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Passengers watch on with Robinson R44 helicopter landed on glacier

Anchorage, Alaska helicopter tours guide

Breathtaking wilderness surrounds Anchorage in Alaska, with helicopter tours taking you to the most remote locations in the area.

One city in Alaska to see from the air would be Anchorage via three helicopter tour operators, with nearby departure points. helicopter rides in Anchorage include helicopter sightseeing only with heli adventures involving landing tours on glaciers, dog sledding, hiking or kayaking for the whole family.

Make Anchorage on the centre, south coast of Alaska for a helicopter tour that takes in the most fascinating sights ever to be seen.

Anchorage helicopter rides will take in snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, glaciers with wilderness as far has the eye can see.

Helicopter tours that don't land at all are optional; if you want to do something a little more adventurous, then its a heli-adventure you want.

It will first involve a helicopter tour with amazing sights, before landing at your designation.

If taking a helicopter tour with glacier landing; expect the pilot to turn guide as he or she points out all important features found on a glacier.

Heli adventures can also be dog sledding with the family, or perhaps a glacier landing that also takes in camping or hiking.

Anchorage city focus tours will have to be arrange, though you will see parts of the city at the point of departure.

Anchorage helicopter tour operators

Alaska helicopter tours operating out of Anchorage flying to nearby wilderness is serviced by three Anchorage based helicopter tour companies.

Long established helicopter companies who have been flying tourist over the city to near by mountains, lakes or glaciers for years.

Alaska Helicopter Tours

In Alaska Helicopter Tours you have an operator who are regarded as the go to service for taking a helicopter tour.

The helicopter tour offerings include all that is expected from a location that is rich with amazing sightseeing opportunities.

Types of tours to take are glacier related packages; including landing, boating or hiking, dog sledding or snowmobiling.

Alpine Air Alaska

Alpine Air Alaska are a company that operate a dinky red Robinson R44 helicopter via Anchorage to all the tourist spots.

Not only heli adventures, the company offers the usual sightseeing only helicopter rides, to dog sledding to numerous, one of the kind adventures, including:

Heli-hiking, ice climbing and glacier camping. Alpine Air Alaska will pass you on to their associates to complete these activities which includes heli-rafting, kayaking and hiking.

Regional Helicopters

Currently Regional Helicopters don't have an online booking presence, so orders have to be made over the phone.

Don't let this discourage you as all enquiries related to tour can be asked on the phone. Parts of Anchorage will be seen in the air before heading out.

Regional Helicopters promises to fly you over glaciers, mountains and lakes; with the likelihood of local wildlife seen from the air.

Convenient departure locations

Convenience is imperative for tourist or locals looking to take a helicopter tour out of Anchorage, with unwanted travel time to be avoided.

Focus is on your Anchorage, Alaska helicopter tour with all flights lifting off out of the city, with up to three locations to pick from.

So for visitors into the city; simply pick a departure point that is closest, or at least in a location you are happy to drive or take public transport too.

Alaska Helicopter Tours are located in Knik Glacier, Anchorage, 29979 Knik River Rd, Palmer, AK 99645.

Not so convenient I grant you but it is a nice scenic drive if you're driving to the location by car, which is a quick 30 minute trip or so due north/east.

On the otherhand, Alphine Air Alaska departure point is within the city at Merrill Field Airport, address: 3830 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage Alaska 99502.

Visitors, or Alpine Air Alaska passengers will have to go through a procedure at the airport, but the location makes it useful for people who are short of time.

Much like Alpine, Regional Helicopters also operate out of the Merrill Field Airport that is in the heart of Anchorage.

Over Anchorage city tour only

Anchorage skyline, viewed from Bootleggers Cove
Anchorage skyline as viewed from the banks of Bootleggers Cove with the snow-capped Chugach Mountains seen in the distance.

It must be said all Anchorage helicopter tour companies I recommend thus far do not concentrate their tours over Anchorage.

While only at the point of departure, the city only acts as the starting point before the flight heads into the mountains or glaciers.

So what to do if you only want to take a helicopter tour over Anchorage city itself; well you'll need to make special arrangements.

If you want to see only a little bit of Anchorage from above well still being interested in taking the heli adventure that is to come, then focus on a Anchorage departure.

Meaning Regional Helicopters or Alpine Air Alaska will be the operators to fly with.

If the focus of your helicopter tour is circling the city or a direct flight over it, you need to make special arrangements.

So this is where you will need to talk to the heli tour operators to charter a flight over that city, which won't be listed or priced.

Chartered helicopter tours can be more costly, but if you can keep the flight route simple in a short amount of time, then prices should be in line with other tours.

That is not to say you won't be able to take exclusive helicopter tours over Anchorage at a reduced price, because you might be able too.

Glacier landing tours

With Anchorage situated so close to the Knik or Spencer Glacier; its only a 30 minutes or so helicopter ride away, so will be the focus of all three helicopter tour operators.

All glaciers within helicopter flying distance can be seen from the air, though you would want to land on a glacier for a real heli adventure.

In one helicopter operator the glacier landing option is not available; instead you'll get to land nearby an iceberg to see them up close and personal.

Anchorages premier helicopter adventure groups includes the all important glacier landing tours.

What that involves is landing the helicopter on the glacier; before descending the chopper to physically walk around and explore.

It will be a guided tour for your safety with the helicopter pilot acting as tour guide.

On the glacier landing site, expect to see: melt pools, blue ice, caves, crevasses and running surface rivers.

Spencer Glacier is the location for heli type adventure tours that involve landing on the glacier to setup ice climbing or camping overnight.

Dog Sledding

Ultimate helicopter adventures begin with a helicopter tour that takes in the amazing sights around Anchorage.

It will involve landing on the snow fields on the glacier before being met by the handler.

Its then time to meet and greet the huskies who will then pull you along in the sled on the soft snow with an hour of dog sledding to be had, for the whole family.

After all dog sledding adventures are finished, you'll be taken back onto the helicopter before arriving at your original departure point.

Alaska Helicopter Tours dog sledding

Departing from Knik River Road, Palmer location, Alaska Helicopter Tours are sure to bring you a dog sledding adventure to remember.

Once you've arrived at the sledding site, not before the helicopter tour; there's an opportunity to meet the friendly dogs, well other times you might get to see the cute puppies.

All this will commence in the summer via Anchorage, with winter dog sledding available.

Location changes for the colder winter months to Willow, the sled dog capital of Alaska, with a helicopter landing near to the kennels.

Now passengers will spend up to 2 hours with the mushers and their dogs while taking you through the snow covered trails.

Alpine Air Alaska dog sledding

Alpine Air Alaska offer a helicopter dog sledding adventure that involves a tour that is much different to their counterparts.

It will involve customers making there own way from Anchorage to their Girdwood location, a 30 minute drive, south of the city.

Once arrived at the location you'll soon all be seated in the helicopter before taking in all the usual scenery that surrounds the beautiful Girdwood area.

Once you've arrived at the remote dog sledding camp, you will be met by the team of guides and mushers.

Not only will you get to try dog sledding yourself, but you'll be given an interesting talk on the subject.

Fitness requirements

Most people who take an Alaska helicopter tour which involves landing on glaciers, dog sledding, camping and heli-hiking, must be thinking one thing...

I'm not sure if I am fit enough to sign up to heli adventures; well you may be surprised, as its suitable for all people to get involved in.

Whole families can take the dog sledding adventure as it still involves the helicopter tour that will fly you to the location on the snowy glacier.

You don't have to try mushing huskies yourself, you can instead sit back and relax as you'll be dragged in the sled as the musher do the work.

Getting involved will be encourage by the guide, so consider it as it doesn't take much fitness over a short run.

Heli Adventures will involve activity where you will be active somewhat.

It won't involve physical activity that is suited to more active people; but just enough to either take you kayaking, snowmobiling or simple walkabouts on the glacier.

One activity that might not be for you is heli-hiking. What that involves is landing on the mountain before the group begins a short hike.

Local wildlife sightseeing

Rich in wildlife near the Anchorage area, it won't be hard to avoid spotting a bit of local wildlife once in a while from a birds-eye view in the helicopter.

Common wildlife to spot from the air are sheep, mountain goats, moose, bears and eagles.

Exciting wildlife to see for me would be the Grizzly bear, with Black bears a must see, though they can be difficult to spot.

Wild Dall Sheep may be in short supply, but your helicopter tour may be able to spot the occasional one as they navigate high up rocky cliffs.

Moose are not in short supply in and around anchorage so you'll be sure to see many from the air, as you would on the ground.

Marine life spotting is a little difficult with all helicopter rides I mentioned as the flight route does not take in the areas they're seen.

So forgot about river life as salmon won't be seen at all from the air.

Mighty whales cruise the shores of Anchorage, Alaska - so would be seen - if there's an opportunity to charter a helicopter ride in that direction.

Hotel transfers

If getting to your Anchorage helicopter tour departure point is a concern to you, then you must consider using a helicopter operator who put in hotel transfers.

Meaning the company will pick you up at designated hotels around Anchorage before dropping you back off at the end of your tour.

It comes at a price, if using Alaska Helicopter Tours; they offer a $49 per person round trip if taking a 10:15 am, 12:30 pm or 4:30 pm tour.

Pick up points for passengers are at the following hotels: Lakefront Hotel, Hyatt House, Quality Suites, Clarion Suites, Comfort Inn, Hilton, Westmark, Captain Cook, Marriott, Sheraton hotels - plus the Log Cabin Visitor Center on 4th Avenue.

If you don't see your hotel in the list provided, don't despair. Simply make your way to the nearest hotel (after paying for a pick up) to be picked up from there.

Passengers don't need a hotel accommodation to be picked up from hotel locations.

Apart from Alaska Helicopter Tours, a hotel transfer or shuttle service does not exist for other helicopter tour services.

Therefore, you will need to make your way to the departure points using public transport, or more realistically, self-drive with a rented car.

What to wear

Situated in one of the coldest climates in the world; Anchorage, Alaska is mostly a chilly location that requires layers; including gloves, hat and a scarf.

What you wear on the ground is the attire you will need to wear during a helicopter ride in the region.

If the outfit you're wearing is comfortable to wear in a car, then its suitable for a helicopter flight only tour - so no landing, hiking or heli adventures of any kind.

When taking a helicopter tour that involves a landing of sorts, that's different as the tour operator will decline any passengers who are not dressed for the occasion.

So wear a long-sleeve sweater, jeans or cargo pants, hat and gloves.

Rejection of service will involve those who turn up to the departure point in high heels or open-toed shoes, such as sandals.

As you will be landing in often harsh conditions, where appropriate; helicopter tour companies will insist you wear their own protected gear for activities in heli-adventures.

Clothing you arrive in will still be warn underneath, only you'll have to slip on overboots with windproof, waterproof gear for dog sledding at least.

Its advisable to wear walking or hiking boots if you can, though a sturdy pair of sneakers will do the job.

Bring sunglasses as the sun reflecting off the snow can be blinding, well applying sunscreen won't hurt as it can be hot in the summer.


With up to three Anchorage helicopter tour operators running the show, it won't be hard to find a tour that departs on the day.

To play it safe, you will want to book your tour early by making a reservation in advanced.

Helicopter rides in Anchorage, Alaska depart out and over the city from Merrill Field Airport or just outside of the city on Knik River Road.

Anchorage helicopter tours involve sightseeing only, or for those that are a bit more adventurous; landing tours for dog sledding, hiking, camping or kayaking.

Glacier tours involve mostly the Spencer or Knik Glacier; with landing sites that will see the pilot acting as tour guide well showing you the melt pools, blue ice, caves and surface river activities.

Most helicopter rides will involve general fitness, so if you are capable of getting in and out of the chopper, you can get involved in activities.

Local wildlife you might spot out of the helicopter window are bears, goats, moose or sheep.

If you're visiting Anchorage exclusively for the helicopter trip; make use of hotel transfers at cost to take you to and from the departure point.

You'll need to wrap up warm with layers with skin covered. Take sunglasses to protect eyes or use sunscreen in the summer.

Wear hiking boots or a good pair of sneakers. Often the helicopter tour company will kit you out in their own gear as to protect you from the harsh environment.

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