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  • What is the mission of Run Alaska Trails?
    Run Alaska Trails offers the best way to see our state: a blend of activity on foot and adventurous side trips enjoyed with groups of like-minded people. Born out of passion for sharing the best of our state, we curate all-inclusive trips for the active traveler who enjoys fully-immersive experiences: scenic, uncrowded trails, private wildlife cruises, glaciers on foot, by kayak, and from the air, and other only-in-Alaska fun in the Last Frontier. Our guides are Alaska-born and raised locals who live, work, play and love in Alaska. Your guide may be an avian ecologist or oceanographer or teacher or paramedic; you’re able to ask questions and receive real answers regarding our culture, history, environment, and current affairs. We build trips with particular affinities in mind which results in instant community when our groups come together. There is no one else in Alaska doing what we do, how we do it.
  • Who can register for and attend our events?
    Events are typically in collaboration with one or more co-hosts; public personalities who invite their communities to spend time together in the great outdoors of Alaska. As retreat facilitators, our co-hosts bring their unique interests to the 49th state; conducting fun, engaging, often transformative workshops interspersed with seeing the best Alaska has to offer. Past events have centered around such themes as seafood sustainability and women’s health and fitness, as well as contemporary societal issues such as racial equity and making the outdoors accessible to the larger-bodied. No matter the co-host or the event’s theme, each trip is open to all and prioritizes safety, comfort, fun, and making memories that last a lifetime.
  • Who is Alison Mariella Desir?
    Alison is an author, community builder, mother, and lover of the outdoors. She will be collaborating with Run Alaska Trails for the second year in a row, hosting 2 trips in July 2024.
  • What can I expect on Alison's trips?
    Alison’s trips are for folks who are interested in the outdoors as well as exploring themes related to racial equity and increasing access to and comfort in the outdoors. People of all ages, abilities, genders, sexualities, and races are welcome to attend. Each trip will offer support for a range of abilities from walkers/hikers to very experienced trail and ultra-runners. All attendees are invited to engage as their authentic selves and must be willing to explore and celebrate cultural differences.
  • Where are we running or hiking?
    On trails throughout Southcentral Alaska. It depends on which trip you signed up for and where we're staying.
  • How will we get there?
    A private and spacious passenger wagon will transport you back and forth from lodging to trailhead each day and between other adventures; with plenty of amenities on board for pre- and post-outing.
  • Am I capable of enjoying trails on foot in Alaska?
    Absolutely! Especially with our guides. Everyone is welcome...we place no expectations on guests in this regard. We've taken all kinds of people out on trails in the Last Frontier, from walkers to ultrarunners. We even take them on the SAME trail outing. We do this by surveying guests in advance for their preferences and providing 1 guide to every 4 guests (one of the highest support ratios in the industry). We may naturally break out into subgroups when moving, but we design outings to be enjoyable for all. Specifically, each participant must have the ability to: enter, sit stably, and exit the transport vehicle independently or with the assistance of a companion Ambulate under non-motorized power independently or with the assistance of a companion on uneven, unpaved routes of variable length and elevation gains and drops Understand and implement a guide's direction and procedures during both routine and emergency situations Understand and apply Leave No Trace principles
  • Where will we stay?
    An eclectic mix of lodges, cabins, and private rental properties. No two trails are alike and no two lodgings, either. Links to accommodations for each particular trip will be included on our registration page.
  • What will we eat?
    Breakfast we keep simple, often by offering heavy continental at our lodge. Lunch is literally on the run (we carry an assortment of fuel for your fun) or out at local eateries. Dinners are iconic cafes and pubs; places locals go for the best in Alaskan and other cuisines. Or sometimes cookouts and barbecues at our accommodations. Inside our registration process we administer a guest survey to learn more about food preferences and meal styles. We’ll have something you like and you’ll never go without.
  • What is included?
    Pick-up from a central location, typically your arrival airport Safety and naturalist orientation Private transportation to and from trail heads, lodging, excursions Park fees and permits Trails outings with experienced local Alaskan guides Unique and varied side trips (see registration page) All meals All lodging Drop off at your airport the morning of departure
  • What is not?
    Guide gratuities (although appreciated) Adult beverages Souvenirs Other side trips not lined out on registration link
  • Who's going?
    You and a few handfuls of your new best friends from around the world; other people who typically enjoy spending time outside and connecting with like-minded souls.
  • Not on our own...right?
    Not on your life. Adventure in Alaska is best experienced by buddying up with another who has the lay of the land. Our experienced (and quite fun, we might add) local guides are with you every step of the way. They carry communication devices, first aid supplies, and are certified in emergency response.
  • What is the schedule for the trip?
    Each trip is a custom adventure with unique experiences in a spectacular setting. If you check the registration page for your trip, you'll find all the fun we'll be including on yours. Our exact itinerary? We sincerely ask that you place your faith in us, for detailed scheduling. Alaska is funny. She's not really concerned with your calendar (or ours). Conditions on the water and in her mountains are incredibly dynamic, so it's best to check in with her each day before we commit to any plans. Near the start of your trip (and often once you arrive), we share a draft of how we're going to approach the week. It may sound fishy, but it's not. We often have almost 24/7 daylight on your trip and will get it all done safely and with fun...we promise!
  • How do you select trails that will work for everyone?
    Great question. Every guest answers a questionnaire embedded in our registration site, sharing their experience, expectations, and goals for the trip. We review this information when we create a custom trail itinerary for the week, building in "flow" with variable amounts of distance and elevation as the trip unfolds and as a function of our guests' interests and abilities. Each evening, after checking in with everyone to gauge how we feel, our guides tee up an option or two for the following day. The group might meet consensus in selecting one of the two options. Or, in a group consisting of very different abilities, we might decide we need to make two plans. We accommodate for the latter scenario by bringing in extra guides if needed, to allow us to break into mini sub-groups. One thing we know for sure: it's hard to compare our mileage up here to what you may be used to down there. An Alaska mile is more challenging than most miles anywhere else. Our trails are typically more technical, less maintained, and feature bigger upward gains. And bigger rewards at the top or finish! Our guests have been very happy with selected runs, run-walks, or hikes, ranging from 2 to 15 miles. We're confident we have something for everyone, and can't wait to show you your choices.
  • How do I sign up?
    Simply choose your trip, visit it's LET'S GO button, and follow the link and its directions.
  • What do I bring?
    The usual stuff you both don and carry to play outside, knowing that’s happening at least a few times over the week. We’ll send you a packing list a few weeks before departure. The most important thing to bring is your sense of adventure and adaptable spirit. Alaska life is amazing and part of that amazingness is due to its remoteness. The “land up over” can occasionally throw a curve ball; the best catchers are those who can go with the flow.
  • What will I see?
    This isn’t an exhaustive list, but will give you an idea: sea, summit, sky; meadows, forests, glaciers, mountains. Lakes and rivers and potentially bear and moose. Mountain goats, dall sheep, salmon and whale? Let's not forget the eagle. Don’t get us started on the wildflowers and wild berries.
  • Will I see the aurora borealis?
    You mean "the lights”, as Alaskans call them. No, probably not. Summer in Alaska means it doesn’t really get dark; you’ve got to have night skies to see the aurora dance. As September draws near and equinox evens out the hours, it’s possible to see the lights after dusk; unpredictable and utterly amazing, they make the rare appearance as summer turns into fall.
  • How much does it cost? And what if I can't go?
    Each trip is uniquely priced depending upon what is offered and included. A non-refundable deposit is required; the balance is broken into three equal payments over time. Our booking and cancellation policies can be found on our home page.
  • Why is your deposit non-refundable?
    When reviewing our cancellation policy, we occasionally are asked why the deposits for our trips are non-refundable. Alaska’s primary tourism season is short (approximately three months) and the unique lodges and excursions we offer you are provided by small, family owned and operated businesses. They’re wonderful accommodations and activities, but they’re in high demand and short supply over a very short period. So that we can guarantee you space at these places and on our tours, I reserve them for you in advance…often months or even a year before your trip. This process requires that I put down a deposit on your behalf long before your visit. We realize life can throw a curve ball at anyone at any time, so we have a cancellation policy which offers as much flexibility and security as possible for all - you, making plans for an adventure; me, putting it together for you; and finally, our awesome partners, who are looking forward to your visit far in advance. We highly recommend travel insurance to cover your trip to and from Alaska. Most travel insurance plans cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, trip interruptions, delays, medical evacuation, and lost, damaged, or stolen luggage. Contact an agent with a reliable insurance company to discuss various options, making sure the plan you choose covers the three big things you worry about while traveling: you, your experiences, and your stuff. With your adventure being non-refundable in certain instances and after a certain point, we strongly encourage you to include the full cost of your trip in your policy.
  • More questions? Want to chat with us?
    Drop us a note or dial 907-707-9299. But don’t wait. Between a very short summer season and a limited number of spots, this is a week you’ll want to nail down now.
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