Join us for a journey through the best of Alaska . . . B.E.A.R.S. - Bicycling Extraordinary Alaskan Roads. You will enjoy Denali's majestic wonders, the wildlife of Prince William Sound, quiet towns and scenic highways. Its a fabulous cycling extension to our trip: The Great Alaska Highway Ride or a challenging bicycle tour on its own.
This year's ride starts in Anchorage and works its way up the Parks Highway, visiting historic communities such as Talkeetna and Nenana. Stop for a day to explore Denali National Park and enjoy some great pedaling through lush forests, tundra and the majestic Alaska Range, before reaching the far northern city of Fairbanks. You will discover the landscapes that have drawn travelers to Alaska for ages.
The second leg rolls southward from Fairbanks to picturesque Prince William Sound along the Richardson Highway, the first road through Alaska. This leg of the ride is all about the scenery, as we cross the Alaska Range for the second time, pedal along the long Alaska Pipeline and roll through the incredible landscapes of the Copper River Valley. The trip finishes on the shores of Prince William Sound in Valdez and then enjoys a leisurely return to Anchorage via ferry through the beautiful sound.
Shuttle to eclectic Talkeetna, explore the historic village, try local microbrews.
Your group will gather in Anchorage, then shuttle by van to Talkeetna. Enroute enjoy vast views of Kink Arm and Alaska's bush country. Upon arrival, we will have orientation and bike prep, then you have the balance of the day to stroll through "downtown". This historic Alaskan frontier town was the inspiration for the TV series Northern Exposure. Meals: none
Cycle through Poplar forest, Camp at Byers Lake, Hike to old homesteader cabin & Vietnam Memorial.
We start the day with a fun 14 miles of paved bike path following the Talkeetna Spur Road out to the Parks Highway. The Parks Highway will be our avenue for the first half of this tour and while many people assume it was named thus because of the National and State Parks along its course, it was actually named for George Parks one of Alaska's first governors. The ride rolls through lush forests, enroute to our goal for today of Byers Lake in Denali State Park. Cycling: 63 mi / 101 km, Terrain: small hills, Meals: B L D
Bike through Denali State Park, Spectacular overlooks of Mt McKinley, Dramatic landscapes of Long Pass.
Today we cycle through the Alaska Mountain Range, crossing over at Broad Pass. The ride slowly gains altitude, as the towering mountains rise into view, with the their patchwork shrouds of snow. The scenery is spectacular and the riding enjoyable. Riders expecting a dramatic pass crossing a la the Alps will be disappointed, as Broad Pass is aptly named, a long relatively flat pass stretching for miles. If it weren't for the maps, you would never know you crossed the pass. We roll downhill a bit to Denali Village, just outside the National Park and our home for two nights. Cycling: 91 mi / 146 km, Terrain: small hills plus long gradual climb, Meals: B L D
Free Day Denali National Park, numerous options, tour deep into the park, whitewater rafting, hiking, cycling.
The day is yours to do as you please. There are a variety of bus tours (website) that explore inside the park, or you can hop a shuttle deep into the park then ride back out. Or perhaps some whitewater rafting or hiking or shopping. Meals: none
Bike through vast open tundra, Explore historic Nenana, Make your guess for the annual Ice Breakup pool.
We ride north from Denali Village this morning, rolling through the Nenana Gorge and out into vast areas of tundra and forests. Today's route is relatively simple and flat taking us through typical scenery of Alaska's central region. Your goal is the historic river port town of Nenana, another tiny outpost of rugged Alaska. Nenana is best known for the "Ice Classic" a big cash pool for the best guess as to when the ice melts on the Nenana River. Cycling: 67 mi / 108 km, Terrain: flat & small hills, Meals: B L D
Bike to Fairbanks, Traverse the magnificent Nenana Hills, Visit risque Skinny Dicks Roadhouse, Enjoy a full free day in Fairbanks.
Your last ride of the first leg tackles the scenic Nenana Hills. You will be treated to some spectacular overlooks as you roll through the hills, before descending into Fairbanks. Along the way, several roadhouses provide diversions from the cycling, including the notorious Skinny Dicks, whose colorful character might not be suitable for the more modest amongst our group. Cycling: 55 mi / 88 km, Terrain: moderate to large hills, Meals: B L
Your bike gets a day off, as we layover in Fairbanks. A chance to catch up on your laundry, email and postcards and a chance to explore this far northern city. There is a great museum on the University campus and Pioneer Park, featuring historic houses that have been moved there for preservation and a delicious "all you can eat" Salmon Bake. Meals: none
Bike to Delta Junction, end of the famed Al-Can, ice cream at Knotty Pine, explore Rika's Roadhouse - historic state park.
Century Day today. We set off on a winding ride through the suburbs of Fairbanks and North Pole, avoiding the morning traffic, then hook up with the Richardson Highway, the first road pioneered in Alaska. Our route follows the Tanana River, with a few hills and fantastic views of the Alaska Range paralleling our bike tour to the south. In a few days you will be crossing that range. Our goal is Delta Junction, the upper terminus of the notorious Al-Can Highway. Cycling: 100 mi / 161 km, Terrain: flat & small hills, Meals: L D
Bike to Summit Lake, get up close with the Alaska Pipeline, Experience a horizontal sunset from your lake shore camp.
We leave the traffic behind today, as we head further south along the Richardson Highway. We'll cross Fort Greely, which serves as a training & testing ground for the Army during the harsh winter months. Other then the occasional view of the Alaska Pipeline, there is not much civilization along this road. We will be cycling into the Alaska Range today, with numerous photo opportunities and tonight we bed down on the south end of Summit Lake, tucked in at the highest point on the highway. (pass: Issac Pass - 3280 ft) Cycling: 78 mi / 125 km, Terrain: hills and long gradual climb, Meals: B L D
Descend out of the Alaska Range, Cycle through thick forests dotted with small lakes, Camp with views of the towering Wrangell Mountains.
Today we roll down out of the Alaska Range and start getting some glimpses of the majestic Wrangell Mountains, as well as the Chugach. The ride is another day of forests, mountains and rolling highways. Our goal is the tiny community of Gakona and its beautifully restored Gakona Roadhouse. We camp on the banks of the Copper River, as it starts it long journey to the sea. Cycling: 65 mi / 104 km, Terrain: small hills descending, Meals: B L D
Bike past the dramatic volcanic peaks of Wrangell National park, Camp at the remote Tiekel River Lodge.
You will pass through one of the few towns along the Richardson today, Glenallen. We will also visit historic Copper Center, site of the first agricultural experiment station in Alaska and the Copper Center Roadhouse. The displays of the Wrangell National Park's visitor center also highlights today's ride. We'll camp tonight at a historic roadhouse, Tiekel River Lodge, tonight. Cycling: 76 mi / 122 km, Terrain: small & moderate hills, Meals: B L D
Alaska's most dramatic cycling, through the spectacular Chugach Range, Cross Thompson Pass for a finale descent into the fishing village of Valdez.
Our last day of riding is spectacular, most folks consider this part of the Richardson to have the most dramatic scenery along any road in Alaska. Towering mountains, thick forests, rushing rivers flank our bike tour today as we head south towards Valdez and the Prince William Sound. We will pedal up and over Thompson Pass, then enjoy a thrilling finale, swooping downhill off the pass and through the beautiful Keystone Canyon into the tiny fishing port of Valdez. Cycling: 53 mi / 85 km, Terrain: small hills and short alpine climb, Meals: B L D
Ferry through Prince William Sound, Glacier viewing, Shuttle to Anchorage Airport.
A day off the bikes, as we enjoy a trip across Prince William Sound on the Alaska Ferry System. Perhaps we will be blessed with views of the glaciers calving into the bay, seals and other sea life enjoying the ocean waves and more. After arriving in Whittier, we will shuttle you to Anchorage Airport or the Long House Hotel, where we all bid a fond farewell to our fellow Alaskan Adventurers. Meals: none
Nice scenic ride - long miles but not too strenuous. Good food and gear provided.Jeff L
The group of riders we had. Especially great to have people from other countries/cultures. Good mix of fairly challenging riding and some "off" days to hike, etc. Liked the mix of camping and a few motels. Wouldn't mind camping the entire time, but when my tent self-destructed the second last day, it was nice to have a "cabin" option. Last day into Valdez was spectacular riding. Person who ran our ride went WAY out of his way to deal with my particular serious, specific food allergy. That was 'above and beyond' what I might have expected.Anne T
This was the first year the trip was offered so the group size was small. The ride started in Fairbanks and then went south. There was a full day to go and explore Denali which is highly recommended.
The trip was really well planned out and there was plenty of riding to do. There were also activities to do after riding in most of the towns or areas that we camped in. You need to be able to ride a little to enjoy these trips, but you always be sagged if you are tired.
There were always good meals and after a long day of riding everything tasted good. They were far from being gourmet, but for the cost of the trip one should not expect 5 star dining. There were also dining options in most towns if you wanted to try some of the locals cooking. Overall I would do the trip again, and Tom did a good job of putting the trip together and keeping everything moving forward.Scott B
13 days (9 days cycling) Camping & Motels Level: C
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