Frequently Asked Questions
Information about our tours and activities
What should I wear / what gear should I bring?
Layered clothing is the key to comfort. Wear a long sleeved shirt, a sweater and bring a windproof jacket. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes that offer some protection like sneakers or hiking shoes. Please, no high-heeled shoes or sandals. We will outfit you with non-slip NEOS overboots for the dogsled tours. We have crampons for the tours where you land on the ice. Bring a hat (to protect you from the sometimes intense sunlight) and sunglasses. Don’t forget a camera that is ready for lots of pictures!
How are the chances to see wildlife from the helicopter?
Excellent! We often see moose, bear, mountain goats and Dall sheep. This is one of the very few areas where mountain goats and Dall sheep can be seen together. The Dall sheep are bright white, the mountain goats are a bit more yellow. It is not uncommon to see dozen of either variety. We have both black and grizzly bears, though the latter are not seen form the air too often. Moose prefer the lower slopes and the river bed where we often see them feeding on dwarf fireweed and new alder leafs.
Are your helicopter and pilots safe to fly with?
Yes, we fly in them ourselves and trust our lives to the pilots and helicopters daily. Our partner Tanalian Aviation has a perfect safety record and is meticulous about maintenance. All helicopters are FAA inspected, certified and fully insured. So yes, flying with us is very safe.
Is the weather usually nice?
The Knik Valley is sheltered from most low pressure fronts by the Chugach Mountains. So we have more sunshine and less rain than other popular flightseeing areas. The precipitation in our valley is actually less than in most area’s in Arizona and we are considered a sub-arctic dessert. Unfortunately we do have bad weather days too and there is no way to tell far ahead of time when that is going to be. We do have a weather-cam pointed towards the glacier so we can see what the weather is up there. We also check the forecast and the radar continuously to make sure we only fly when the conditions are safe. You can improve your chances of a great trip by being flexible. If we have to cancel a flight because of weather we will gladly reschedule you to another day / time. If your schedule does not allow that we will refund 100% of your trip.
Should I choose the morning or afternoon tour?
It’s really your preference that matters most here. Typically the mornings have a slightly less wind. During the afternoon tours the temperatures tend to be a bit higher.
Can I take pictures during the flight?
Yes, you can take great pictures from the helicopter! The windows slide open, just make sure to only stick the lens out as the wind may catch your camera or cell phone.
Who sits where?
The pilot balances the helicopter based on the weight and number of passengers. We cannot make any promises for specific seat because safety cannot be compromised. If you have a preference ask the pilot and when it’s safe he or she will try to accommodate you.
Can I get airsick?
It can happen but it’s very uncommon. Most people that are sensitive to motion sickness do just fine in a helicopter. If you have experienced motion sickness in planes, boats or vehicles, you could consider taking Dramamine or a similar motion sickness prevention medicine at least one hour before your departure.
Do you have a shuttle service to Anchorage?
Yes. All our tours are available with a round-trip shuttle service from Anchorage, Wasilla and Palmer.
Do you offer daily departures?
Yes, from May 5 to September 30. We are open 7 days a week. If you’d like to fly with us outside this time frame please contact us to discuss options, we are available year-round with advance notice.
Do you offer flights to Denali Park?
We would be happy to make a custom package for a flight to Denali. However, we cannot land inside the park boundaries. We concentrate on the many glaciers around Anchorage that are equally beautiful and much closer to our location, thus giving you more time to explore and saving you money.
How can I pay for my tour?
We take cash plus all major credit cards and debit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept payment through PayPal. You can also book through your travel company.
Do you have age or physical ability limits?
No we don’t. Climbing in and out of the helicopter requires some agility, but if you can walk up a short flight of stairs you should be ok. Children have to be supervised at all times, this is why we require 2 adults to accompany children. The tours are not physically challenging though the Glacier Explorer involves glacier hiking which makes it a bit more strenuous tour including some moderate elevation differences.
What if my tour is canceled due to weather?
We check the weather all the time to make sure we only fly when the conditions are safe. If we think it’s not safe we don’t fly. In that case we can try to change the departure time if the weather improves during the day so it’s good to be flexible in your plans. If we cannot wait or reschedule and have to cancel a flight because of weather we will gladly refund 100% of your trip. If you have booked through a travel agent we will refund the agent who will in turn refund you.
Why should I choose Knik River Lodge & Tours?
For a number of reasons!