Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions, we have answers! Information about our tours and activities
What should I wear / what gear should I bring?
Our most frequently asked question! Layered clothing is the key to comfort in Alaska year round.
We suggest being prepared for all types of weather on your visit to the last frontier. Temperatures in May and September can dip close to the freezing mark overnight, while the summer months of June, July and August bring warmer temperatures to the Knik River Valley. A waterproof or water resistant jacket is definitely a suggested accessory year round in Alaska, as the weather tends to change quickly.
For all of our glacier tours, we recommend that you 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. Alaska Helicopter Tours will outfit you with non-slip NEOS overboots for dogsled tours. Alaska Helicopter Tours has crampons for 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, and a water bottle to take some amazing pure glacier water back!
How are the chances to see wildlife from the helicopter?
Excellent! Knik River Road is a popular spot for all wildlife viewing. Be sure to drive slowly, and keep an eye out for moose on your way to the lodge – we see several almost every time we leave the lodge! Our tour guests 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, with the Dall sheep’s bright whiteness and the mountain goats are a bit more yellow. It is not uncommon to see dozens of either variety. We have both black and grizzly bears in the area, 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 partners at Alaska Helicopter Tours have a perfect safety record and are 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 River Valley is sheltered from most low pressure fronts by the Chugach Mountains. We tend to have more sunshine and less rain than other popular flight seeing areas. The precipitation in our valley is actually less than in most areas in Arizona and we are considered a sub-arctic desert. 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. Our partners at Alaska Helicopter Tours actively watch weather patterns and wind to ensure complete safety. You can improve your chances of a great trip by being flexible. If we have to cancel a flight because of weather, Alaska Helicopter Tours 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 on the aircraft slide open, just make sure to only stick the lens out as the wind may catch your camera or cell phone! If your camera has a strap, it must stay secured around the neck area to ensure there are no restrictions for the pilot in flight.
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. We partner with our partners at Alaska Helicopter Tours to offer shuttle service at different time slots throughout each day, picking up in Anchorage.
Do you offer daily departures?
Yes, from May 22 to September 30. We are open 7 days a week. If you would 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 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. 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 must be supervised at all times. The tours offered from the lodge are not physically challenging. There is a weight surcharge for any guests over 250 lbs (113 kg), as it will take away a seat in the aircraft.
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 is good if you can be flexible with 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!