amp electric with water and sewer) $38
Water & 30 Amp electric $23.00
Economy (No Hook Ups) $14.00
Tent Sites $20 with water or $23 with electric and water
Price for economy and Tent Sites have access to 24 hr restrooms and $ shower
Tundra Rose Guest Cottages
22518 West Glenn Highway
Milepost 109.5 Glenn Highway, 4 miles toward Anchorage from the race start
Glacier View, Alaska 99674
(907) 745-5865 or (800) 315-5865 in Alaska
$148-$158 Per Cottage ~ 2 persons
$15 per additional guest
5% Borough Bed Tax added to room rate
10% Active Military Discount
Gas fireplaces, kitchenettes, coffee makers with complimentary coffee, tea, and cocoa), Cable TV, iPod docks, private decks, Glacier Views
Caribou Hotel - located in Glennallen. Far away from the start.
76 miles from the Fireweed start.
Full service Alaska hotel, B &B, cabins and guide-concierge service for
alaska fishing and alaska hunting beside Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
Glennallen, the junction of the Glenn and Richardson Highways
Voice 907-822-3302, FAX 907-822-3711, email@example.com
The Race Course Itself
The Fireweed 400 will start on the Glenn Highway at Sheep Mountain Lodge, roughly 100 miles northeast of Anchorage, and run to Valdez and back a total distance of approximately 392 miles. The National Scenic Byway states "The Glenn Highway is a place where geology, culture, and scenery come together to create the majestic and rugged landscape that can only be seen in Alaska." The Glenn Highway was completed in 1944 linking the Alaska-Canada Highway to Anchorage. Before its completion there was no road access to Anchorage from the Lower 48.
In the first 15 miles of the route, racers will find a couple of steep climbs. The first 6 miles has a 1000 foot elevation rise. At approximately 15 miles from the start, riders will reach Eureka Summit (3,322), the highest point of the Glenn Highway. In the next sixty miles to Glennallen, the route descends gradually to an elevation of approximately 1000 feet.
Traveling east to Glennallen, bikers will have views of Mount Sanford (elev. 16,237 feet), Mount Drum (elev. 12,010 feet), Mount Wrangell (elev. 14,163 feet), and Mount Blackburn(elev. 16,390 feet). These Wrangell Mountains, along with St. Elias Mountains contain the most spectacular array of glaciers and ice fields outside the polar regions. The Wrangell Mountains are part of the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, the nation's largest national park. Together with the adjacent Kluane National Park of Canada, the park has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations. In addition to the Wrangells, the riders will be surrounded for most of the race on the Glenn and Richardson highways by the Talkeetna Range and the Chugach Mountains.
Wildflowers growing along the roadside in July include fireweed, sweet pea, lupine, cinquefoil, Jacob's ladder, and milk-vetch.
Attractions along the Glenn Highway
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 Mountain Lodge.
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.
Attractions along the Richardson Highway
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.
Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau is helpful to those in our race: http://www.valdezalaska.org/
Rooms in Valdez
Mountain Sky Hotel & Suites
Official Fireweed Host Hotel - 200 yards from the finish
At the head of the Azure waters of the Prince William Sound, nestled beneath the Chugach Mountains – Mountain Sky Hotel & Suites is the perfect choice for the adventurous traveler and the home-away- from-home vacationer alike. If its comfort you want it is at your fingertips with the largest standard rooms in the area, cardio center, 24hr business center, conference room, breakfast available onsite, and easy access to adventure, travel, heli- skiing, fishing, hiking, and the stunning wildlife of the sound…
Mountain Sky Hotel
100 Meals Ave
Valdez, AK 99686
Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn
$149 + Bed Tax for a room with one Queen bed or a room with two Double beds
Totem Inn Hotel and Suites
$ 149.00 for Deluxe rooms (single occupancy)
$189.00 for an Alaskan Suite (single occupancy)
Glacier Sound Inn
Toll-free (1-888) 835-4485 • Phone: 835-4485 • Fax: 835-4744
$90 plus tax - a large discount from the normal $120 rate
BnB rooms or an apt/mobile
Diann Hursh, Box 233, Valdez, AK 99686
$70 for one, $90 for 2, $105 for 3
907-835-3135 or 907-831-1000 or 1-888-853-5333
Activities in Valdez
Keystone Canyon Whitewater
$5 off for a Keystone Canyon Whitewater trip.
Groups of more than 10: each get $10 off each. Offer valid through September 1, 2008.
Keystone Canyon Whitewater Raft Trip Description
The Lowe River through Keystone Canyon is one of the most spectacular whitewater raft trips in the state. This Class III stretch has stunning waterfalls cascading from six hundred foot vertical canyon walls. The view from the river is something you don't want to miss. Our trip is four and a half (4 1/2) miles, lasting about an hour on the water. We provide all the gear you need!
Trip Cost: $55/adult - $45 /children ages 7-12
We are located at Mile 16.5 Richardson Hwy. just before Keystone Canyon
on the left if you're headed toward Valdez.
Fireweed participants are welcome to utilize our large pullout.
We'll be cheering for the racers!
PO Box 1486
Fish Central Boat Rental and Fish Processing – 835.5090 www.fishcentral.net
Keystone Rafting - Keystone Canyon Run – 835.2606 www.alaskawhitewater.com
Whitney Museum - 835.1600 www.uaa.alaska.edu/pwscc
Pangaea – Glacier Hikes and Sea Kayaking 835.8442 www.alaskasummer.com
Alaska’s Bistro Dinner in the Bistro 835.5688
Halibut House Fish Baskets 835.2788
Ernesto Taqueria 835.2519 www.headhunters-inn.com
Inside Scoop 835.9000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sugar and Spice 835.4336 www.thestoreinalaska.com
Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises 835.4731 www.stanstephenscruises.com
Anadyr Guided kayak tours 835.2814 www.anadyradventures.com
H2O Guides glacier trekking and ice climbing guided tours 835.8418 www.h2oguides.com
Mike’s Palace 835.2365
Harbor Landing General Store 835.2331
Maudy’s Cottage 835.5390 email@example.com
A Rogues Garden vitamin supplements, power bars, protein drinks, herbal supplements 835.5880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospector 835.3858 www.prospectoroutfitters.com
Sandra’s Gold 835.3820 www.sandrasgold.com
Hotels, B&B's, dining, camping, air lines, and additional summer activities such as sea kayaking, river rafting and flight seeing can all be found here.
For those finishing in Valdez consider returning to Anchorage via the State Ferry system. It is very scenic!