The best thing about Alaska as a biking region is the friendly summer weather. You get to enjoy endless summer days with up to 18 hours of daylight that provide infinite opportunities for riding a bike. Most trails around Anchorage wind through mountains providing you with stunning views. Besides the scenic views of the Denali, you can enjoy thundering waterfalls, and various wildlife from virtually all the trails near Anchorage.
Visiting Anchorage is a great opportunity to get up close with its breathtaking geographical features. The city has the largest portion of the popular Chugach State Park which has the Chugach Mountains. On the western side of the City is Point Campbell which sticks out into Cook Inlet. On the west and north peninsula is the Knik arm border. The Turnagain arm that receives the highest tides in the world is to the south. The coastal parts of Anchorage are mostly mudflats.
|Land area||4,420 km2 / 1,706 mi2|
|Min. Elevation||-2 m. / -6.5 ft|
|Max. Elevation||2,287 m / 7503.2 ft|
Anchorage 288,121 residents with a median age of 34.3. 51% of the population are male and the rest are female. U.S born residents are 86% of the population, 10% non-US born and 4% are non-citizens. A large portion (83.7%) of the population in Anchorage speak English, a smaller 4.5% speaks Spanish and even smaller percentages speak Russian, Korean, and native American languages.
|Total population (in 2021)||288,121|
|Population density (in 2021)||170.6/mi2|
Anchorage is above the Arctic Circle but its climate is not as harsh as expected. During summer, it can be as hot as 13-26 degrees Celsius. The average daytime temperature in winter ranges between -15 to -1 degrees Celsius. The frost-less summer in Anchorage goes on for about 100 days and precipitation begins at the end of summer continuing throughout winter in the form of snow. Although, Summer looks like the best time to have a fun ride on any of the trails in Anchorage, you can explore winter biking as well.
Winter biking, also known as fat biking was perfected by Alaskans before it became a fancy trend in other places. You can bike on the trails, frozen rivers, or bogs.
Anchorage’s residents rely on roads, ferries, bridges, railways, airports, ports and broadband to get around and stay connected. The rail road at Anchorage is what links the broad stretches of Alaska together. You won’t have a problem moving around in the city even in harsh winter weather.
Moreover, besides the greenbelt bike trail network that consists of trails following the Anchorage bowl, Ship creek, Chester creek, Campbell creek and the Cook Inlet coastline, the city has a few on-street bike lanes and bikeways with signs. The on-street bike infrastructure also includes paved roadway shoulders. Although the city has plans for improving the biking infrastructure, whatever exists at the moment is pretty adequate for riders who prefer biking on separated biking paths off the city center.
Some famous off-the-bike landmarks that you may spot on some of the biking trails in Anchorage include:
From the Tony Knowles Coastal trail you can see spectacular views of the famous McKinley, Denali, the Cook Inlet, and the City’s skyline. The Denali is the most interesting landmark in Alaska and depending on the climate, you can get a clear view of its glory from different points in Anchorage. The Tony Knowles Coastal trail also offers the best opportunities for Alaska’s wildlife viewing. You may spot moose, the bald eagle, and harbor seals.
As for scenic sightings, Anchorage has a lot to offer. On any of the biking trails, you may see various wildlife including bears and moose. Alaska is the only US state with black, polar and brown bears. Kincaid Park is famous for moose and bird sightings. Powerline Pass is famous for Moose, Ship creek has salmon, and Lake Clark has polar bears. You may also spot various bird species including eagles. Besides wildlife, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains, McKinley and Foraker.
The best time to bike in Anchorage Alaska is during summer from June to August. You can take advantage of the clear skies, mild weather and extra-long daylight hours to plan a ride.
Gasline and Powerline Pass are the most popular trails with plenty of technical features in Anchorage. They are ideal for intermediate and advanced bikers.
Unless you are going to a trail in a State Park, you wouldn’t need to pay to use a biking trail. Check the park’s website for any requirements and notices before visiting.