Alaska ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

alaska atv laws

If you want to operate an ATV in any country or state, you must know the regulations governing ATVs in that state or country. Knowing these keeps you and your ATV safe. Let us look at Alaska and its ATV laws.

The main Alaska ATV law is that you cannot drive your ATV on public roads unless they have been registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can ride your ATV in Petersville, Chugach State Park, Eureka Trails, Knik Glacier Trail, and Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

The ATV laws in Alaska are quite different from other states in the United States. However, violation of their laws can attract a fine, your ATV can be seized, or you can serve a jail term in some situations. Hence, to avoid these situations, you should abide by the laws.

Alaska ATV Laws

Alaska is one of the states in the northwest of North America. It is close to the Canadian province in Yukon and British Columbia territory and is bordered by Chukotka of Russia to the west. It is one of the best states in the US where you can ride your ATV. The ATV laws in Alaska include:

  • An ATV should be operated on a roadway or shoulder of a highway only when crossing, if snow conditions make motor travel impossible, or if the highway has a sign or is designated as open for off-highway vehicles.
  • The operator of the ATV can only ride on the permanent seat attached to the vehicle.
  • An ATV should not carry more than one person except the driver unless the ATV is equipped with a seat for a passenger.
  • ATVs should not be operated on any state-maintained roadways, including sidewalks and bike lanes.
  • ATVs do not require a state title.
  • You can ride ATVs on private properties only if the owner allows it.
  • Alaska state laws do not require an ATV to be registered with the state.
  • There is no age restriction for ATV operations; however, some cities may set their age restriction, which must be followed.
  • You must never operate an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • An ATV can be operated on the shoulder of the roadway or highway but only within three feet of the paved surface.

kenai peninsula in alaska

Where Can You Ride ATVs In Alaska?

Alaska is an amazing and big state that has different areas suitable for riding ATVs. Some national parks in this state restrict the operation of ATVs; however, there are still a large variety of places you can ride. We will be looking at some of the ATV trails in Alaska.

Chugach State Park

The Chugach state park is very large and is a good ATV trail in Alaska. However, you cannot ride your ATV at just any place in this park. There are only two places that allow ATV riding in this park: Eklutna Lakeside Trail and Bird Valley. Parking and ATV riding on the Eklutna Lakeside Trail is $5, while it is free at Bird Valley.

The weight of ATVs allowed in these places must be less than 800 pounds and 75 inches. The Eklutna Lakeside Trail provides an incredible view of the lake, steep canyon walls, waterfalls, and Eklutna Lake glacier. The Bird valley offers stunning mountain views, bird creeks, and alpine meadows.

Eureka Trails

The Eureka Trail is one of the great areas for ATVs in Alaska. It is located two miles east of Eureka lodge and 160 miles northeast of Anchorage. This trail is higher than most ATV trails in Alaska and is 2,500 feet high.

You can ride for longer distances and have a chance to explore mountain ridges, glacier drainage areas, and old mining areas. This trail area has steep hill climbs, mud and water holes, rock climbing, and rutted areas.

Petersville

Petersville is 120 miles northeast of Anchorage and begins at Kroto creek. It is a popular trail among not only ATV riders but hunters and cabin owners as well. This trail area is usually wet and swampy; hence, it is suitable for mudslinging and mud racing.

This riding trail also offers lots of lakes, ponds, rivers with open and forested swamps in between. On a sunny day, you will have an epic view of Mountain McKinley, also known as Denali. In this area, you have access to a variety of terrain with your ATV.

Where Can’t You Ride ATVs?

Although there are many places you can ride an ATV in Alaska, some areas are off-limits to ATVs. Riding in these areas can attract some penalties. In order to avoid these consequences, you have to know the areas you should not ride an ATV in.

There is only one place in Alaska that the government prohibits ATVs. Riding an ATV on a public road is highly illegal. You must never ride your ATV on the highway or roadway. The only reason an ATV is permitted on a public road is to cross these roads and not ride on them.

Riding an ATV on public roads can either attract a fine, cause an impoundment of your ATV, or in some cases, you get to serve a jail term. ATVs are prohibited from public roads because ATVs are designed to be off-road vehicles, and riding an ATV on a public road can increase the risk of an accident with another vehicle.

The rule for riding ATVs on the highway or public roads also applies to riding on the street. The streets in Alaska are classified under public roads; hence you cannot ride your ATV there except when a government division that controls the roadway permits it. Also, riding an ATV in Denali National Park is not allowed.

atv rinding in alaska

Popular Places To Ride Your ATV In Alaska

There are a large variety of places to enjoy an ATV ride in Alaska. However, some places are quite popular for ATV riding. We will be listing some of those places and why they are popular ATV riding spots.

Bald Mountain Trail

Bald Mountain trail is a popular area to ride an ATV. It is about 22 miles long and climbs above the tree line leading towards Bald Mountain ridge. The first few miles of this trail are in a wooded forest and then become more technical. This area is mostly muddy and also has some loose dirt, rocks, and hard packs. It is also filled with trees and has many shades.

Colorado Creek Trail

The Colorado Creek trail is another popular area for ATVs. The trail is open to all ATVs below 1,500 pounds; however, these ATVs must have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer. In this trail, riders under the age of 17 must always put on a helmet. The Colorado Creek trail is a 24-mile trail and is mostly used by amateur RC riders.

Knik Glacier Trail

The Knik Glacier Trail is 22 miles long and is closest to Palmer. Parking an ATV in this area requires a 5-dollar fee. This area is one of the most popular tourist attractions, and riding an ATV along this trail leads you to the glacier, an amazing sight to view. The glacier in this trail is what makes it very popular as it shifts textures and colors.

Final Thoughts

Every state has its laws and regulations governing ATV operation and riding. It would be a shame if you got into trouble for riding an ATV in the wrong place or for disobeying the laws of ATV riding. Hence, this article will help guide you on the dos and don’ts of riding an ATV in Alaska.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.