Anchorage may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicycle tour operator offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilderness. Choose one of these easy-access tours, and 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.
If You Can Pedal, You Can Explore
Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as difficulty. When you make your reservation, they’ll ask about your riding ability to find the best match for you. As long as you know how to ride a bike and operate hand brakes, you have enough skill for a lot of rides—and yes, it’s okay if you haven’t ridden any bike in a while.
Pack Some Basics, Pick Your Tour
Tours include a bike, helmet, a biking jacket and gloves, as well as snacks (even lunch, if your trip specifies that). The tour bikes for paved paths are Kona hybrid bikes with lightweight aluminum frames—comfortable models meant for commuting and day trips. For dirt trail rides, you’ll hop on a Rocky Mountain fat bike. They feature 4" mountain bike tires, aluminum frames, and disc brakes. Fat tires make for a softer ride, easier rolling over obstacles and overall are a more stable bike. All you need to bring is the right clothing: lightweight layers (non-cotton is best), athletic pants, closed-toe shoes, a hat and sunglasses, and perhaps things like a rain jacket, day pack, camera and water bottle.
Summer Half-Day Tours
This tour on an easy, 9.5 miles of paved bike path and gentle grade starts with a pick-up at the downtown Visitor Center Log Cabin Shuttle Stop. You’ll head to Kincaid Park and bike the (nice and flat) Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to Westchester Lagoon. Kincaid Park and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail are known for their wildlife, especially moose and black bear!
Chugach Mountain Fat Tire Tour
This moderate to difficult ride takes you above Anchorage, back into the Glen Alps Valley. Ride a fat tire bike down a wide double track trail to an alpine lake. Ride where the wildlife roams.
Summer Full Day Tours
A full-day option allows for exploration beyond Anchorage, and a favorite route of the locals: “Bird to Gird.” Get picked up in Anchorage and drive out to Bird Creek along Turnagain Arm. You’ll pedal about 12 miles at the pace of the group (typically up to 3 hours). This ride is moderately difficult with some hills and plenty of stops and photo ops along the way. Your guide will talk about the sights and back stories—like the natural history of the glaciers, the Gold Rush, and looking out at the water for a bore tide or beluga whales. Once in Girdwood, you’ll load into the van and go on one of three extended excursions:
Bike & Tram Tour
After your bike ride, take the tram up Mt. Alyeska to have lunch at the top. You’ll spend about 1 hour enjoying breathtaking scenery at this charming ski resort, along with a visit to the roundhouse museum at the top. The guides then drive you back to Anchorage.
Bike & Beast Tour
After your bike ride, load up and your guides will take you out to the Wildlife Conservation Center. Here you will have a chance to see Alaska wildlife up close. The center is a sanctuary for brown bears, moose, musk ox, wolves and more.
Don’t worry about running out of energy along the way. When you’ve had enough pedaling, you can load your bike up with the driver at one of the scenic stops and hitch a ride to the next scenic stop. Most folks find that the gorgeous and dynamic scenery keeps you engaged and energized the whole way.
Winter Fat Tire Bike Tours
The bicycle tours don’t stop just because snow starts falling in winter. Alaska Trail Guides also offers winter tours using fat-tire bikes that have good traction in the snow. While not technically challenging, these bike rides do require more effort than mountain or road biking due to the added resistance that makes them a great stable winter bike. This is a great option for those who are active and get regular exercise.
Four tour options cater to different fitness levels and interests, whether it’s staying in town, checking out the Iditarod Trail or even exploring a glacier. All tours include 2 hours of guided biking time, along with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, instruction, snacks and use of a fat bike, helmet, hand warmers and a head lamp (great if you’re pedaling after sunset). You’ll need to bring your own basic layers (ex: a puffy jacket, hard shell, gloves, long underwear, snow pants and stiff-soled winter boots), and a sense of adventure!
Knik Glacier Bike & Flight
Your day begins with a short drive to Merrill Field, where you’ll board a helicopter with bikes and equipment. A scenic flight over the Chugach Mountains takes you to Knik Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Southcentral Alaska. You’ll explore the glacier and frozen lake by bike for two hours! Then warm up with hot beverages and snacks before the flight back to Anchorage. This 4-5 hour tour runs mid-winter from late December through February and is dependent on daily weather conditions. Maximum riders: 5.
Paws & Pedals
Mix and match on this tour with 2 hours of fat tire riding and 2 hours of dog sledding! Travel from Anchorage to Willow, official starting point for the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race. Enjoy two hours exploring the well maintained trails in Willow, have lunch, and then experience first hand the exciting sport of dog mushing. This full day trip is available from November through March (depending on snow conditions). Maximum riders: 14.
The company is run by co-owners Elly and Frankie: Frankie, who’s from Fairbanks, is the business manager and driver, providing transportation to trail heads. Elly, meanwhile, started her Alaska tourism career guiding sea kayak tours, but found a passion for cycling, and is the guide out there on the trails and roadways with you. Their groups always stay small: up to 10 people max for the coastal rides, and up to five for mountain biking.
- Rocky Mountain Fat Tire Bike with studded tires
- Pogies (bar mits), biking gloves and hand warmers
- Insulated helmets
- Ski goggles
- Over boots if needed (Wind blocker; keeps out snow. Goes over your own winter boot.)
You need to bring
- Winter boots
- Warm layers (non-cotton)
- Winter jacket
- Winter / snow pants
- Wool (non-cotton) socks
- Warm hat / beanie
- Warm winter gloves
You may also want
- Extra layers
- Water bottle