Why should we run Alaska trails?
When can we run Alaska trails?
Each summer there are three (3) ways to come see us. Sign up for a scheduled race-cation, register for a women's retreat, or book a private trip for you and at least two others.
Once you've selected a trip that works for you, your only other to-do is to get yourself to Anchorage. We’re partial to Alaska Airlines and love that they have a companion fare.
Where are we running?
On trails throughout Southcentral Alaska. Our runs vary from the Kenai Peninsula to the Anchorage Bowl to the Talkeetna Mountains, and on to the Alaska Range and around North America’s tallest peak (Denali).
Take Alaska Hike Search for a spin; only faster. A few of our favorites are Lost Lake, Crow Pass, Bird Ridge, Turnagain Arm, South Fork Eagle River, Gull Rock, Hope Point, Kesugi Traverse, Matanuska Peak, Mint Bomber, Wolverine, and Lazy Mountain (which is not).
How will we get there?
A private and spacious passenger wagon will transport you back and forth from lodging to trailhead each day; with plenty of amenities on board for pre- and post-run.
Where will we stay?
An eclectic mix of lodges, cabins, and private rental properties. No two runs are alike and no two lodgings, either.
Occasionally, bathrooms may be shared, but single occupancy rate guarantees a private room.
What will we eat?
Breakfast we keep simple, by offering heavy continental at our current lodge. Lunch is literally on the run; we carry an assortment of fuel for your fun. Dinners are iconic cafes and pubs; places locals go for the best in Alaskan and other cuisines. The occasional meal may be catered in; anything from Japanese hot pot to reindeer to salads.
Much depends on our location at the time and proximity to local amenities. Occasionally we’ve been known to fire up a ‘Q and throw as much fresh salmon and AK-grown veggies on as will fit.
Once a guest books a trip, we send out a 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 ANC (please arrive before 4pm AKT)
First night bear safety and naturalist orientation; your own bear deterrent to carry
Private transportation to and from trail heads
Park fees and permits
4 days of running trails with experienced Alaskan guides
Breakfast, lunch on the run, and dinner
6 nights lodging
A custom buff to keep you cool
Drop off at ANC up until 12pm day of departure
On race-cations and women's retreats? You and a handful of your new best friends from around the world; other trailers who typically run several times per week and enjoy racking up miles outside.
Private trips obviously include you and your running besties.
We limit our guest numbers to eight per trip to maintain high standards of safety and quality.
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) guides are with you every step of the way. They carry sat phones, are trained in first aid, and know these trails like they know their names.
Trips with 3 or less guests are accompanied by 1 guide. Trips with 4-8 guests run with 2 guides. Larger trips led by 2 guides will see the lead take the pace of the fleetest of us and the 2nd guide partnering with the back of the pack.
How do I sign up?
For a scheduled race-cation or women's retreat, just visit our “Book It” page and hit all the buttons.
For a private trip, call us at 907-707-9299 or email email@example.com with your choice of dates and number of guests (3 minimum, 8 maximum).
What do I bring?
The usual stuff you both don and carry to run outside, knowing that’s happening at least 4 times over the week. We’ll send you a packing list upon receiving your reservation.
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? Too many birds to list (the most notable being 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 (we got you on local speak).
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 in to fall.
How much does it cost? And what if I can't go?
A trip to Alaska is no casual endeavor. Our booking policy offers as much flexibility and security as possible for us all. Read on to learn more about booking your trip to the Last Frontier.
Fees for 2022 are $2895 per person for shared rooms and an additional $300 per person for a private room. Prices are quoted and payable in USD, and are the same for both public (race-cations and retreats) and private trips.
Race-cations and women’s retreats have no minimum participants and are capped at 10 guests. Private trips require a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 people traveling together.
Price includes 6 nights lodging, transportation, meals, and four days of guided trail running. Guests are responsible for all other purchases, including (but not limited to) souvenirs, adult beverages, and side trips mid-week (when available).
You may secure your spot on a trip with a $500 deposit until 120 days prior to the trip start date. The remaining balance for your trip is due 120 days prior to its start. For adventures booked within the 120 days prior, the full tour cost is due at booking.
For a race-cation or women’s retreat, visit our book it page, select a trip, and follow the prompts to secure your space. For a private trip, call 907-707-9299 with participant information and dates desired; each guest will be invoiced for a $500 deposit per person.
After reserving your spot with a deposit you’ll receive a booking confirmation email, as well as our guest paperwork (packing list, guest survey, company policies, and liability waiver). At the 150-day mark prior to departure, Run Alaska Trails will invoice you for the balance of your trip fee (due within the following 30 days). Our guest packet must be returned to us no later than 30 days prior to your visit. No need to mark your calendar; we'll send you friendly reminders with ample time to respond.
Cancellation by a Guest:
Your cancellation must be received in writing by mail or email, confirmed by phone call, and is subject to the following fees per person:
More than 120 days before departure: $200 cancellation fee
61-119 days before departure: 50% of trip cost forfeited
0-60 days before departure: 100% of trip cost forfeited
Cancellation Due to Government Regulation Changes in Response to COVID-19:
If government COVID-19 regulations change and definitively prevent you from traveling to Anchorage, even if they change at a later date and allow you once again to travel, you have two options:
Option A) Move your trip forward a year free of charge and incur no fees.
Option B) Receive a full refund, minus any expenses that Run Alaska Trails has incurred. These expenses may relate to lodging deposits or purchase of food or supplies in anticipation of our hosting you. Run Alaska Trails will process this refund after your trip completion date, and accompany it with documentation and receipts.
Cancellations or Changes by Run Alaska Trails
If we are forced to significantly alter or cancel your trip due to Force Majeure (unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control that prevent fulfillment of a contract), we will advise you as soon as possible. Examples include a change in pandemic regulations or civil unrest or war. In this situation, you can choose from one of the following options:
1. Accept our offer of a comparable replacement trip, subject to availability, or
2. Receive a full refund, minus any expenses that Run Alaska Trails has incurred. These expenses may relate to lodging deposits or purchase of food or supplies in anticipation of our hosting you.
Unused Portions of a Trip
No refunds will be issued for any unused portion of a trip once the trip begins, including but not limited to if you leave a trip for any reason, miss the trip’s departure date or an activity, or have to be removed, quarantined, or evacuated from a trip. Guests are welcome to take a day of rest during our week (other than the one included), skip any meals included with our trail running trip and/or forgo any services or items included in our run package. However, no refunds or proration will be issued on any services or items declined by trip participants.
Trips begin upon client pick-up at Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in the afternoon. Run Alaska Trails is not responsible for delays in clients’ arrival to ANC. Late arrivals due to weather, flight schedules, and other events beyond our control are the responsibility of our clients. Run Alaska Trails will make every effort to have late clients join the group and the trip already in progress, however: no refund or proration of trip fees, nor assumption of cost for transportation, will be issued for clients not starting the trip as booked on their designated departure.
There are no exceptions to this cancellation and refund policy, including for reasons related to weather, civil strife, personal, family, or medical emergencies or any other circumstances. For this reason, we highly recommend that you protect your experience by purchasing travel insurance.
TRAVEL AND EMERGENCY INSURANCE
For Your Booking:
We highly recommend travel insurance to cover your trip to and from Alaska. Most travel insurance plans cover medical emergencies, trip cancellation, trip interruption, delays, medical evacuation, and lost, damaged, or stolen luggage. Contact a representative with a reliable agency to discuss various options, making sure the plan you choose will cover the three big things you worry about while traveling: you, your experiences, and your stuff. With your runcation 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.
In the Event of an Emergency:
The Last Frontier as backdrop to your runcation offers a spectacular setting in which to “run wild”, but it's wilderness factor does add a level of risk to all activities outside. In the unlikely event of an accident, rescue services in Alaska are generally excellent and widely available. We recommend living like a local while here and purchasing a membership to LifeMed Alaska. LifeMed Alaska provides 24/7 critical care air ambulance service throughout the state with full-scope transports using an advanced fleet of Learjets, turboprops, and helicopters. The agency also provides on-demand ground ambulance service to ensure continuity to each patient in their care. The annual fee is $49 per person and is worth the peace of mind.
Additional information addressing more specific details of our trips can be found on our FAQ page. We’re excited to see you in Summer of ‘22 and can’t wait to facilitate a runcation of a lifetime.
I hate leaving my dog home alone!
Yeah, we do too. We’ve been known to fly, ferry, and of course mush our best friends everywhere we go.
This kind of terrain brings out the inner wolf in all us dawgs. We’re working on a dog-friendly trip (put your paws in the air) one of these seasons. Let us know if you’d be interested in bringing Peaches or Samson along with you; we’ll work to set up a week with others who wish the same.
Ever hear of the Midnight Sun? Talk about the Midnight Rambler? Depending on the week, you’ll have up to 21 hours of daylight to spend each day; side trips (fishing, flightseeing, kayaking, etc.) with other tour outfits are totally possible during our "day off" (we run two days, rest one, then run another two days).
We can also point you to those awesome things before or after our trip, if you come in a day or two early or depart a day or two later.
What good can come of this?
Oh, a lot. Many people the world over want to step foot in Alaska, and your feet are going to meet AK ground over 100,000 times while you’re here.
Additionally, we’re good people; every year we dedicate a portion of our proceeds to our buddies in the business of keeping Alaska trails nice.
We’ve got answers. Drop us a note or dial 907-707-9299.
But don’t wait. Between a limited amount of summer and a maximum number of guests, this is a week you’ll want to nail down now.
What is the schedule for the trip?
DAY 1: We pick you up in the afternoon the day of your arrival, taking you to your lodging to relax, unwind, and dine. We talk about trails safety in Alaska and make plans for the next day's adventure.
DAY 2: We run wild on some of the most spectacular trails in America.
DAY 3: You'll run again with our incredible guides - OR - you can choose to run in an Alaskan trail race (if you're visiting us via a "race-cation"). For more info on specific races, visit our "Book It" page and click through the different trip "editions".
DAY 4: We rest for a day. What you do is up to you. You can put your feet up in your room, hang out on the patio with a beverage, walk around town, or book any number of active Alaskan adventures you can cook up: fishing, kayaking, flightseeing, biking, etc. Side trips depend on our location (often Talkeetna and Hope or Girdwood) and are not included in our trip (although we're happy to provide suggestions, and transportation to and from).
DAY 5 & 6: See DAY 2.
DAY 7: We'll take you to Anchorage International and bid you safe and happy travels.
How do you select runs that will work for everyone?
We send every guest a questionaire in advance of the trip to learn more about their experience, expectations, and goals. We review this information when we create a custom itinerary for the week, building in "flow" with variable amounts of distance and elevation as the trip unfolds and as a function of our runners.
Each evening, after checking in with everyone to gage how we feel, our guides tee up two options for the following day. The group might meet consensus in selecting one of the two options. Or, in a group consisting of very different runners, 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 challening than most miles anywhere else. Our trails are typically more technical, less maintained, and feature bigger upward gains.
Most of our guests have been very happy with daily runs ranging from 4 to 17 miles. We're confident we have something for everyone, and can't wait to show you your choices.
We'll have an opportunity to race?
If on a scheduled "race-cation", unequivocally yes. Each one of our "race-cations" coincides with an Alaskan trail race. During your week with us, you'll have the option to drop into a local race and compete with your contemporaries up north. Details on races can be found when you visit our "Book It' page and click through on a specific trip.