Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour operator based in Haines and Skagway proves that there's nothing quite like the view of Alaska from atop two wheels, as you glide through the gorgeously unique scenery. Its day trips are a fabulous way for independent travelers and cruise passengers to take a detour on their voyage, enjoying a different pace and perspective on the Alaska frontier.
Sockeye Cycle was born in 1988, not long after owner Thom Ely had taken a two-month trip around Alaska, fell in love with the place, and bought an existing bike shop in Haines. He branched into tours, and the business quickly picked up speed. Today it’s the oldest operating full service bicycle business in Alaska. They pride themselves on their customer service, their helpful guides, and their passion for showing visitors the wonders of Southeast Alaska and Canada from two wheels on a unique road.
Pedaling Into the Wilderness
While Sockeye Cycle does plenty of a multi-day trips (like the 3-day “Valley of Eagles” tour out of Haines, a 9-day trip around Western Alaska and a 12-day trip into the Yukon), the company has plenty of options if all you have is the better part of one day to ride.
The day trips, with a 6-to-1 ratio of travelers to guides, last from just under three hours to a full day. One of the most popular trips out of Skagway is the White Pass Train and Bike Tour, where you combine a 90-minute ride on the historic WP&YR narrow-gauge railroad, through the coastal mountains, with a 15-mile, mostly downhill bicycle ride back to Skagway, passing by waterfalls, mountains and even glaciers along the way. Or, out of Haines, you can take the Glacial Fjord Tour, where you ride on a flat paved road, following the steep-walled glacial fjord to the salmon spawning grounds overlooking an emerald lake; you’ll have a good chance of spotting bald eagles, sea lions, seals and even whales along the way.
Getting Up to Speed is Easy
You don't have to be a super-experienced cyclist to enjoy the ride. The only requirements are that you wear a helmet and be confident riding a bicycle with hand brakes. (The minimums are 10 years of age and 4'6" in height.) Sockeye Cycle supplies all the gear you need, from a well-tuned bicycle, helmet, rain jacket, pants and fleece gloves.
Participants rave about how friendly and informative their guides were and how unique and fabulously beautiful these day trips are. Not only could it boost your love of cycling, but it will truly broaden the horizons of your Alaska experience.