For those who want to see Alaska, and love to cycle, this is the ultimate tour! Six days of cycling through a wide variety of the incredible scenery of Alaska. We top things off with a last day cruise through glacier studded Prince William Sound.
|Average 70 mi
|652 km / 405 mi
|Hotel and cabins
|June, July, August
|States or country
|Ted Stevens Anchorage Int. Airport (ANC)
|Ted Stevens Anchorage Int. Airport (ANC)
*Please note the prices are subject to change depending availability *
The Bicycle Alaska Tour has six days that average 70 miles of bicycling. Our route has views of Denali, visits Fairbanks, and is highlighted by a 300-mile bicycle ride down the spectacular Richardson Highway. The Richardson Highway runs from the center of the state to the coast, almost in a straight line. This gives you the opportunity to see the different climate zones, mountains, and river basins of the Alaskan interior and South central Alaska. Taking us far from commercialized ‘tourist’ areas, in our opinion it is the most scenic, low traffic, paved highway in the state. We return to the Anchorage area via a cruise across Prince William Sound. Altogether, this tour gives you the best-detailed overview of Alaska possible in this amount of time.
After breakfast in Anchorage, we van north beyond the population centers and down the Parks Highway into the wilderness. We bicycle along the Parks Highway toward Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park. The road passes along the south face of Mt. McKinley and offers excellent vistas of the mountain and the other peaks and glaciers of the Alaska Range. We rise above treeline at Broad Pass (only 2,200 feet!) where we have a magnificent view of the Alaska Range to the left and front, and see a beautiful series of glacial valleys in the Talkeetna Range to the right. We ride to our cabins at the Perch Restaurant, near the Entrance of Denali National Park.
Distance: 54 mi / 89 km
We mount our bicycle for a beautiful ride along the Nenana River, through the backbone of the Alaska Range. We pass the headquarters of Denali National Park, then exit the park through the Nenana River Canyon. At the mouth of the canyon the land opens up and we enter the vast forest of the great Alaskan interior. We continue paralleling the Nanana River to the town of Nenana. We then van to dinner and our rooms in Fairbanks.
Distance: 80 mi / 128 km
Our tour of the Richardson Highway begins with a 75-mile ride from the outskirts of Fairbanks to Delta Junction. The road winds along the magnificent, wild Tanana River as it flows through the interior of Alaska on its way to join the Yukon. The warm weather and thick forest here are typical of the huge Alaskan Interior. As we cross the Tanana River, we get an excellent view of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Ahead looms the mighty Alaska Range, highlighted by Mt. Deborah (12,339 ft.) and Mt. Hayes (13,832 ft).
Distance: 75 mi / 120 km
We leave Delta Junction and began the gradual climb up the glacial Delta River toward Isabel Pass. Passing through the Alaska Range, we see huge ice fields on either side of the road. Enormous mineral fields color the mountains in different hues of red, gray and brown. We ride along beautiful Summit Lake, only 3,000 feet in elevation, well above tree line.
Distance: 68 miles/ 109 km
Leaving the Alaska Range behind us, we pass Paxson Lake and drop into the Copper River Basin. We pass many small rivers and lakes as the road parallels the Gulkana River. Moose, caribou, and trumpeter swans are common sights in this area. We stop for dinner at the historic Gakona Lodge (built in 1906).
Distance: 70 mi / 112 km
We wind our way up the Tsaina River, toward Thompson Pass. On the way we stop off at Worthington Glacier, only yards from the road! Thompson Pass is only 2,678 feet, but far above the tree line, and the views from here are truly spectacular. Don’t forget your camera! We now drop 2,500 feet in six miles into the Lowe River Valley. Following the Lowe River, we ride through the vertical rock walls and numerous waterfalls of Keystone Canyon. We spend the night in Valdez, the port for the Alaska State Ferry, and across the bay from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Terminal.
Distance: 58 mi / 93 km
We wake up early and board a ship of the Alaska Marine Highway for an unforgettable trip across Glacier studded Prince William Sound. We leave the ship in Whittier and board a shuttle for a 15-minute ride UNDER the Chugach Mountains to Portage. From Portage, we van back to Anchorage which marks the end of our Bicycle Alaska Tour.
Please note: Over the last few years, budget cuts have been making the Alaska Marine Highway increasingly unreliable and difficult to work with. We have been having problems with cancellations and schedule changes. If that happens on the tour you sign up for, we will run a different itinerary on Day 7, which will include cycling and/or hiking in another beautiful location.
* This is a general itinerary. Tour itineraries are subject to change based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances such as the weather, local conditions, government intervention, that may affect the quality of the trip and/or safety of the participants. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.
Cannondale bicycles, each bike is equipped with 21 or 24 speed Shimano index shifting, smooth rolling tires, and is Alaska Equipped with fenders, rack, water bottle and day pack.
Hotels and cabins:
We stay in the ‘best available’ at each location.
In Alaska, If you design your tours around four-star hotels you become very limited as to where you can go. All the hotels and cabins we use are clean and have private baths.
In Anchorage, we stayed at the Hampton Inn.
All lodging, including the night before the tour departure, is included in the tour price! We can’t expect you to miraculously appear in Anchorage at 8:00AM, so your room the night before the tour departs is included in the tour price.
* Possible to share a room with another cyclist to avoid single supplement.
Tour price 2024 from: $ 4295.-pp single fee $ 700.-
Prices are based on double occupancy. For people who book singly, we will try to find a same-sex roommate. If we fail to find you a roommate, there is no extra charge. Single rooms may guarantee at extra cost depending on availability.
Tour dates 2024:
02 Jun – 08 Jun
30 Jun – 06 Jun
14 Jul – 20 Jul
04 Aug – 10 Aug
25 Aug – 31 Aug
The deposit payment for a tour must be paid within two weeks after the booking is confirmed.
The remaining payment is due 90 days before the start of the tour.
For tours that are booked within 90 days before the start of the tour you will pay 100% of the tour price
What’s a day like:
On a typical high mileage day, we will meet for breakfast at 8:00 AM and be ready to ride about 9:30 AM. We generally divide the riding day into four legs of 12-22 miles each. After the first leg, we have a snack break at the van, where we have bananas, apples, candy bars, drinks, and all kinds of other goodies available. After the second leg, we have lunch, which may be in a lodge, or may be on the side of the road. After the third leg, we have another snack break, and then it’s onto our rooms and dinner. We eat our way down the highway!
A shorter mileage day proceeds much the same except after lunch we might hop in the van to go to a trailhead for a hiking excursion.
Riders ride at their own paces. At all times a guide is employed as ‘sweeper’ and rides at the back of the group to catch any flat tires or other problems. Some groups string out over quite a distance. Others are much the same speed and stay as a pack. No matter. You get to ride at a pace you find comfortable.
Your guide knows the road. He knows the hills. After a few days, they will know you too. We are always glad to answer questions like, “Do I want to ride this next leg?”
We know how difficult the ride is, we know how scenic it is, and we can see how fresh you are. We do our best to make sure that you get all you want, but not too much
What if I get tired? After all, you are on vacation; there is no dishonor in taking a break.
If you ever don’t want to ride your bike or take part in any of the activities, we take care of that too! You will see the van roughly every two hours. You can feel free to get in the van at any time!
Bonus Miles! Most days will have the opportunity for you to ride even more mileage than the tour itinerary states. Let us know! We can usually give you all you want!
Considering our remoteness, Alaska is blessed with wonderful roads. Considering our winters, it’s a good thing! Roads in Alaska do not go up to high elevations or they would be in permanent snow. If they were steep, they would be too icy to climb all winter.
Many of the pictures you see look like they were taken at high elevations. Bear in mind that this far north, tree line is rarely as high as 2500 feet, and often much lower. That opens up a world of beautiful Alpine scenery without having to deal with lung-busting thin air!
Since virtually none of the land was in private ownership before the highways were built, there was never a necessity to build roads around someone’s property lines. Therefore the roads very effectively finesse the terrain, winding as necessary to avoid hills and to keep grades even.
Alaska is certainly well known for its mountains. Fortunately, the roads in the North Country pass through the mountains rather than over them. For example, when we cross the Alaska Range at Isabel Pass, the road only climbs to 3200 feet. As a rule, the steepest grades on our larger highways is 6% (same as on Interstate Highways.) And the greatest one-day elevation gain on either tour is only 1800 feet!
Most of the Richardson Highway has wide shoulders, such as these spot about 35 miles out of Valdez. This road cross section is typical of the entire highway.
On the northern Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and Paxson, the road is mostly shoulderless. When the Parks highway was completed in 1972, this section of road was bypassed by the vast majority of traffic. Since then vehicle traffic on this stretch of road has been negligible As a consequence all the lodges and gas stations closed long ago and we eat lunch out of the van.
Alaska has an exaggerated reputation for being rainy because most of the people who visit here come up on cruise ships!
They cruise the Inside Passage, where the warm waters of the Japan Current fill the air with moisture that falls on the coastal mountains of southeast Alaska. Yes, it rains a lot down there, but away from the coast, most of Alaska and the Yukon Territory is technically semi-arid, getting only 10 – 15 inches of precipitation per year.
Alaska has gotten a reputation for voracious mosquitoes. Like many ‘reputations’, this one has elements of truth, which are often exaggerated to a ridiculous extent.
Alaska has generated this reputation largely because of two of the largest attractions have been hunting and fishing.
If I wanted to attract mosquitoes I would go to a wet, wooded area and stand still. Hunters and fishermen do exactly that, and yes, they will get eaten alive.
I have been in Alaska for 33 years now, and the worst mosquitoes I have ever seen were in Idaho. In second and third places come Minnesota and Northern California. I’m sure many of you have seen places that can beat any of the ones I mentioned. The fact is, anyplace on the planet with woods and water will have mosquitoes!
The typical maximum airspeed of an Alaskan mosquito is about four miles per hour. (You won’t find that kind of information in an encyclopedia.) I have been walking away from mosquitoes for years now, and I have observed the speed at which they can no longer keep up. When hiking, you can just walk fast or trot for twenty yards or so and you will lose them for a while.
On a bicycle, they can’t keep up except when you have a tailwind that is going exactly the same speed as you are. How often does that happen?
Most of the other bugs I get asked about either don’t exist in Alaska or are here in such small numbers as to not have annoyed me in 33 years. These include the dreaded Black Flies which exist on the east coast of the US.