Alaska Haines-Skagway Weekend Cycling

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 12
Activity level
Starting from
$2,199 for REI Members
$2,549 for non-members
Departures Aug 2022-Sep 2022

A four-day road bike tour through the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska, with spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural history of the region's indigenous people.

Explore one of North America's longest fjords—a region of rugged coastlines, temperate rainforests and alpine tundra. A place famous for its diverse plant and animal life, its Gold Rush history, and the cultural heritage of its native people. In just four days, we capture the essence of the region and all it has to offer as we bike the quiet, scenic roads leaving from Skagway and Haines.

Through a series of out and back rides from our two nights in Haines, AK, we explore the culture of 10,000 year-old native tribes, raft through a Bald Eagle Preserve, and cycle through Sitka Spruce forests. Then it's on to Skagway, where we spend two days riding deeper through the temperate rainforest and into the alpine tundra. From there we explore the history and impact of the Klondike Gold Rush and ride through the ghost town of Dyea and its nearby tidal flats.

The comfortable mileage each day provides a solid level of activity while allowing ample opportunity to explore the wonders of Southeast Alaska.

Our ride to the ghost town of Dyea and its tidal flats serves up scores of aquatic-bird sightings along the river ecosystem.

Trip Highlights

  • Experience Alaska's Inside Passage by ferry and bike
  • Easy riding days let us bask in the scenery and get to know Haines and Skagway
  • Float down the Chilkat River through the Bald Eagle Preserve
  • Soak up some local history at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants should have cycling experience and be comfortable in the saddle for up to 6 hours per day with elevation gains of up to 1000'. Rides consist of both moderate days covering 20-40 miles in distance. Vehicle support will be available throughout the trip when needed.

  • Cycling
  • Road Cycling

What's Included

Three nights accommodations; all meals as noted in the daily itinerary; bikes, any park entry fees.

Accommodations

Lodge or cottage accommodations, 3 nights

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?  You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Alaska Haines-Skagway Weekend Cycling
Note

A passport or passport card is required for this trip. While we never cross the Canadian/US border, the downhill ride on Klondike Highway out of Skagway passes through US customs without entering Canada due to the locations of the customs stations being offset from the actual border.

Day 1

Arrival, orientation, and a ride out to Chilkoot Lake

Arrive on your own into Haines, AK in the afternoon. You can take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry or a regional flight on Alaska Seaplanes from Juneau, Alaska. After checking in at our hotel, we have an afternoon bike fitting and orientation, followed by a 20-mile out-and-back ride to Chilkoot Lake. The mostly flat route serves up great views along the fjord, with mountains all around as we start our four-day tour. This area is covered with stands of Sitka Spruce, buzzing with the calls of native birds. And if we're lucky we might catch a glimpse of a bear or two! We return to freshen up before our evening meal together. Dinner included.

Cycling: 21 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,843’ / -1,843’; Van transfer: 15 minutes.

Day 2

Tour the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Center before enjoying a wildlife watching float down the Chilkat River

After an early breakfast we depart for a ride on the Haines Highway to the tiny town of Klukwan, where we stop in to the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Center. The center preserves the history and language of the Tlinglit people that have lived in the area for more than 10,000 years. We tour the center and have lunch on the grounds. After lunch we cycle four miles downhill to the Chilkat River, where we'll float for approximately two hours. The river takes us through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where thousands of bald eagles feast on the abundant salmon in the river. If you'd rather not do the river float, you can ride 19 miles back to the hotel, or hop in our van to take you there. Dinner is on your own, with many walkable and bikeable options. Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 24 miles, Elevation gain/loss +1,081’ / -1,035’.

Day 3

Board a ferry to Skagway and visit the ghost town of Dyea

Our destination today is the city of Skagway, Alaska. With a rich cultural history and idyllic natural setting, Skagway is a favorite destination for visitors to the Inside Passage. After a 1-hour ferry ride from Haines to Skagway we hop on the gravel road out of town and pedal towards Dyea, once a boomtown during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890’s. Along its tidal flats we see scores of aquatic birds: herons, eagles, seagulls, terns and many more. We’ll also keep an eye out for other wildlife as we ride through what ecologists consider a “biodiversity hot spot”. After a great day on our bikes, we’ll gather at Skagway Brewing Company for dinner and great conversation. All meals included.

Cycling: 21 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,328’ / -1,328’.

Day 4

Travel down the Klondike Highway for a final ride into Skagway

After a hearty breakfast we’ll grab our passports and head out for an exhilarating downhill ride down the Klondike Highway. While we won’t technically cross the Canadian border, the unique off-set-from- the-border proximity of the US customs station means we’ll be required to show our passports in route. Our ride along the highway parallels the route prospectors followed during the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s easy to imagine the brutal physical and mental toll those hardy individuals must have faced back in 1898. After our 15-mile descent into coastal rainforest and back into Skagway we’ll bid our new friends goodbye. There are multiple flights connecting to Juneau in the afternoon, and depending on ferry schedules, possibly a later option to take the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Juneau. Breakfast included.

Cycling: 15 miles, Elevation loss: -3,594’; Van transfer: 20 minutes; Ferry transfer: 1 hour

Itinerary map for Alaska Haines-Skagway Weekend Cycling

Gear List

This gear list has been created to help you choose the best equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff. The weather and other conditions at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to use each day and what (if anything) can be left behind. It may be a necessary precaution that you bring certain items on the list, even if it is uncertain whether or not they will be needed.

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.