One of the best ways to find trails is using apps. Most have free versions and also have websites that you can access with a laptop or desktop. Not every app has every trail, so sometimes it’s good to check with more than one app. And new trails are often being added regularly. Here are some apps that have a lot of trails in interior Alaska.
- Trail Forks (free and paid): Focus is on mountain biking, but it has tabs for a wide variety of trail users, including motorized.
- Adventure Project apps (free): This project is sponsored by REI and includes separate apps for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, mountain climbing, backcountry skiing, and national parks.
- All Trails: (free and paid): General trails app focused on nonmotorized users. Lots of Fairbanks-area trails on it.
- GaiaGPS: (free and paid): General trails app. Lots of Fairbanks-area trails.
- CalTopo: (free and paid): General trails app. Lots of Fairbanks-area trails.
- Strava Heatmaps: These can be useful but they are limited in information, such as not flagging private trails or distinguishing between between roads and trails.
Besides the apps, there are many other online resources that have information about trails in the Interior. The information below is organized mostly according to highways. Click on a link below to take you directly to the specific area you are looking for.
- Fairbanks area
- Chena Hot Springs Road
- Steese Highway
- Elliott Highway
- Richardson Highway
- Parks Highway
- Denali Highway
Interiorwide / Statewide
- Alaska State Parks trails: Includes the Chena River State Recreation Area, which has lots of trails, motorized and non-motorized. Consider buying an annual park pass just to support the parks, including the trails! You can also donate here. Trail reports can be found here.
- BLM Alaska: The federal Bureau of Land Management oversees more than 70 million acres of land in Alaska with miles and miles of trails. The best way to find trails is from its main page or from its Visit page. A direct link to the popular White Mountains NRA is under “North of Fairbanks” below.
- MAP THE TRAP: Reporting Traps Along Recreational Trails: A project by the Alaska Wildlife Alliance
- Fairbanks & Interior Hiking Trails: A list of nearly 30 trails suitable for hiking.
- Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation Department: Birch Hill, Chena Lake and Tanana Lakes recreation areas; the site has good trail maps for the recreation areas. Look under General Info > Dept Info for links to several trail maps.
- Skijoring trails page: Has good suggestions and links to maps for skijoring trails, which are good for just about any winter non-motorized activities. Some are good for motorized use, too. You can donate to the skijoring group’s trails work from their main page (scroll down).
- SnowTRAC grooming pool trails: Maps of trails statewide that are groomed for snowmachines but are open to other uses; includes Yukon Quest, Chena River SRA, Denali Highway.
- Fairbanks Cycle Club ride maps: No longer updated, but they are still a good source of information.
- Fairbanks Snow Travelers Trails database: Good information on trails. Focuses on snowmachine use. Requires account.
- National Park Service units: Links to NPS units across the state. Each site has maps and/or descriptions of trails usually under: Plan Your Visit > Things To Do. To donate, see this page.
- Alaska Public Lands Information Center (Fairbanks): If you’re new to the Interior, this should probably be your first stop. They have a location in the Morris Thompson Visitor Center downtown, with helpful people that will get you (literally) pointed in the right direction for whatever you’re looking for.
- Fairbanks Area Trail Conditions (Facebook): Updated intermittently, mainly by non-motorized users. No maps, so you need to know the names of trails.
- Happy Trails, Inc.: Video, photos, and descriptions of trails across the state that Happy Trails has worked on, including several interior Alaska trails.
- Paddle and Pedal Outings in the Interior: Interior Alaska trips that combine biking and boating
- Tanana Valley State Forest Roads: This page is aimed at bikers, but it has information useful to anyone wanting to explore our local forestry roads, which are generally open to motorized, multi-use.
- Winter trail conditions/grooming reports: This page is maintained by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, but it has information and links about a number of trails and trail systems in the area, some multi-use.
- Other sites
- Adventure Projects: An REI-sponsored set of databases for mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, climbers, and backcountry skiers(apps work offline and without cell coverage).
- Cross Country Alaska’s “Alaska Ski Trail Reports”: Nice interface, but almost every report is from Southcentral. Still, Interior trail users can use the site to update trail conditions. People use it for activities other than cross-country skiing.
- Trailforks: A worldwide mountain biking trail database with many Alaska trails included (apps work offline and without cell coverage).
- Alaska Dog Musher Association Trails: Groomed for mushers and skijorers, but other non-motorized users welcome; please donate or buy a trail pass under “Trail Pass & Membership” on the main page. (Here’s another webpage with ADMA trails info. And here’s a map of ski trails groomed by Stan Justice that criss-cross the ADMA trails.)
- Big Eldorado Loop Trail: Parking off Goldstream Road and Molly Road. Includes the trail off Waterford Road. (See Eldorado and Tanana Valley Railroad trails for Eldorado Creek Trail south of Goldstream Road.)
- Birch Hill Recreation Area: Nordic skiing only during the winter; hiking, running, and biking during the summer. See “Additional Files” at bottom of page for maps. Please donate to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund.
- Chena River guide
- Cranberry Trail: Non-motorized loop trail in the hills north of Goldstream Valley.
- Creamer’s Field:
- Eldorado Creek and Tanana Valley Railroad trails (in Goldstream Valley). (See Big Eldorado Creek Loop Trail for the section of Eldorado Creek Trail north of Goldstream Road.)
- Equinox Marathon Trail: See “Race Info” > “Course” in dropdown menu.
- Ester Dome/Happy Valley Singletrack / Facebook: Great trails built for mountain biking but open to other uses. A ton of fun!
- Goldstream winter trails: Last updated in 2004, but still the most comprehensive Goldstream Valley trails map. Here’s a less complete but nicer-looking map. Goldstream Sports also has a page of fatbiking routes, mostly in the Goldstream Valley, which are on multi-use trails. And Metropolitan Garage, which does trail grooming, has a map of some trails on the west end of the valley.
- Goldstream Sports classic ski trail (and other trail maps): Winter only, classic-technique only; please donate to the donation buckets in the store or online.
- Isberg Recreation Area: Mostly winter trails; parking lot on Oboe Court off Isberg Road. Skijor winter map here.
- Midnight Sun Golf Course: This golf course offers trails in the winter that are open to skiing, skijoring, kicksledding, snowshoeing, and walking. They are groomed by Midnight Sun staff and the Alaska Skijoring and Pulk Association. See a map of the winter trails here.
- Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Trails page: Birch Hill and other Fairbanks-area places to cross-country ski. For trail upkeep and grooming, donate here.
- Pearl Creek Nordic Park: Non-motorized trails. Low-lying trails wet in summer. Groomed for skiing by volunteers in winter. Here’s a community-run website with several maps, and here’s a map from the borough.
- Rosie Creek area trails: Forestry roads/trails in the Rosie Creek area of the Tanana Valley State Forest just west of Fairbanks. In winter many of these trails are groomed by organizers of the Tanana River Challenge with equipment from the skijor group. Contact either to donate your time or money to help out. Here’s another good map created for a project slated for summer 2021.
- Skyline Ridge Park: Has several non-motorized, multi-use trails. (Motorized use is not allowed, even on the wider main ridge trail.)
- Skarland / Pearl Creek Park trail map: Skarland Trail connects Pearl Creek Nordic Park and the UAF trails; please respect classic skiing tracks in winter. For grooming/maintenance donation make check out to “Pearl Creek Community Park Fund” and send it to Tako Raynolds, 1819 Muskox Trail, Fairbanks, AK 99709-6626. (Here’s a PDF version of the Skarland Trail.)
- Tanana Lakes Recreation Area: Multi-use trails, motorized and non-motorized, winter and summer, on the southern edge of Fairbanks. (See the winter and summer brochures.)
- Tanana Valley Railroad and Eldorado Creek trails (in Goldstream Valley).
- University of Alaska Fairbanks trails: Trail maps and conditions; please donate by clicking on the “Give Now” button in the upper right corner of the page or scroll down to “Donate to the Trails!” You can also donate to the University Trails Club.
Chena Hot Springs Road
- Chena River State Recreation Area: A most awesome trails place, winter and summer. Trail reports can be found here.
- Two Rivers Nordic Ski Trails: Park at Two Rivers Elementary School; non-motorized, multi-use in summer. Includes an address to send trail donations. Here’s another map.
- Far Mountain Trail and Traverse: A trail/route that circumnavigates the Monument Creek Valley, starting and ending at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
- Circle-Fairbanks Historic Trail / Trail Forks: Nearest trailhead is close to Cleary Summit off the Steese Highway.
- Pinnell Mountain Trail guide: The Pinnell is the only National Recreation Trail in the Interior.
- White Mountains National Recreation Area (see Elliott Highway)
- Grapefruit Rocks: Climbing area with short, steep access/hiking trails.
- White Mountains National Rec Area / Facebook: If you’re looking for long single-day or multi-day winter trips, this is one of the best areas in the world! It also has some good summer opportunities. For trail updates check here or the area’s Facebook page.
- Tolovana Hot Springs: A challenging 11-mile trail to marvelous hot springs with private rustic cabins that can be rented. Other longer winter trails also access the hot springs, but check with the owners to see what shape the trails are in.
- Olnes Pond (Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area): PDF brochure of the area, including a web of trails around Olnes Pond.
- Chena Lake Recreation Area: Has summer and winter trails. Trails are groomed in winter for a variety of activities.
- Peede Road area trails (North Pole area):
- North Pole area trails: Amenities > Trails/Pedestrian Path
- Eielson Air Force Base
- Salcha Nordic ski trails: Park at Salcha Elementary School; non-motorized, multi-use in summer. Officially the Darrell L. Coe Nordic Ski Trails.
- Delta Junction area trails: Guide from the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District. Includes trails toward Tok and a couple on the Denali Highway.
- Quartz Lake State Recreation Area: North of Delta Junction
- Bluff Cabin Trail: Just north of Delta Junction. (Map of new, rerouted trails, 2020.)
- Liewer Community Trail: In Delta Junction proper. Here’s an AllTrails link.
- Donnelly Dome: Popular hike south of Delta Junction. (Website for getting a RAP–Recreational Access Permit–for hiking the dome: https://usartrak.isportsman.net/)
- Castner Glacier ice caves
- Northern Richardson Hwy trails: Detailed descriptions and photos of trails along the northern Richardson Highway (and a couple on the Dalton Highway)
- Denali National Park and Preserve: Wild, remote hiking at its best! Also, some biking. And in winter, skiing, snowshoeing, and mushing!
- Ferry Road (and some of the trails/mining roads beyond)
- Mount Healy from Bison Gulch: The fastest (and steepest) approach to Mount Healy.
- Sugar Loaf Mountain: A trail behind Denali Grande Hotel to the top of the mountain behind it.
- Suntrana Canyon: 1.4-mile canyon. No set trail.
- Tangle Lakes Archaeological District: Several trails, mostly motorized multi-use. Check both the Trails and Maps tabs. Includes Maclaren Summit and Glacier Gap trails that reach to Sevenmile and Glacier Gap lakes.
- Tangle Lakes Foot Trail (aka Tangle Ridge Trail): Mile 21.3. Hiking trail; about 1 mile, one-way. Trailhead just off the Tangle Lakes Campground access road. Gentle grade to ridge with 360-degree views of the area, including Lower Tangle Lake. Ridge hiking possible beyond.
- Landmark Gap Trail: Mile 24.6. Motorized, multi-use trail; about 3 miles, one-way. Little elevation gain or drop. Ends at the southern end of gorgeous Landmark Gap Lake, a great place to go fishing or wading. (There is a side trail there, but please don’t follow it, as it leads to a sensitive archeological area.)
- Osar Lake Trail: Mile 36.7. Motorized, multi-use trail; 7.2 miles, one-way. Trailhead just across the highway from the Maclaren Summit Trail. Osar Lake Trail is usually dry and is recommended for hiking, mountain bikes and ATVs. August and September bring heavy concentrations of hunters.
Alpine Lake Trail: Mile 68, behind Alpine Creek Lodge. Hiking trail; about 4 miles, one-way. Leads to a string of three alpine lakes and a broad pass after 4 miles or so. Ask at the lodge for directions. The lodge also offers hiking tours of several other trails in the area.
- Brushkana Campground Trail: Mile 104. Hiking trail; about 3 miles, one way. Starts from campground and provides a scenic overlook of Brushkana Creek and the Alaska Range.
- Jack Creek Trail: Mile 13. Motorized, multi-use trail; about 5 miles, one-way. Provides access to the Jack River Valley. The first two miles of trail cross private land on an easement, so stay on the trail in that area. The trail dead-ends after just a few miles, so it’s good for a short trip or to provide access for hikers and backpackers wanting access to the mountains. Popular with hunters in the fall.