United States

Fairbanks, AK

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Fairbanks

Will Buckner

Fairbanks is the seat of Alaska’s North Star Borough, a region located along the Tanana River in the east-central part of the state. This homeland of the Athabascan peoples is a popular jumping off point for tourists visiting Alaska’s scenic outdoor destinations, and it’s also home to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus. There are many great places for running in Fairbanks, from downtown multi-use paths to beautiful trail routes. 

Among the best places to run Fairbanks is the Chena Riverwalk downtown. Alternatively, many locals use the roads and trails at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to form a route of any length. A gravel bike path along Sheep Creek Road leads to the Ester Dome area. Other good trail running spots include Birch Hill Recreation Area, Creamer’s Field, Tanana Lakes Recreation Area, Goldstream Public Use Area, the Beaver Sports trails, and Pearl Creek Elementary. Keep in mind that weather in Fairbanks can be quite wintry, so we’ve pointed out which options are suitable for off-season running. Most local sidewalks and bike paths are cleared during the winter, but still can be icy. In the summertime, the mosquitos can be especially vicious, so be sure to bring bug protection. And practice proper bear and moose safety at all times of year. 

Fairbanks is relatively small, so most areas of interest are accessible on foot. The MACS bus system offers affordable service to most other areas of town. However, for further-flung trail running routes, a car.

Special thanks to Tobias and the team at Beaver Sports for their help with this guide!

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Fairbanks hotels are primarily located downtown or proximal to the Fairbanks International Airport. See a list of accommodations at ExploreFairbanks.com.

Beaver Sports is Fairbanks’ top running and outdoors store — they helped us tremendously in putting together this guide! They host weekly Wednesday night runs at 6 pm in the summer, as well as cycling and skiing meetups.

Frosty Feet Running Company is another key running store in Fairbanks. They hold “Frosty Friday” group runs weekly.

Other stores include Goldstream Sports, and Big Rays.

For more group runs and running events, join Running Club North. They host group runs most Wednesdays and Thursdays and full moon runs monthly.

 

The Equinox Marathon is interior Alaska’s signature running event. Follow Running Club North’s calendar for more upcoming events.