Photo Credit: Salmon Berry Tours

Anchorage Northern Lights Tours

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Day Tours & Attractions

Season: Nov 15 to Apr 04 $255+ Half Day, Full Day, Multi-Day

Own­ers Mat­ti and Dan can­not think of a bet­ter way to appre­ci­ate Alas­ka than shar­ing it with oth­ers. Mat­ti was born and raised in Palmer, Alas­ka and has been on snow­ma­chines most of her life. Alas­ka Back­coun­try Adven­tures offers mild to wild” expe­ri­ences and prides itself on pro­vid­ing a cus­tomized expe­ri­ence for all lev­els of abil­i­ty. It offers the widest vari­ety of expe­di­tions on the lat­est and great­est equipment.

For a spec­tac­u­lar ski along Anchorage’s coast with views of ice­bergs, active vol­ca­noes, a salt marsh and the majes­tic white mas­sif of Denali, take a cruise along the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This mul­ti-use civic gem draws skiers, bik­ers and walk­ers in almost every win­ter con­di­tion. Once the city parks depart­ment starts reg­u­lar groom­ing, it is often the eas­i­est of skis, pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies, with only two sig­nif­i­cant climbs along its  ...more

Season: Year Round $299+ 30 - 90 min

There are few things more spec­tac­u­lar than lift­ing off in a heli­copter and soar­ing over Alaska’s glac­i­er-filled ter­rain or out across its shim­mer­ing waters. Suit­able for all ages. Get a taste for heli­copter flight­see­ing on a 30-minute trip into the 20-Mile riv­er val­ley and the heart of glac­i­er country.

Forty min­utes from down­town Anchor­age lies Eagle Riv­er Nature Cen­ter, a gate­way to Chugach State Park and a glacial riv­er val­ley as wild and dra­mat­ic as any in Alas­ka. Enjoy an easy, 3‑mile nature walk on the Albert Loop or trek up-val­ley 5 miles to see plung­ing water­falls and 3,000-foot cliffs. In win­ter, tra­verse the trails on cross-coun­try skis or snowshoes.

Season: Year Round $59+ 1-3.5 hrs

Sum­mer or win­ter, vis­it a fam­i­ly-run cham­pi­on ken­nel, meet friend­ly dogs and an expe­ri­enced mush­er for a ride along pri­vate trails with views of Denali. Opt to ride in the sled or mush your own. Or, for a tru­ly authen­tic adven­ture, go on a train­ing run for the Idi­tar­od! Large groups and spe­cial events wel­come when orga­nized in advance.

Explore the wild ice of Pot­ter Marsh along the Seward High­way in South Anchor­age. After a hard freeze-up, the marsh morphs from bird-nest­ing habi­tat into an intrigu­ing maze, with miles of twisty routes lead­ing to unex­pect­ed rinks. Very pop­u­lar with families. 

Freeze-up turns this sev­en-mile long fresh-water fiord in Chugach State Park into a mul­ti-mode trav­el cor­ri­dor for ice skaters, hik­ers, skiers and bik­ers. Adven­ture skat­ing can be good before snow gets too deep, or after mid-win­ter thaws or wind rehabs the surface. 

Pas­toral is the word here. This 300-acre park on Anchorage’s near-east side fea­tures groomed paths over the gen­tle fair­ways of a snow-bound golf course. Loops explore a hand­some for­est with bridges over a mean­der­ing spring-fed creek. Most groomed trails are lit or near lights, and are very pop­u­lar with new and younger skiers. Still, you can find plen­ty of hills, plus a more chal­leng­ing clas­sic-style loop in the north-side forest.

Season: Aug 07 to May 10 $249+ 6 hours

Pho­to­graph alpen­glow on snow capped moun­tains, frosty scenes glow­ing in rich win­ter light, wildlife wan­der­ing snowy paths, city lights reflect­ing on the water at twi­light, and pos­si­bly even the north­ern lights!

Here are win­ter adven­tures with­in a 90-minute dri­ve or less from Anchor­age. Some are out­doors and take advan­tage of Alaska’s win­ter snow cov­er and frozen ground. Oth­ers offer inti­mate indoor escapes to unex­pect­ed sights. All point toward fun activ­i­ties — and the option to return home in time for dinner.

Season: Year Round $95+ Day Tours | $35+ Rentals Half and Full Day Tours | Rentals 4hrs+

Anchor­age may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicy­cle tour oper­a­tor offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilder­ness. Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as dif­fi­cul­ty. You’ll go from down­town to Moth­er Nature — with moun­tains, coastal views, and the occa­sion­al moose sight­ing — in no time at all. Bet­ter yet, the tours often include beer tast­ings or lunch.

With an aston­ish­ing maze of groomed trails over all kinds of ter­rain — includ­ing 12 to 15 miles equipped with lights for night ski­ing — Kin­caid Park is the region’s pre­mier des­ti­na­tion for cross coun­try ski­ing. The sys­tem ranges from sedate, pas­toral loops suit­able for fam­i­lies on an out­ing to demand­ing expert work­outs with hard climbs and scream­ing descents. This venue has ski­ing for every lev­el of experience. 

For a leisure­ly ski along a scenic green­belt that cross­es Mid­town Anchor­age along an eco­log­i­cal­ly rich bot­tom­land, try out the Camp­bell Creek Trail — reach­ing 7.5 miles from the Uni­ver­si­ty Lake area to West Dimond Boule­vard. It’s anoth­er one of the city’s through-the-look­ing-glass” expe­ri­ences where you’ll feel sur­round­ed by a win­try ripar­i­an habi­tat even though you’re often ski­ing a few hun­dred feet from indus­tri­al areas and neigh­bor­hoods. Very  ...more

A pre­mier pad­dling des­ti­na­tion in sum­mer, the eight-mile loop canoe trail through 14 lakes can be skat­ed after freeze-up and before sig­nif­i­cant snow­fall. Peo­ple often cruise the entire route in one long day, or skate out a few lakes and return. Be pre­pared to hike portages up to a half-mile between lakes. 71 miles north of Anchorage.

Difficulty: Easy

For a chal­leng­ing and com­pact cross coun­try ski area where you’ll find just about every kind of ter­rain, you can’t go wrong at Beach Lake Nordic Ski Trails off South Birch­wood Loop in Chugiak. The 15-kilo­me­ter-plus sys­tem ranges from easy glid­ing to a sprawl­ing advanced loop with sud­den head­walls that morph into thrilling, high-speed descents. You can make it as chal­leng­ing or as sedate as you like.

These frozen chan­nels wind for miles across the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge off the Glenn High­way in the mouth of the Matanus­ka and Knik riv­er val­leys, just 35 miles north of Anchor­age. Either trav­el the streams or explore exten­sive pond net­works on the flats.

Season: Year Round $175+ 3.5 to 9 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you any­where you want to go with­in Price William Sound — or just cus­tomize a tour to what­ev­er you want to see. Maybe that’s glac­i­ers, or whales, — or maybe it’s qui­et time on a seclud­ed beach. Lazy Otter can also help facil­i­tate tak­ing you and your fam­i­ly on a camp­ing trip. You’re not held to any strict sched­ule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one  ...more

For an oth­er­world­ly encounter with a famous glac­i­er you can’t eas­i­ly approach or even glimpse dur­ing sum­mer, lead the fam­i­ly across frozen Portage Lake to a fan­tas­tic wall of jum­bled, blue ice. Once the lake sur­face has frozen sol­id, peo­ple flock across on foot, ice skates, skis and bikes. 50 miles from Anchorage.

It’s easy to take a grand tour” ski across Anchor­age. Using the city’s 120-mile-plus mul­ti-use trail sys­tem, you can kick-and-glide from the moun­tains to the sea. Start at an urban trail­head noisy with traf­fic and end in a qui­et for­est. Launch from a side­walk below sky­scrap­ers to find a wildlife refuge with a vast ocean view. The city’s exten­sive mul­ti-use trail sys­tem fea­tures dozens of itineraries 

Season: Year Round $379+ 1 hr - full day

For out­stand­ing view­ing and incred­i­ble access to remote places, there’s noth­ing like flight­see­ing by heli­copter. Join Alas­ka Heli­copter Tours – a local­ly-owned, high­ly-respect­ed heli­copter tour and char­ter com­pa­ny – for excur­sions that reveal hid­den sites just min­utes from Anchor­age. Spot wildlife from the air, stand on a glac­i­er or land on a remote airstrip.

It’s like a block of wilder­ness nes­tled with­in the heart of the city. This easy 7.5‑kilometer loop cir­cum­nav­i­gates much of the unde­vel­oped reserves of Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty and Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Anchor­age — con­nect­ing sev­er­al city parks while serv­ing as a major hub for cross-city ski­ing, snow bik­ing and oth­er activ­i­ties. A trek here can trans­port you deep into an Alas­ka win­ter set­ting with­out ever leav­ing the urban zone. 

For the clas­sic city ice skat­ing expe­ri­ence where hun­dreds of peo­ple might spend the after­noon careen­ing along smooth, wind­ing paths or warm­ing them­selves at burn bar­rels, try out Westch­ester Lagoon at the west end of the Chester Creek green­belt off the L Street / Min­neso­ta Dri­ve corridor. 

Season: Year Round $15+ 45 min - 9 hrs

This expe­ri­enced, local­ly run com­pa­ny offers a superb guide-to-vis­i­tor ratio, cre­at­ing a real feel­ing of inti­ma­cy, while their expert guides will help deep­en your under­stand­ing of the area. From city overviews to for­ays just out­side town, Salmon Berry Tours offers expe­ri­ences from 2.5 hours up to a full 8‑hour tour.

Season: Year Round $1500 per person 6hrs+

Trygg Air offers day trips for wal­rus view­ing from Anchor­age as well as King Salmon, in South­west Alas­ka. Fly to King Salmon com­mer­cial­ly from Anchor­age, and then meet Trygg Air for a 90-minute scenic jour­ney along the west side of the Alas­ka Penin­su­la to Cape Seni­avin to view these 4,000 pound ani­mals that haul out on the beach. Trygg can also fly you out to two oth­er icon­ic places: Brooks Falls, to see griz­zly bears swat­ting at salmon; and the  ...more

Season: Year round - water landing approximately May 1st - October 5th $125+ .5 to 3 hrs

Explore Alas­ka from above with this fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny that oper­ates out of Anchor­age. Options include fly­ing above Denali, Knik and Colony Glac­i­er, the Chugach Moun­tains, and more!

Season: Shack: May–August. Guided Trips: Year-round $100

Go fish­ing right in Anchor­age – whether you have only have a few hours or a full day. Rent a gear pack­age and fish on your own. Or, hire one of our local guides to take you on a guid­ed tour to land your dream catch. You can also buy bait and fish­ing licenses.

If you’re seek­ing some fun ski­ing over groomed, forest­ed trails away from crowds, the Coy­ote Trail sys­tem behind Mir­ror Lake Mid­dle School in Chugiak is worth check­ing out. Used most often by mid­dle school ath­letes and the neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ty, the loop fea­tures 5.6 kilo­me­ters easy enough for begin­ners to enjoy and yet chal­leng­ing enough to enter­tain more advanced skiers. 

Whether clas­sic tour­ing through deep woods or dri­ving hard on your skate skis down a race route, you will find every kind of ski­ing inside Anchorage’s largest park. Scores of mul­ti-use trails suit­able for ski­ing criss­cross this vast, 4,000-acre tract, reach­ing from low­land for­est into the foothills of the Chugach Moun­tains. The most pop­u­lar groomed route may be the Tour of Anchor­age Trail. But with at least 65 trails cov­er­ing near­ly 100 miles,  ...more

Season: Year Round $150+ 2+ hrs

Win­ter or sum­mer, expe­ri­ence the thrill of run­ning Idi­tar­od sled dogs and even have a chance to dri­ve! Meet the sled dogs and hear first-hand just what it’s like to run the Iditarod.

Season: November - March $299+ 8 - 9 hrs

Every­body loves sled dogs, and Salmon Berry Tours offers you the chance to get behind the sled year-round. In sum­mer and win­ter, you’ll head to the ken­nel of Idi­tar­od Cham­pi­on Dal­las Seavey, where you’ll see a gear demon­stra­tion, meet the dogs, and ride on the sled behind them. They also have a mul­ti-day adven­ture for Idi­tar­od enthusiasts. 

The wood­ed, hilly trails of Hill­side Park loop through the moun­tain foothills between Ser­vice High School and Chugach State Park, offer­ing more than 25 kilo­me­ters of groom­ing. They range from the poten­tial­ly stren­u­ous Spencer Loop with the city’s biggest climb to mild Randy’s Loop close to the sta­di­um by the school. These trails include just about every kind of terrain 

When snow allows, sev­er­al looped ski trails are groomed near Eagle Riv­er High School and along the slope over­look­ing the riv­er canyon. A fun option con­nects trails near the school to a mul­ti-use sec­tion over the snow­bound roads inside the Eagle Riv­er camp­ground of Chugach State Park. This 6‑kilometer sys­tem is a fun way to explore the riv­er cor­ri­dor, with con­nec­tions to exten­sive mul­ti-use routes

Season: November - March $150+ 3 hrs

Feel the thrill of explor­ing the Alaskan wilder­ness while dri­ving your own snow­mo­bile over the tun­dra, look­ing for wildlife and tak­ing in amaz­ing views. And on a clear day you’ll get an amaz­ing view of Denali.

Season: Dec 01 to Apr 20 $255+ 5-6 hours (day trip) or 4-10 days (multi-day)

Explore Alaska’s back­coun­try astride a speedy and fun snow­ma­chine. Alas­ka Wild Guides will take you out for one thrilling day, or for sev­er­al days of exhil­a­rat­ing adven­ture. Find hid­den ice caves and remote glac­i­ers while nav­i­gat­ing along frozen rivers and through deep powder.

The Chester Creek mul­ti-use trail sys­tem con­nects city parks and moun­tain venues in east Anchor­age with the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail along the shore of Knik Arm. The main trunk runs with­out break some four miles from Goose Lake Park to Westch­ester Lagoon, light­ed all the way. Using tun­nels and bridges, the fun trail offers an unin­ter­rupt­ed trav­el cor­ri­dor for skiers of all ages and abil­i­ty lev­el across the heart of the city. Call it  ...more

Season: Mid-November to mid-April $200+ 3.5+ hrs

Hop aboard an eco-friend­ly snow­mo­bile in Gird­wood and ride on groomed trails beneath mas­sive, 7,000-foot glaciat­ed peaks or vis­it the daz­zling blue ice of Spencer Glac­i­er. Or, head north of Anchor­age for a trail ride through mid-alpine black spruce forests. No expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary, all gear pro­vid­ed, and warm bev­er­ages and snacks included. 

Season: Dec 18 - Mid April $62+ Half or Full Day

Alyeska Resort is famous for its down­hill ski­ing and snow­board­ing for a rea­son — it’s tru­ly world-class, fea­tur­ing tons of snow, steep moun­tains, and views that stretch on for­ev­er. But there are a ton of oth­er win­ter activ­i­ties that make Alyeska an epi­cen­ter for win­ter adven­ture. Go cross-coun­try ski­ing or snow­shoe­ing on one of the area trails; or head off into the back­coun­try with a guide for some heli- or cat-ski­ing; try a snow­mo­bile excursion;  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

For one of the loop­i­est and fun Nordic ski areas in the city, try out the trails behind Bartlett High School along the bound­ary of the mil­i­tary base. Hilly, with lots of curves that spring into quick and sud­den climbs, this five-kilo­me­ter-plus sys­tem through a mature for­est packs a lot of ski­ing into a small footprint.

If you’d like to explore a snow-bound trail sys­tem through a majes­tic rain for­est that gets lit­tle vis­i­ta­tion in win­ter, try out Bird Val­ley in Chugach State Park south of Anchor­age off the Seward High­way. You and the fam­i­ly can stroll, ski, snow­shoe or snow-bike for hours through a serene and almost sur­re­al set­ting of tow­er­ing trees with an occa­sion­al stu­pen­dous view of Pen­guin Peak and Bird Ridge. 

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 30 $175+ 1-5 hours

Trail Ridge Air offers an on-demand per­spec­tive of Alaska’s wilder­ness, with per­son­able and knowl­edge­able pilots. Watch for wildlife, check out mas­sive glac­i­ers, alpine lakes, Denali, or even Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Trail Ridge accom­mo­dates for the busiest of sched­ules, with flights rang­ing from one hour to a full day.

Season: Year Round $125+ 30 min to 3 hrs

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s scenic high­lights on a flight­see­ing tour with Rust’s Fly­ing Ser­vice, where every pas­sen­ger gets a win­dow seat. Tour options include a short 30-minute Anchor­age Flight­see­ing Safari, a flight to Denali, Denali plus a glac­i­er land­ing, and more. Tours begin at Anchorage’s Lake Hood, the world’s busiest sea­plane airport.

For an epic sled run that drops near­ly 500 feet in less than a mile, vis­it what some locals call The Luge” off Arc­tic Val­ley Road in the foothills of the Chugach Moun­tains just east of town. Depend­ing upon on snow con­di­tions, it takes intre­pid sled­ders three-to-five exhil­a­rat­ing min­utes to descend a nar­row chute-like trail to the bottom. 

Season: Nov 01 to Mar 28 $115+ 4 hrs - multi-day packages

Won­der­ing how folks up here deal with Alaska’s long win­ter days? It’s easy when the inky night sky comes alive with an amaz­ing light show like the auro­ra bore­alis. Brav­ing the cold is noth­ing if you get a chance to see the lights danc­ing and wav­ing over­head. Com­bine your auro­ra view­ing trip with a few oth­er high­lights planned out by Salmon Berry Tours, and you’ll expe­ri­ence the best of win­ter in Alaska.

Season: Sep 19 to May 09 $63+

Win­ter in Alas­ka is a mag­i­cal time, with few­er vis­i­tors and a serene, snow-cov­ered land­scape. If you’re here from mid-Sep­tem­ber to mid-May, you can take it in from the com­fort of the Auro­ra Win­ter Train, which runs between Anchor­age and Fair­banks. It’s an easy and mem­o­rable way to trav­el north and expe­ri­ence the auro­ra bore­alis, or even do a week­end get­away to Talkeetna.

Season: Year Round $99+ Summer | $169+ Winter 1 - 8 hours

Expe­ri­ence the excite­ment of rac­ing cham­pi­on sled dogs at the Alas­ka Mush­ing School, just 75 min­utes from Anchor­age. Get a professional’s insight into the mush­ing lifestyle as you ride behind a team of ener­getic sled dogs on trails con­nect­ed to the famous Idi­tar­od route. Bun­dle up and ride in com­fort, or brave the cold and dri­ve the team yourself!

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