FATMAP by Strava

The Best Summer Adventures near Fairbanks, Alaska

Explore the best summertime adventures near one of the world's northernmost cities.

Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, Hiking, Road Biking, Trail Running Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Angel Rocks
Photo: Greg Heil


Fairbanks might be Alaska's second-largest city, but it is still one of the most remote cities in North America. Located almost directly on the 65th line of latitude, Fairbanks is only 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle. While you can choose to fly straight into the airport here, traveling to Alaska by car is an epic endeavor and a bucket list road trip for many Americans. However you choose to reach this arctic outpost, once you get here, you have plenty of adventures in store! This guidebook will help you get started.

The adventures outlined in this guidebook will point you in the right direction for summertime excursions in and around Fairbanks. However, in the winter, you'll find even more adventures, be it cross-country skiing, fat biking, or snowshoeing—you name it. Since winter holds its grip across these northern latitudes for so long, the local trail system is actually best utilized when the marshy lands freeze solid and the snow coats the ground. But even in the summertime, you can find plenty of adventures to keep you busy!

If hiking is your adventure du jour, there are plenty of trails to keep you busy. However, finding a trail that's well-traveled and free from undergrowth is one of the most difficult challenges. One of the most popular hikes that's easy to follow, and rewards with incredible views, is the short but steep climb up to Angel Rocks near Chena Hot Springs. For in-town trails, try Skyline Ridge, Ester Dome, or some of the short trails closer to downtown.

Many of the local hiking and biking trails serve just fine for trail running, but Skyline Ridge is a popular locals' spot for trail running that's well-worth investigating.

Ester Dome reigns supreme as the best purpose-built mountain bike trail system in the region. These machine-built trails run through a beautiful aspen grove on the side of a mountain, which helps keep your tires out of the boggy areas in the valley bottom and helps keep the trail from getting too overgrown by brush in the sunnier aspects.

For an easy but very convenient outing, be sure to check out the Chena River Greenway running through the heart of the city. This flat paved bike path is perfect for an easy walk, run, or ride. For a longer bike path adventure, try the Farmer's Loop, which offers a 15-mile protected bike path ride north of town.

And these adventures are just the tip of the iceberg! Fairbanks is located about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Denali National Park, which is home to some of the most beautiful day hikes in Alaska. If you haven't explored Denali on your drive up to Fairbanks already, it's well worth renting a car and heading south to gain views of the tallest mountain in North America.

Routes included

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