1. Why join an AKTG trip? / Why choose AKTG over other companies?
Alaska Trail Guides is a small independent guiding outfit. Our guides are professional and knowledgeable about the trails in and around Anchorage. Being a small, independent company allows us to be flexible in order to better meet our client’s needs.
2. Do I need prior experience to go on your guided adventure? What kind of rider do I have to be to go on one of your tours?
We have a variety of tours. Each trip is rated by difficulty level and has a minimum skill and fitness level. When making your reservation, we will ask about your riding ability to ensure you are choosing a trip that best trip for you. Even if it has been years since you've ridden a bike, our guides are there to help you feel comfortable and reacquaint you with the equipment. We also have several different styles of bikes to match rider style and comfort level.
For all trips you must already know how to ride a bike, use hand breaks and be familiar with shifting gears.
3. What if I get too tired and do not want to bike the entire distance?
For our trips that are point-to-point the driver guide meets the bikers with the vehicle. These are scenic overlooks perfect for pictures, changing layers, having a quick snack, and/or getting a drink of water. If you choose, the driver guide will load your bike up and you can continue to tour via vehicle and will meet up with the group at the next scenic stop. To ensure the most enjoyable experience please read the skill and fitness level of the trip or trips you are interested in.
4. Do you rent bikes?
AKTG is not renting bikes for the winter/summer 2019 season.
5. What types bikes do you use?
We provide Kona hybrid bikes for trips on a paved surface. This bike has an aluminum frame to save weight and is built for a lifetime of miles and comfort. This bike is designed for a day of exploring. (image on the left)
Also for paved surfaces we also offer a Specialized Roll which is a step through bike that sits upright. Great for those with restricted mobility or who do not ride often. (image on the right)
We provide Rocky Mountain Fat Tire bikes for trips on dirt trails and for all winter trips. Fat tire bikes provide more cushion then a traditional hard tail mountain bike and, with 5 inch tires, are more stable. If a full suspension bike is desired, one can be provided at an additional cost. (image in the center)
We can provide Electric Bikes upon request. This requires advanced notice and there will be an addition $70 per bike for half days tours and $135 per bike for full day tours. If you are with a group of 5 or larger, Alaska Trail Guides will provide one e-bike upgrade at no additional charge.
Worried about keeping up with your friends? E-Bikes are great for enjoying a cycling tour regardless of varying fitness and experience levels. Our e-bikes provide pedal assist power giving you more control and assistance when needed going up hills or on our longer rides.
6. How far will we ride?
The length of bike ride is determined by the ability of the rider. Most of our summer trips have a driver guide who meets the group throughout the trip with the vehicle. For Example, even if the maximum length of the trip is 12 miles, if a rider chooses they can ride meet the vehicle at the halfway point and bike 6 miles and ride for 6 miles. We encourage you to select a trip based on your skill, fitness level and your interests.
In the winter, rides are out and back. The mileage that will be covered will be determined by the overall groups ability level and the trail conditions for the day. Trips have a maximum biking time, not a set mileage to cover for this reason.
7. What is for lunch?
Box lunches are provided by Middle Way Cafe for the full day trips. During the booking process you will be asked to select your sandwich of choice and provide any dietary restrictions which we should be aware of.
8. How many people will be on tour?
Bike & Brew and Bike & Tram: 1 to 10 people (max guide ratio 1:10)
Coastal Cruise: 1 to 10 people (max guide ratio 1:10)
Chugach Fat Tire Mountain Bike: 1 to 8 people (max guide ratio 1:8)
Singletrack Sampler: 1 to 5 people (max guide ratio 1:5)
For all trips the guide to client ratio is 1:6
9. What is your cancellation policy?
We understand that circumstances arise and occasionally clients have to cancel a reservation. Alaska Trail Guides follows our cancellation policy to protect our ability to operate tours and maintain our price structures. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance in order to safeguard against any unanticipated changes to travel plans.
15 days or more prior to trip date: full refund
8 - 14 days prior to trip date: 50% refund
7 days or less prior to trip date: non-refundable
If you do need to cancel the reservation for any reason prior to your trip date, we require all cancellation requests in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. What is your minimum age requirement?
Our minimum age requirement varies by trip, please see trip details pages. If booking a private trip we can accommodate any age. Note: we charge an additional fee for private trips. Please contact us for more details.
11. I am traveling solo: can I join an AKTG trip?
Independent travelers can sign up for any scheduled trip that has availability.
The more time we have to add other riders the better!! By contacting AKTG, early we have more time to pair you with other riders of your riding level, and it will be easy to add you. If you are the first to request a specific departure, we will take a reservation and attempt to add additional clients to the trip. Once the tour has met the minimum requirements we will contact you to confirm. Alternatively, if no one else books the tour we will notify you 5-7 days prior to offer you dates and times of other trips that have met the minimum and are confirmed to go.
If you elect to not change trips and the minimum for the tour is not met, you will be contacted the day prior to departure to be notified. You will have the option of paying for the additional spots to meet the minimum and having a private trip or attempting to reschedule again.
For multi-day trips, solo travelers are welcome! As long as there is a confirmed tour that has met the trip minimum a solo traveler can join! If the dates you are interested in have not yet met the trip minimum we can reserve your space with a deposit. If, within 4 weeks of trip departure the trip minimum has not been met you will be contacted.
12. What gear do I need to bring?
The weather in Southcentral Alaska changes from day to day. We always hope for warm, sunny days while being prepared for cool, rainy days. The weather and what you can expect will all change based on which trip you choose. Girdwood has a cooler climate as it is located in a temperate rain forest, where as Anchorage is warmer and drier. Overall, the rule of thumb in Alaska is: do NOT wear cotton. Instead wear clothing made of polyester, wool, fleece, nylon, polypropylene, and/or capilene. Athletic type clothing works really well.
Day trips WE PROVIDE (SUMMER/FALL/winter/spring))
Waterproof biking jacket (great for windy and rainy days)
Lightweight biking gloves
Snacks (offered on all tour) and water
Lunch (only full day tour)
IN THE WINTER WE ALSO PROVIDE:
Most food can be adjusted based on client allergies and dietary restrictions
TOP LAYERS (SUMMER/FALL)
T-Shirt or long sleeve shirt (non-cotton preferred)
Insulating Layer (i.e. Fleece Jacket)
Gloves: light/thin fleece gloves or if you have your own personal biking gloves bring them!
Warm hat (beanie)
BOTTOM LAYERS (SUMMER/FALL)
Comfortable non-restricting/athletic/hiking pants to bike in
Closed toe shoes (required) Please note: we do not have clip in pedals or shoes. If booking a private tour you can request clip in pedals to match your cleats, however, you must provide the clip in shoes.
TOP LAYERS (WINTER/SPRING)
Synthetic winter long underwear (top)
Insulating Layer (i.e. Fleece Jacket)
Hard shell or warm winter jacket/parka
Winter gloves or mittens
Warm winter stocking hat
BOTTOM LAYERS (WINTER/SPRING)
Synthetic winter long underwear (bottom)
Wool or heavy winter socks
Stiff-soled winter boots
* “Toe Shoes” such as Five Fingers are NOT allowed. Flip-flops and sandals such Chacos, Tevas, or Keens are NOT allowed * AKTG does not have spare footwear. If you arrive for your trip in footwear that is not approved, you may not be able to participate.
RECOMMENDED ITEMS TO BRING (SUMMER/FALL/WINTER/SPRING)
Small day pack
Wind or rain jacket
Reusable water bottle (prefilled)
14. What is the weather like in Anchorage? Girdwood?
ANCHORAGE / Girdwood
Protected by the Chugach Mountains and warmed by currents of the Pacific Ocean, Anchorage’s climate is mild. Summer temperatures here get into the low 70s. Between March 19 and September 23, Anchorage gets more hours of daily sunlight than anywhere in the other 49 states. Anchorage is near 61 degrees north latitude: about as far north as Stockholm, Sweden. Packing for a visit to Alaska can be summed up in one word: layers. Standing next to Exit Glacier in Seward, you may want a sweater or fleece. Then again, when you stop for lunch on a sun-soaked deck in Girdwood, you’ll want to be able to cool off in short sleeves or thinner materials. Just add or subtract layers as needed. The biggest factor is the wind, which can add a chill any day. A light windbreaker or rain jacket and rain pants can go a long way to provide warmth and comfort.
Girdwood is located in the northernmost region of the west coasts temperate rain forest. On average, the annual precipitation is about 70". Typically, May and June are the driest months, while fall and winter bring heavy rains and snows. Temperatures range in the 50's -70's for May - August. Although this small town is relatively close to Anchorage, the weather can be dramatically different, in part because it is surrounded by mountains and water. To properly dress for your trip, check the weather the morning of.
15. Will I see wildlife on the trips?
Alaska is an amazing state to see wildlife in! In Anchorage, we share our roads and trails most often with moose, bears, and ptarmigan. For tours that take you out of Anchorage there is always a chance to see bald eagles, and depending upon the time of summer, it's common to see beluga whales, mountain goats, salmon and Dall sheep!