Riding or driving an ATV on a remote 15-mile trail just outside of picturesque Haines is an exhilarating way to kick your Alaska adventure into high gear. After a scenic ferry ride and a bus ride through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, hop on a side-by-side utility vehicle that handles rugged road with ease. Caution: Stunning views ahead!
From fjord to forest
The Last Frontier ATV Adventure is a 6.5 hour excursion that takes you from sea level to tree-line and back again, using three modes of transportation. Alaska Mountain Guides designed this tour as a fun way to experience a variety of Alaska’s ecosystems, and to access remote areas you wouldn’t otherwise see.
Over a deep fjord. Your adventure begins in historic Skagway, Alaska, where you’ll board the Haines Skagway Fast Ferry, skimming through Taiya Inlet, the longest, deepest fjord in North America. During the 45-minute narrated ride to Haines, you can spot waterfalls, cliffs, and hanging glaciers in the surrounding landscape. You can sit inside or outside as you watch bald eagles soar above and search for marine life in the water below. Watch for whales (humpback, minke and orca), seals, and sea lions.
Along a national scenic byway. Once in Haines, you’ll travel 26 miles by bus on the Haines Highway – Valley of the Eagles, one of three National Scenic Byways in the state. Making its way up the St. Elias mountains through lush rainforests, this highway also has historic significance. It was first used by the Chilkat Tlingit tribe, then became a packhorse trail for miners headed to the Klondike. During World War II, it was used as a military access road by the U.S. Army. Today this area is known for the thousands of bald eagles that congregate in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve each year.
The main event: getting sporty. Once you arrive at Alaska Mountain Guide’s staging area, you’ll get a safety briefing and learn how to operate a Utility Task Vehicle (also known as a “side-by-side” or UTV). These four-wheel-drive vehicles accommodate either 2 or 4 passengers, and are easy to handle. If you can drive a car with automatic transmission, you can drive a UTV. No fighting over the driver’s seat, though: there will be places to stop and switch out drivers so everyone gets a turn. (You do have to be at least 21 with a valid driver’s license to operate the UTV.)
Up and away. Your caravan of UTVs will head up the mountainside on 15 miles of gravel road and packed trail, passing beaver ponds and colorful meadows, crossing creeks, and going through rainforest until ascending up to the tree line and the alpine tundra. There’s a chance to see moose, bear, and possibly even wolves. Your group of no more than 24 guests will stop along the way to eat a picnic lunch and check out incredible views of the rolling river valleys framed by snowy mountain peaks. Then it’s back down again to complete your journey in reverse. You get one more time to see everything from a whole new angle.
About Alaska Mountain Guides
Alaska Mountain Guides is managed and run by local Alaskans who are passionate about showing off their backyard to visitors. Every single guest is like having a friend come visit, so excursions are designed around favorite recreational activities in locations that are both accessible and inspiring.
AMG Guides are friendly, accommodating, and incredibly knowledgeable, mostly because they work in remote environments around the world. Outside Alaska, AMG offers day-trips, courses, and multi-day experiences in regions of South America, Africa and Asia. Your guide might have just come from climbing Kilimanjaro, the Andes or other famous spots, so be sure to get some advice for your own next big adventure.