+1 (907) 317-5707 info@alaskatrailguides.com

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why choose AKTG?
  2. Do I need prior experience? What kind of rider do I need to be?
  3. What if I get too tired and do not want to bike the entire distance?
  4. Do you rent bikes?
  5. What kind of bikes do you use? Do you offer E-Bikes?
  6. How far will we ride?
  7. What’s for lunch?
  8. How many people will be on tour?
  9. What’s your cancellation policy?
  10. What is your minimum age requirement?
  11. Can solo travelers participate?
  12. What gear do I need to bring?
  13. Can I purchase gear in Anchorage?
  14. What weather should I expect in Anchorage and Girdwood?
  15. Will I see wildlife?

1. Why Choose Alaska Trail Guides?

Alaska Trail Guides is locally owned and operated providing immersive, guided biking tours that show you the best of Alaska in an active way! When it comes to choosing how you spend your time (and money) on your dream vacation in Alaska, we believe that proven experience, in-depth knowledge, and the reputation of the company you choose to spend your day with are integral to the quality of the experience you will have on your tour. While we can think of countless reasons to come bike with us, we’ve boiled it down to these top 4 reasons why:

  1. Experience matters and our company’s knowledge and background, combined with our vision and passion for biking, make us unique. Founded in 2017 by Elly and Frankie, with a passion for Alaska, a background in glaciers and sea kayaking, and a deeply rooted love for biking. These ingredients are mixed together to create one of a kind experiences on two wheels. Alaska Trail Guides doesn’t offer traditional bike tours, these are bike tours crafted by a sense of adventure with years of experience. 
  2. Exceptional routes that are thoughtfully and carefully designed by owner/operator Elly, an Alaskan for the past 17 years. We never bike on the road and she knows the quirks and charms of Alaska, finding the best bike paths and trails to showcase what it’s like to live and play in our state. Plus, we know where to find the wildlife and tucked away treasures along the way. 
  3. Top-notch bikes, equipment, and support. A good bike and the right gear for the weather can make or break a tour. We believe there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. At Alaska Trail Guides we take great pride in providing high-quality bikes and gear to ensure that it’s not the weather you are worried about, it’s having fun and getting that perfect Instagram photo. 
  4. An experience for every type and level of rider. Whether you like biking up into the mountains or you are more of a flatlander, or somewhere in between, we have a tour for you. Our rides are group rides, mostly at a leisurely pace, designed to allow you to explore the landscape, experience the joy of breathing fresh air and being active while traveling. We offer several bike styles depending on comfort and preference. We go the extra step of point-to-point tours, allowing us to take advantage of the natural landscape. Alaska Trail Guides is permitted for all our State Parks, City Parks, and the Chugach National Forest allowing us to offer the widest selection of mountain biking trails tailored to your abilities and interests. 

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?

While we do require that you know how to ride a bike before arriving for your tour, our biking tours range from leisurely, flat, paved terrain to rides for advanced cyclists on and off-road. 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.

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3. What if I get too tired and do not want to bike the entire distance?

For our summer tours that are point-to-point the driver guide meets the group with the vehicle at the halfway point.  These are scenic overlooks perfect for pictures, changing layers, and having a quick snack. 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 tour(s) you are interested in.

4. Do you rent bikes?

AKTG will begin drop-off/pick-up bike rental service Summer 2020.

5. What types bikes do you use? Do you offer E-Bikes?

We provide Kona hybrid bikes for tours 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 tours on dirt trails and for all winter tours. 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)

Hybrid bike for tours with Alaska Trail Guides
Fat tire bike for winter fat tire biking and summer mountain biking
Step through bike or womens bike

Worried about keeping up with your friends or family? E-Bikes are great for enjoying a biking tour regardless of varying fitness and experience levels. Our electric-assist bikes provide pedal assist power giving you more control and assistance when needed going up hills or on longer rides.

For our summer tours, we can provide Electric Bikes upon request for an additional $45 – $89 per bike (depending on the style of bike requested). E-bike requests do require advanced notice, we recommend a minimum of 1 week.

6. How far will we ride?

Summer biking tours on paved bike paths have a driver-guide who meets the group at the half-way viewpoint with the vehicle. At this point, guests can choose to join the driver guide for the 2nd half or continue biking with the group.

Mountain biking tours are out-and-back rides and have a maximum biking time, not mileage. The average distance biked in 2 hours with clients is 8 – 10 miles. Total mileage covered will be determined by the overall groups’ ability level.

Winter biking tours are out-and-back rides and have a maximum biking time, not mileage, and varies based on trail conditions for the day. Trips have a maximum biking time, not a set mileage to cover for this reason. The average distance biked in 2 hours with clients is 4 – 8 miles.

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7. What is for lunch?

Box lunches are provided by Middle Way Cafe for full-day tours. During the booking process, you will be asked to select your lunch and provide any dietary restrictions we should be aware of.

8. How many people will be on tour?

Citing Biking Tours: 2 to 10 people

Mountain Biking Tours: 1 to 6 people

Winter Biking Tours: 1 to 6 people

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.

Day Tours:

  • 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 info@alaskatrailguides.com.

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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’m traveling solo, can I join an AKTG biking tour?

Independent travelers can sign up for any scheduled trip that has availability.

 BOOK EARLY!

The more time we have to add other riders the better!! By contacting AKTG, early we have more time to pair you with other cyclists.  If you’re the first to request a specific departure, we’ll make a reservation and attempt to add additional clients. To hold the tour we require the minimum be met, typically a 2 person minimum. If additional clients add to the tour, you will be refunded the difference. If no-one else books we will notify you 5 days prior, offering you dates and times of other trips that have met the minimum giving you the chance to reschedule.

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12. What gear do I need to bring?

Weather in Southcentral Alaska changes from day-to-day. We 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, whereas 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. The athletic types of clothing work really well.

Day Tours WE PROVIDE (SUMMER/FALL/Winter/Spring)

  • Bike & helmet
  • Waterproof biking jacket & pants
  • Lightweight biking gloves
  • Frame bag
  • Snacks (offered on all tours) and water
  • Lunch (only full-day tours)

IN THE WINTER WE ALSO PROVIDE:

  • Pogies (bar mits)
  • Hand warmer
  • Insulated over-boots

Most food can be adjusted based on client allergies and dietary restrictions

YOU PROVIDE

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)
  • Sunglasses

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
  • Sunglasses

BOTTOM LAYERS (WINTER/SPRING)

  • Synthetic winter long underwear (bottom)
  • Snow pants
  • 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)

  • Camera
  • Small day pack
  • Rain pants
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Extra snacks
  • Wind or rain jacket
  • Binoculars
  • Reusable water bottle (prefilled)
  • Guide gratuities

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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.

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15. Will I see wildlife on the trips?

SUMMER/FALL

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!

bull moose in alaska with big rack