Full of stunning scenery and with long hours of daylight, it’s no surprise that there are a few world-class cycling routes in Alaska. Most of the major roads have wide shoulders that make it easier to ride, but ride on weekdays and during the early morning or evening to further avoid traffic.
Below are a few cycling routes, including one long touring route along a major highway. We’ve also included two shorter routes on paved multi-use trails that are closer Alaska’s population center of Anchorage.
What to bring
It’s important first to note that bike shops are few and far between on most cycling routes in Alaska. No matter where you go, be sure you bring along the necessary tools and skills to make repairs on the go. At a minimum pack extras of the basic supplies including brake cables, patches, inner tubes, and a pump.
Remember that it’s important to share your route and itinerary with friends or family. Bring along bear spray and bug spray. Even though there’s lots of light in Alaska, wear reflective or high-visibility clothing.
Anchorage to Denali or Fairbanks
If you’re looking for long haul cycling routes in Alaska, this one should be high on the list. It’ll be a 237-mile journey to Denali or 363 miles to Fairbanks, but you’ll be riding through some of world-class scenery.
This route follows the Glenn Highway for 35 miles north of Anchorage and then continues on the Parks Highway. After Wasilla, there are services along the Parks Highway every 30 – 50 miles until you hit Fairbanks. The route is mostly flat, with Broad Pass being the highest point at 2,400 feet.
Cyclists can ride on the Denali Park Road, so if you take this route and are interested in a scenic detour be sure to explore the park. Shuttles will ferry riders and their bikes to various points in the park, so that riders can experience the park without pedaling the entire road.
Bird to Gird
One of the most beautiful cycling routes in Alaska, this 12-mile trail follows the Seward Highway along the shore of Turnagain Arm from Indian to Girdwood. The trail is paved and beginner friendly. There are numerous picnic tables along the way where you can stop, rest, and have a snack. Cyclists will also encounter interpretive signs at places like Bird Point, where it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for beluga whales.
Kincaid Park and Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
These two cycling routes are in Anchorage and are great family friendly rides that still offer incredible views.
Kincaid Park is on the western end of Anchorage along the shore of Cook Inlet. There are 20 miles of biking trails weaving through greenery that also attracts moose. Keep an eye out of the animals while biking and steer clear of them if you see one. The track in the park is quite hilly so be prepared to work.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail will get your from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park. The paved 11-mile track follows the shore of Coon Inlet. The trail provides great views of Mt. Susitna, also known as sleeping Lady, and on clear days it’s possible to see Denali.