All Terrain Vehicles
Alaska is an All-Terrain-Vehicle (ATV) owner's paradise. There are literally hundreds of miles of established trails, providing access to very remote areas that cannot even be accessed by aircraft or boat. Airplanes require flat, level, bare ground or flat water in such length to allow landing and take-off. Many areas in Alaska lack either, but they do have ATV trails.
Gearing up for an extended Alaska ATV trip requires attention to detail and a survivalist's mind-set. Pack lightly, but bring the basics for getting "un-stuck" and performing essential maintenance on your rig. Weekenders may get by with a machine equipped with nothing more than a load rack, but hunters and others interested in multi-day excursions might consider a trailer. Several models of ATV trailers are available commercially, however if you are handy with a welder, you can build your own.
Like many states in the Lower 48, Alaska imposes certain restrictions on the use of ATVs. Generally speaking, you are required to remain on established trails. The growing season in Alaska is very short and scars left on the land by careless riders may remain for a hundred years or more. Another restriction applies to fording certain rivers. For the most part, if the river hosts any salmon runs, you are prohibited from driving a machine through it. The purpose of this is to protect salmon spawning habitat. Finally, some areas are completely closed to ATV access. Check the regulations to ensure you don't run afoul of the law.
Please be mindful of preserving the wilderness experience for others while you're cruising around out there! Many folks are looking for quiet and solitude. Some of the regulations we currently have, restricting ATV use, are a result of individuals who did not heed this simple act of courtesy.