Taking a jeep or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) through the backcountry offers some great perks. Not only can you cover ground quicker than you do hiking (which, in Alaska, often requires a lot of tedious bushwhacking), but it’s a lot of fun—although you’ll likely get a bumpy, and at times raucous ride. Here’s the difference between the two:
- Jeep Tours: You’re traveling mostly on dirt roads. Most of the time, you’re the passenger, with a skilled guide at the wheel and calling out points of interest. In some tours, though, you take turns behind the wheel of your jeep, following the guide in another jeep, using a two-way radio. And in others you even go it alone, using a GPS system as your guide. Tours that let you drive require a valid drivers’ license and minimum age of 25.
- ATV Tours: With these trips, you’re definitely off-road: dirt, gravel bars, even going across streams, maybe even right up to a glacier. You’ll likely have the option of driving yourself, after a quick primer on how to operate the four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles. Kids under driving age will always be passengers, though. You’ll often get narration through a headset or a two-way radio. Tours include safety gear and some outerwear, such as helmets and raingear.
Cost: What is the Price Range?
About $100 - $300 for tours ranging from a few hours to 6 hours. Kids and passengers get discounted rates.
What You Need
Though plenty of tours provide rain gear, come dressed to get dirty (and maybe wet), including closed-toe shoes.
Where to Go
The most popular Jeep and ATV tours take place near the following areas:
Jeep & ATV Tours
Anchorage View All
Explore former mining areas and serious wilderness outside the city. North of Anchorage, Alaska Backcountry Adventures takes you on a backcountry safari up the Knik River Valley towards the glacier. With Riding Alaska ATV Tours, you'll explore the magnificent Eklutna Lakeside Trail. Or, wind through the wooded trails of the Chugach Mountain Range with Alaska ATV Adventures, just south of Anchorage. In the alpine meadows of this wilderness area, there are frequent sightings of bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep.
With Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours, you can experience glaciers inaccessible by road. Never fear if you’ve never driven an before; this company teaches you to maneuver your ATV through the Alaskan wilderness with your guide at the lead. Your destination is the magnificent Knik Glacier, where you’ll enjoy lunch and gorgeous scenery.
Riding Alaska ATV Tours showcase the wonders of the glacially-fed Eklutna Lake area, a local favorite hidden away just outside Anchorage. Bring the family for a fully-guided ride along the lake and beyond – across gravel moraines, over rushing rivers and through woodlands, to within sight of Eklutna glacier itself. Sit back and relax while your driver does all the work! Keep a look out: the peaceful landscape is alive with wildlife, including ...more
Head out into the Alaskan wilderness on this exciting ATV adventure, driving through woods and splashing through rivers on your way to a gorgeous glacial moraine surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks. Transportation from Anchorage included.
There’s great Alaskan backcountry ATV riding just a few miles south of Anchorage. Engage in the sights, sounds, and smells of the northernmost temperate rainforest while experiencing the thrill of the throttle through the winding wooded trails of the Chugach Mountain Range. In the alpine meadows of this wilderness area, there are frequent sightings of both brown and black bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep.
Glacier View View All
2.5 half hours north of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway, and right next to the mighty Matanuska Glacier. Join Glacier View ATV Tours to discover the area.
The location of this ATV adventure is the midpoint between Anchorage and Glennallen. Plenty of travelers drive through this area without pausing for more than a picture of the roadside glacier, but Glacier View ATV’s three-hour tour — the only ATV excursion in this part of Alaska — makes this tour well worth a longer stop.
Denali View All
Tour both inside and outside the park across rolling tundra with mountainous backdrops. Denali ATV Adventures and Black Diamond ATV offer ATV tours near Stampede Road, made famous in the film Into the Wild. Or, discover the rugged Denali Highway with Denali Highway Jeep Excursions.
This is your chance to experience the spectacular scenery along the Denali Highway, a road recently ranked #2 worldwide as a ‘Drive of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. You’ll be given the opportunity to take the wheel, or if you prefer, just sit back and enjoy stunning views of the peaks and glaciers of the central Alaska Range. There is a guide in the Jeep up front, but you can stop wherever, whenever, and as often as you ...more
Drive your own 4‑wheel all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on this exciting off-road journey through the backcountry adjacent to Denali National Park. Black Diamond puts you in control: stop whenever you want, take pictures of the spectacular scenery, and laugh as you experience Alaska as it was meant to be: rough and wild. Explore old coal-mining trails and spill out onto the Dry Creek River Bed, then head high up on Black Diamond Peak to take in the ...more
The Black Diamond ATV Treasure Hunt backcountry adventure, just outside Denali, offers both a skilled guide and a splash of think-for-yourself adventure. Your ride can be fast and exciting or slow and leisurely — it’s up to you. Unlike some other ATV trips, you don’t have to do the driving; a pro is at the wheel of the Polaris ATV. You’ll explore old coal-mining trails and the Dry Creek River Bed, where Athabascan Indian artifacts have been found ...more
This tour is an adventuresome alternative to a bus ride into the park. Denali ATV Adventures offers several tours that let you explore the areas surrounding Denali National Park. On your journey, you’ll splash through rivers, drive over tree root-rutted trails, and four-wheel up to some of the area’s most spectacular vistas. Drive your own ATV, or be the passenger and enjoy the ride.
Ketchikan View All
Explore over 10 miles of old logging roads through the Tongass National Forest with Adventure Kart Expedition.
Drive your own jeep along private logging roads that wind up into the mountains, on your way to an alpine lake. Paddle across the shimmering lake to a shoreline camp for a delicious snack over an open fire. Enjoy some storytelling, then go on a short nature walk through a beautiful old-growth forest.
This exhilarating tour puts you in a rugged Tomcar for a back country ATV adventure over 10 miles of old logging roads through the Tongass National Forest. The off-road excitement is matched by amazing views as you navigate twist and turns, motor easily up hills, and splash through epic potholes. It’s sheer fun for the whole family. Get Dirty!