Why should we run Alaska trails?

Next question.

When can we run Alaska trails?

The season is short and glorious in the last best place on Earth. Our runs are centered around summer; after most of the snow is gone and before fall's rains set in. It's the height of Alaska's daylight and summer beauty.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to pick a week that works for you and get yourself to Anchorage. Five of the trips on our website feature an option to run a local race; the sixth trip (July 1st) is a Ladies Only exclusive.

We’re partial to Alaska Airlines and love that they have a companion fare.

Any week I want?

Just about. We pick up a handful of intrepid trail runners at Anchorage International on the dates listed under "Book It" to begin the adventure.

Please know there are only 48 spots available for 2020; if you really want your week of choice, remember that whole bird and worm story.

Be happy; be early.

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 trip fee is based on single occupancy (a private room).

A discount is given to runners who opt to share a 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 the road system. Occasionally we’ve been known to fire up a ‘Q and throw as much fresh salmon and AK-grown veggies on as will fit. We’ll have something you like and you’ll never go without.

What is included?

  • Pick-up from ANC Sunday afternoon

  • 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 Friday morning

What is not?

  • Guide gratuities (although appreciated)

  • Registration fee to run in a local race (optional)

  • Adult beverages

  • Souvenirs

  • Side trips

Who's going?

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.

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?

Visit our “Book It” page and hit all the buttons.

Traveling with a buddy? Lock down your spot first - then have your friend purchase a ticket at a $500 discount.

Can I book a private trip for me and my mates?

Sure. Give us a call and tell us how many and when. Currently we have space available on June 20th and July 11th for exclusives. We'll devote those weeks entirely to your entourage.

What do I bring?

The usual stuff you both don and carry to run outside, knowing that’s happening at least 4 times back-to-back. 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 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?

Dynamic versus static, we understand. Below is our payment and cancellation policy, pretty standard stuff for adventures in Alaska. Please read carefully, so we can all plan accordingly:

RESERVATIONS: With such a short season and our limiting the size of runs to provide clients with the best experience, trips fill up quickly. Please reserve your spot early on to ensure we can share with you the most incredible trail runs in Alaska.

2020 prices are $2895 for single occupancy; a 2nd runner sharing that room enjoys a $500 discount at $2395.

Payment in full reserves your spot(s). There is no charge to change dates if spots are available a different week.

Upon receipt of your payment, we’ll send you a confirmation via email and a trip packing list, as well as a (required) form releasing Run Alaska Trails of liability.

Upon payment and subsequent reservation with Run Alaska Trails, clients agree to stated terms, conditions, and cancellation policies. Please read our policies carefully, as doing so is required to fill out the Liability Release form you will receive.

CANCELLATIONS: Our policies go into effect at the time of receiving payment and confirming booking.

Full refunds are given if a trip is cancelled 90+ days before start date. Due to the nature of logistics in a remote locale with limited services, no refund is allowed within 90 days of your departure date.

If clients must cancel a trip within 90 days prior to departure, Run Alaska Trails will make every effort to backfill your spot with a trail runner sitting on our wait list. In the event Run Alaska Trails can replace your participation with a waiting client, we will refund you 100% of your trip price. If Run Alaska Trails can re-book you for a different date, we will move your participation to that date. If Run Alaska Trails cannot re-book your trip, by either moving your start date or filling your spot from our wait list, no refund will be issued.

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 voluntarily 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 at wherever their locale (so s/he can join 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.

Not showing for the trip package will result in no refund being issued.

Run Alaska Trails places utmost priority on amazing, safe, and quality runs throughout the duration of our trip. We may, at our sole discretion, make changes and plan iterations as become necessary to ensure a safe and quality experience in the Last Frontier.

Safety is our primary goal; however, trail running in remote locales is not without inherent risk. We cannot assume responsibility for injury to participants or personal belongings or for time or expense incurred as a result of participation on our trips. Clients will be required to sign a Liability Release form and return the form to us no later than 30 days before their trip departure.

Our runs are geared for people with experience running long distances (8-15 miles) on trails with various levels of elevation gain (from 500 to 5000 feet). Participants are responsible for gaging the appropriateness of our trips for their own running abilities. Clients are also required to make Run Alaska Trails aware of any physical limitations or health issues on our Liability Release form at least 30 days in advance of trip departure.

Although weather is typically beautiful somewhere in Southcentral Alaska in summer (and we will make every effort to chase it) please be prepared to run in changing conditions (rain, light snow, mud, etc.). Typically, runs will take place regardless of weather. However (as outlined above) Run Alaska Trails reserves the right to alter trip plans in the event of unsafe conditions. In the unlikely event a daily run must be cancelled due to unsafe conditions, no remuneration will be made for a canceled trail run. Run Alaska Trails will make every effort possible to lengthen or otherwise adjust our activities to make up for missed opportunities, as deemed safe and desirable by the guides and the group as a whole.

TRIP INSURANCE: We strongly urge you to purchase Travel Insurance to cover your travel to and from Alaska, as well as your participation on our guided outings. Please research travel insurance and secure the best policy for your particular needs on this trip.

DRONE POLICY: Run Alaska Trails has a "No Drone" policy, similar to that of the National Park Service. This policy is in place to respect wildlife and the wild places in which we run. Run Alaska Trails may make exceptions to this policy from time to time, in compliance with regulations, for its promotional productions.

PRIVACY: Run Alaska Trails will never share personal information we receive via email, our website, phone or text inquiries, and other client communications.

Thank you for joining us on a trail running adventure in Alaska! The Far North is one of the most incredible regions to run and we can’t wait to launch your trip of a lifetime. We’re excited to have you come up and look forward to sharing with you the trails and lifestyle we love.

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.

What else?

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.

More questions?

We’ve got answers. Drop us a note or dial 907-707-6698.

But don’t wait. With only 48 spots for Summer 2020, 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. With the exception of our "Ladies Only" date (with its own special "field trip") each one of our trips is timed to coincide with an iconic local trail race. 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 are not included in our trip (although we're happy to provide 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?

Great question. 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 accomodate 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 6 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?

Each one of our announced trip dates** 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. ** Our "ladies only" trip (July 1-7) includes a race day in which we rest - and become part of a very enthusiastic crowd cheering on Alaska's Mount Marathon participants!