Ashley Johnston


Getting to the unexplored wilderness surrounding Anchorage is easy. Start your engines to enjoy the sights and surroundings of backcountry Alaska.

For some visitors and many Alaskans, the best motorized adventures come at the end of the road, where the pavement ends and the trails begin. Whether you prefer four-wheelers or no wheels at all (snow machines!), Anchorage and its surrounding neighbors offer plenty of opportunities for all-terrain awesomeness.

Motorized backcountry trips offer a break from the city life, as well as access to some of Alaska’s best fishing, grandest glaciers and most excellent escapes.

In summer there are sandy spits, rocky riverbeds and winding wooded trails to explore. In the winter, vast white and powdery backcountry highways await riders.

For visitors, ATV rental companies and backcountry tour operators are happy to hook up beginners and experienced riders for a morning, for a day, or even for multi-day adventures. Shop around and tap operators for their backcountry knowledge and ATV skills. Also be sure to be thorough when asking about your adventures: some include snacks, others don’t.

When you’re ready to ride, always remember safety and ride with eye protection and a helmet; all reputable operators will offer those. And don’t forget your camera or binoculars to capture the mountains, glaciers and wildlife, as well as a dry set of clothes for when you return to camp.