It's the raw immensity of the landscape. As far west as you can go. Youngest state, oldest place. The last frontier - not just a cliché but something you feel in your body. Supernatural things happen in Alaska. Grizzlies roam. Glaciers calve. Moose forage. You ride alongside rivers named Matanuska, pass volcanoes called Wrangell, stroll through famous towns like Valdez. Follow the trail of fur traders, copper miners, oil diggers and naturalists. One acre for every person. Things get put in perspective.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Accommodations & Service StandardsAlaska is a land of rustic and rugged beauty, and while Backroads has selected the best properties in the places we visit, simplicity and comfort outweigh elegance and luxury in this great state. While the Valdez Harbor Inn offers simpler accommodations than the typical Backroads property, it's the best option in town - and has been selected because of its picturesque setting and access to the best riding in the region.
Generally speaking, service in Alaska can seem slow and brusque when compared with the high standards of service found on other Backroads trips. Patience, a sense of humor and appreciation for the cultural differences that abound in this population-sparse setting will help you make the most of your experience.
TrafficWhile Backroads strives to find routes that are quiet and off the beaten track, some options on this trip follow heavily trafficked roads. Of course, you're always welcome to jump in the shuttle to avoid the busier roads.
Day 1 A true biking adventure in remote Alaska, where few travelers journey Get your legs moving with a beautiful ride from Palmer up Hatcher Pass, and savor expansive views of the Cook Inlet and soaring Chugach Mountains.
Day 2 Feel the immensity of Alaska's interior Pedal over rolling hills and beside the icy Matanuska River, fed by the mighty Matanuska Glacier Your home-cooked dinner is served with vistas of untouched wilderness.
Days 3-4 Ride in the shadow of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park's 16,000-foot peaks, nicknamed "the mountain kingdom of North America" Gear up for a big day of biking along scenic Glenn Highway, passing spruce forests, alpine meadows and possibly a moose! In the rugged and remote Copper River Valley, a challenging route past glaciers, rivers and woods is yours for the taking Climb Thompson Pass and up to Worthington Glacier before an incredible descent past thundering waterfalls and into harborside Valdez.
Days 5-6 Prince William Sound by ferry - watch for seals, bald eagles, orcas and puffins Hear rumbling? The famous bore tide may roll in as you pedal along Turnagain Arm Keep your eyes peeled for native beluga whales from breathtaking Bird Point.
- A true biking adventure in a remote section of Alaska experienced by few travelers
- Ride in the shadow of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park's 16,000-foot peaks
- Prince William Sound by ferry - watch for seals and bald eagles!
- Pedal beside the mighty Matanuska Glacier and the river of the same name
- Feel the immensity of Alaska's interior
Lake Lucille Inn (1 night): Enjoy views of picturesque Lake Lucille and snowcapped peaks.
Sheep Mountain Lodge (1 night): Co-owned by five-time Iditarod competitor Zack Steer, the inn's individual wooden cabins are tucked in a beautiful forested setting.
Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge (1 night): A blufftop lodge with views of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Valdez Harbor Inn (1 night): Watch the harbor activity from this very basic but comfortable waterfront hotel, the best option in town.
Alyeska Resort (1 night): This stylish hotel with an aerial tram to the top of Mount Alyeska has earned accolades from Travel + Leisure. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Afternoon hiking (2 miles)|
|5||Ferry ride across Prince William Sound (3 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/23-28 Price: $2798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/7-12 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/4-9 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/11-16 Price: $2598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/25-30 Price: $2598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $540 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 2 - 3 guests $4,698 pp dbl. occ.
- 4 - 5 guests $3,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 6 - 7 guests $3,498 pp dbl. occ.
- 8 - 9 guests $3,298 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $2,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $2,598 pp dbl. occ.
Guest Trip Reviews
Loved the activities and locations! The opportunities were unlike any other Backroads trip - biking, rafting, ice climbing, fishing. Overall, more than I could have hoped for or expected. I would recommend this trip to anyone.Matthew Hershey - New York, NY
This was one of the very best trips that I've taken with Backroads. I enjoy riding and riding and riding, and this trip offered that. How can you beat the scenery?- Saint Charles, IL
This was our first Backroads trip in 18 years and it exceeded all of my expectations. The itinerary, the leaders and the accommodations were wonderful. I am the cyclist in our family and was looking for challenging riding in an amazing place. This trip delivered in spades, but I was really pleased with how much my wife enjoyed the trip and the cycling.- Salt Lake City, UT
We have just signed up for our fifth Backroads trip and we have learned from experience that the guides are always top notch, the routes are scenic if not breathtaking, the hotels are welcoming to jaw dropping and the food is memorable. We leave all our worries behind and just enjoy the cycling!- East Fallow Field, PA
Backroads came to us well-recommended, but it was the location in Alaska that really drew us in. It wasn't until we had the experience of being so spoiled by Backroads that we really understood the feelings behind the recommendations.- Wayland, MA
This was the best trip we have ever taken. The leaders were awesome. The group dynamics clicked. The riding was challenging. It was just plain fun.- Pittsburgh, PA
The experience was beyond my expectations. The leaders were extremely helpful and wanted everyone to have a great vacation...I felt a part of the Alaska experience and not just a tourist.- Wichita, KS