Alaska is a fantastic place to ride off-road, from Jeeps to ATVs and dirt bikes, and to enjoy some amazing views in the national parks all over the state. While some parks don’t allow the use of ATVs (e.g. Denali National Park), there are so many miles of trails and trail adventures and tours to sign up to that you can see almost all the state has to offer from behind the wheel.
Where are the best Alaska ATV trails, and what Alaska ATV adventures are worth booking? Here are some of our top picks:
Places to ride:
- Chugach State Park
- Wrangell – St. Elias National Park
- White Mountains National Recreation Area
- Chena River State Recreation Area
- Tangle Lakes Archaeological District
- Eureka Trails
Great Alaska ATV tours:
- Alaska ATV Adventures
- 49th State Motor Tours
- Midnight Sun ATV Tours
- Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours
- Black Diamond ATV Treasure Hunt Tour
Top Alaska ATV Trails and Places to Ride
There is a fantastic diversity of scenery in Alaska, as well as of the trails and trail conditions you’ll encounter. You can enjoy rocky climbs in the mountains, as well as muddy riding, water crossings, swamps, and glacial drainages. These areas have it all, offering some of the best Alaska trails.
1. Chugach State Park
If you’re looking for Anchorage ATV tours and trails, you don’t have to go far, and you’ll find yourself in Chugach State Park. Home to the Chugach mountain range, Eklutna Lake, Eagle River, and the Turnaway Arm fjord, the park allows ATVs to ride in Bird Valley and along the Eklutna Lakeside Trail. The latter offers 13 miles of riding along the river to moraines of the Eklutna Glacier, with stunning views all along.
In Bird Valley, you can ride on the Bird Creek Trails.
2. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park
Trails in this park range from 5 to 20 miles one-way, with great access and incredible views. They can be found along Nabesna Road and McCarthy Road and have very clear signposting, making sure you’re always on ATV-only trails. Find all the trailheads on the Alaska trail maps here.
3. White Mountains National Recreation Area
The off-road access in the White Mountains offers excellent views of interior Alaska. The Bureau of Land Management updated its access information with a geocached map delimiting summer and winter use. It also provides the best trailheads from where to head on to the ATV trails.
4. Chena River State Recreation Area
Located near Fairbanks, this state park is an ideal destination for multiple outdoor sports, from fishing and hiking to camping and, of course, ATV riding. There are also public use cabins to facilitate any multi-day trips. Plan your route using this map and make sure to steer clear of the winter-only trails.
5. Tangle Lakes Archaeological District
Driving down Denali Highway, you won’t be allowed to ride an ATV in Denali National Park. However, you have access to three trails managed by the Department of Natural Resources: Old Sevenmile Lake Trail, Old Sevenmile Lake Connector, and Maclaren Summit Trail. Cross the tundra and enjoy amazing views of Sevenmile Lake on these easy riding trails.
Additionally, some great Alaska ATV trail riding includes Oscar Lake Trail and Swede Lake Trail.
Located 120 miles east of Anchorage, Petersville is a multi-use area where hunters and off-roaders can feel at home. It’s open all year and is best known for muddy trails, swamps, and generally wet conditions.
The trails add up to 75 miles and cater to all skill levels, offering fantastic views over Mt Denali on a clear day. Reach Kroto Creek trailhead and follow the signposted trails here.
7. Eureka Trails
Eureka Trails riding area is an ATV touring area relatively close to Anchorage, higher than most other trails at 2,500 ft. This puts it above the tree line for most trails, allowing for magnificent all-around views and quite different conditions.
Explore abandoned mining areas and glacier drainage areas here, and come in the winter for mud and in the summer for dryer, dusty conditions. You can find the trailhead 2 miles east of Eureka Lodge, and you’ll be rewarded with 150 miles of trails.
Great Alaska ATV Tours
If you want to have an expert guiding you through the trails and ensuring you have the best time riding off-road, picking some Alaska ATV tours is a great idea. Here are some of the top options depending on what you want to focus on for the day.
8. Alaska ATV Adventures
This company has been around for 22 years and offers many fun ATV tours, specializing in Alaska ATV adventures, as the name suggests.
Particularly interesting are the Eklutna Lake UTV Tours and the Backcountry ATV Excursion, where you can explore Chugach Park and its beautiful forests. You might even spot brown and black bears, moose, mountain goats, and Dall sheep on the tour.
There are options for many types of custom trips throughout Chugach Park, allowing you to truly enjoy the best the natural environment has to offer without having to read a map yourself. You can also rent ATVs to head off on your own adventure from them too.
9. 49th State Motor Tours
Located in Palmer, about 45 minutes north of Anchorage, 49th State Motor Tours offers ATV or UTV tours through the Alaskan backcountry. Groups are small and led by the owner, Brian, or some other local experienced guides.
You can go on some truly remarkable adventures, such as the popular Knik Glacier Experience, a 6-8 hour long where you’ll ride through sand dunes, cross over creeks and ponds, and take amazing photos throughout.
Lots of wildlife is also on show during these ATV adventures. Finally, you can – again – just rent an ATV and go on your way with a bit of advice from the friendly family who operates 49th State Motor Tours. But going on one of their tours will complete your Alaskan experience.
10. Midnight Sun ATV Tours
In the wilderness outside Fairbanks, lots of fun tours await the courtesy of Midnight Sun ATV Tours. You’ll meet your guide in the town and then head into the deep forest 18 miles away, where you can ride a 32-mile adventure trail through the boreal forest, with wildlife, stunning scenery, and lots of surprises.
You can pick from a morning or evening tour, with the latter going until 11.30 pm. In August, you’ll find it’s still light out at that time!
11. Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours
Experience glaciers inaccessible by road with one of the best Anchorage ATV tours organized by Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours. Heading to the Knik Glacier, owners Matti and Dan have you discovering the wilderness on ATVs in the summer and on snowmachines in the winter.
Tours include a short training session for those not familiar with ATVs, and you get to choose vehicles that best suit your skill level. On the full-day tours, you ride to the face of the Knik Glacier and get to have lunch at one of the most unique spots in the world.
12. Black Diamond ATV Treasure Hunt Tour
You can’t visit Alaska and miss out on an ATV tour in the Denali National Park. The adventure offered by the Black Diamond ATV Treasure Hunt Tour is just outside Denali (as you cannot ride ATVs in the park itself) and will take you through the amazing mining country.
You’ll be on a mission to discover highlights along the way during a 4-hour geocaching trip. At the end, prepare for a camp-style feast to celebrate your achievements. This company is the first to offer ATV tours around Denali, and they’ve been delivering great experiences from day one.
Alaska ATV Adventures For All Tastes
Experiencing the best that the Alaskan wilderness offers, from diverse wildlife to fantastic scenery and unique destinations, is all possible on some of the state’s unique ATV trails and through the great organized ATV tours and experiences.
Adventures abound in the majestic forests where you can enjoy exceptional views, the thrill of different levels of ATV riding, and some welcoming and accommodating tour guides, too. Give these a try next time you’re visiting Alaska, and get ready to enjoy the true wilderness!
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.