Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747

    Moving to Anchorage, thoughts on where to live (or not)

    I should be moving early next month. I know I'll need a fat-bike (already sold my big FR highline), but I'd like some input on where to live or maybe more importantly, where not to live. Going to have to rent for a while, and depending on the job I may be shipped out as soon as I show up (for training, then come back in ~8wks). I'd appreciate any ideas. I've already been up there and know of a couple "hoods" to avoid, but I'd like to get any suggestions, obviously I want to be able to access trails, but also not be way way out of the city. My job would be in the city just south of the downtown, near the geographic center.

    Thanks!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  2. #2
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
    Reputation: JordyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,383
    If you work midtown, why not rent midown? Maybe try to avoid trailer parks or apt complexes?

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    Quote Originally Posted by JordyB View Post
    If you work midtown, why not rent midown? Maybe try to avoid trailer parks or apt complexes?
    Yeah, that's the thing, I don't know if I can avoid apartment complexes. I'll be making plenty once I've gotten a few months in, but moving up there takes a lot of $$$, I'm planning for it, but you never know for sure. I might be in the 800-1200 range or so. I think a garage is necessary for me

    And yep, midtown. I can't comment on the traffic due to my limited time up there, but it didn't seem very difficult to get around and things were not very far. Not like how things are spread out here in AZ.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    10
    Avoid places in Mountain View and Fair View. While the city is actively trying to clean up these areas up by putting in parks and trees, it has a ways to go. The rents are MUCH cheaper and you are relatively close to downtown/midtown though. I lived in Mountain View for about a year and it was a bizarre experience. My dog came out of the woods with a leg once... and some crazy guy stabbed a bunch of kids up the road at the elementary school. Oh and you are right in the landing path of F-15s and C-130s, which could be cool if you like getting a REALLY close look at the under sides of jet fighters.

    Try to find something in the Jewel lake area if you are renting, close to Kincaid where there is lots of new single track. Or over off of Lake Ottis, then you are close to Hilltop and all the trails up there.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    That's kind of what I was thinking based on the research I'd done, thanks. Anymore input would be welcome.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
    Crazy Alaskan MTBer
    Reputation: L.t.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50
    I would suggest Palmer AK. Lots of wilderness trails and a quant little town. Plus only a 30ish minute drive to Anchorage.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    10
    I lived in Palmer for 3 years and did the comute to Anchorage. It NEVER took 30ish minutes one way. Count on an hour one way or more in winter. DO NOT move to Palmer, unless you plan to work out there as well. Unless you enjoy sitting in traffic and watching hours of your life go by. Palmer is a great little town though and the wilderness is nice, but the comute just wasn't for me at all.

  8. #8
    Crazy Alaskan MTBer
    Reputation: L.t.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50
    I suppose I stretched it about the commute, but I would count on 45 min normal.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blockphi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    833
    Here's my experience from moving up here just about two years ago.

    1 - never rent anything sight unseen!
    2 - it will take some time to find something that works for your situation - it seems almost harder to rent here than to buy - of all the places I looked at there was only one that did not have one or more additional families looking at either just before, just after, or at the same time as us.
    3 - Midtown can be nice. You just have to look for the right place. Airport heights can be nice. East can be nice. Really, just about anywhere in town can be nice. You just have to find the right place. Unlike so much of the rest of the county Anchorage doesn't have what I would call good and bad neighborhoods. You have so many instances here of million dollar homes sandwhiched between two single-wides or a whole block of really nicely maintained houses with one in the middle of it all with trash and junk cars everywhere.
    4 - I would agree that if you are working in Anchorage to live in Anchorage. I have a number of coworkers who live in the valley because the love the valley, but they spend more time stuck in traffic, watching the traffic cams to see if they are going to be stuck in traffic, or complaining about the traffic that I'm not sure how they are able to do anything else during their day.
    5 - Rents charged by the property management co's seem much higher than those charged by private landlords and you generally get more space from the private guy/gal. That said, it is much harder to locate a nice place owned by a private landlord.
    6 - Take a look at the bike maps of the city. There are many nice areas that closely abut the trail system, which makes this city so much more pleasant for the cylcist year-round. I live a half mile off of the trail system and can hit up Far North/Hillside in just a few minutes or Russian Jack in a few minutes. I can even mix up paved and non-paved riding on my daily commute by hitting the trails in the APU complex.
    7 - Remember that Anchorage and Alaska in general is like no where else in the US on almost every level. You will find yourself saying time and again, "Only in Alaska." It takes some getting used to, but it's worth the effort.
    8 - Don't dismiss the 'views as completely out of hand. Mountain View is quite rough, but Fairview seems to be coming along nicely with a fairly steady stream of younger families moving in and helping to clean it up. I've also heard to stay away from Spenard, but I've seen some areas there that are starting to make the come around too.
    9 - Traffic here sucks. Maybe not in terms of quantity, but the drivers are just horrible! At least that is my view from the bikeseat. I think this stems from having people from all over and as we know, each region of the US has a different driving style and when you bring those together...whew. I avoid driving whenever possible, but even being on cycle around the traffic often causes my blood pressure to rise.

    10 -Catherine Wheel rule

    Welcome to AK.

  10. #10
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    Yeah, I did go through Mountain View on my last trip up there. It didn't seem too appealing, but I also know you can often find a nice "nook" in areas that may not be affected by the overall character. I'd most likely be renting the same place for a year, then look around at others or buying, so it's not that it has to be the most perfect at this point. Again, I liked that the city didn't seem overwhelmingly big or hard to get around.

    Time won't be as easy though, hotels/motels are super expensive out there and I'm going to try and get up there early to look for a place, but I won't be able to take as much time as I'd like. I'm doing research and going to set up several viewings before my job starts.

    I'm set on living in Anchorage. I don't have the best snow-car right now (actually, terrible, but I have driven it in snow and am used to that/driving in subfreezing/etc), and I'd probably buy a beater front-wheel-drive for dealing with it. Garage is a must. I think renting sucks these days no matter where you are, more in some places than others.

    The traffic sucks because you have NO LANE MARKINGS AT ALL! haha. Yeah, it was a bit dangerous.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  11. #11
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,851
    We have lane markings. They're just hidden under ice for 4 months of the year. Mountain view and Fairview are pretty tame compared to big city lower 48 ghettos, but if you have nice stuff and you don't want to constantly have to worry about it, you might want to avoid those parts of town. 'Fairview' south of 15th st is actually pretty nice.

    I commuted from Palmer for about 3 months before deciding I had better things to do with 2.5 hours of my day than sit in car. So I moved to Anchorage.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nojoke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally Posted by onsite12a View Post
    Avoid places in Mountain View and Fair View. While the city is actively trying to clean up these areas up by putting in parks and trees, it has a ways to go. The rents are MUCH cheaper and you are relatively close to downtown/midtown though. I lived in Mountain View for about a year and it was a bizarre experience. My dog came out of the woods with a leg once... and some crazy guy stabbed a bunch of kids up the road at the elementary school. Oh and you are right in the landing path of F-15s and C-130s, which could be cool if you like getting a REALLY close look at the under sides of jet fighters.

    Try to find something in the Jewel lake area if you are renting, close to Kincaid where there is lots of new single track. Or over off of Lake Ottis, then you are close to Hilltop and all the trails up there.

    There are no F-15's here at Elmendorf stationed anymore. C-130's have been knocked down also. 90% of the time the majority of the runway that is the ACTIVE and under fulltime use has approach and departure ends over the port of anchorage/inlet and depart onto ft rich or towards the mountains to the east. the North/South runway you speak that approaches over the inbound/outbound Glenn Hwy is not the primary runway during normal ops, it is when there is runway renovation going on.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by nojoke View Post
    There are no F-15's here at Elmendorf stationed anymore. C-130's have been knocked down also. 90% of the time the majority of the runway that is the ACTIVE and under fulltime use has approach and departure ends over the port of anchorage/inlet and depart onto ft rich or towards the mountains to the east. the North/South runway you speak that approaches over the inbound/outbound Glenn Hwy is not the primary runway during normal ops, it is when there is runway renovation going on.
    Ha, this just shows how long ago it was that I lived there. I think it was 11 or 12 years ago? And at that time it was a daily occurrence that one or the other would fly right over the apartment.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nojoke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally Posted by onsite12a View Post
    Ha, this just shows how long ago it was that I lived there. I think it was 11 or 12 years ago? And at that time it was a daily occurrence that one or the other would fly right over the apartment.

    Thats probably why

    I used to have family on East 4th and it would get noisy in the summer sometimes. No biggie though...

  15. #15
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    Even if I don't end up in a "good" place, this all helps immensely. Thanks.

    (It's F-22s these days, you can see em on google!)
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kenai rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by nojoke View Post
    There are no F-15's here at Elmendorf stationed anymore. C-130's have been knocked down also. 90% of the time the majority of the runway that is the ACTIVE and under fulltime use has approach and departure ends over the port of anchorage/inlet and depart onto ft rich or towards the mountains to the east. the North/South runway you speak that approaches over the inbound/outbound Glenn Hwy is not the primary runway during normal ops, it is when there is runway renovation going on.
    cool syntax. jk

  17. #17
    Bikes are good
    Reputation: Elfbkr50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    792

    East side pride

    The southern end of Muldoon road is good. There are condo's on the big curve heading toward Tudor. Right up against the mountains. My neighborhood is the poor man's hillside, access to everything Chugach in the winter or summer. The gate to my yard is a trailhead for every cool ride (IMO) in Anchorage in the winter and summer, and access to good ride to climbs. I'm 7 miles from my job that is in the middle of town. Easy in the summer, kind of a slog in the winter. (I've decided I hate commuting on a bike though, so now it is always easy.) Good luck man. I'll show you some stuff once you are settled in.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    327

    Sockeye Inn

    As others have suggested, it would be worth your time to get a decent place. You might try staying at the Sockeye Inn or another place that has weekly rates to save some money while you look around.

  19. #19
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    Yep, I'm considering renting a house close to the Southern end of Cheney Lane now, but I'll be checking it out first and everything. That would just give me a place for maybe a year to look around for something I really want.

    So far, I'm thinking that:

    -There will be moose in my backyard.
    -Bears will try to eat me.
    -It will be cold, like when it's 14 here and you spill fuel on your hands and two airplanes start up in front of you (for a windchill of probably -100), add the increased humidity though.
    -My .45 won't cut it.
    -I will be able to scoop salmon right out of the water.
    -I'll go out for 20hr mountain bike rides because it's day all day long, then look at my watch and realize I have to be at work in 2hrs.
    -A beater front-wheel-drive car will get me around fine.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    373
    The southern end of Muldoon road is good. There are condo's on the big curve heading toward Tudor. Right up against the mountains. My neighborhood is the poor man's hillside, access to everything Chugach in the winter or summer. The gate to my yard is a trailhead for every cool ride (IMO) in Anchorage in the winter and summer, and access to good ride to climbs. I'm 7 miles from my job that is in the middle of town. Easy in the summer, kind of a slog in the winter. (I've decided I hate commuting on a bike though, so now it is always easy.) Good luck man. I'll show you some stuff once you are settled in.
    Damn dude, you're selling my neighborhood.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yep, I'm considering renting a house close to the Southern end of Cheney Lane now, but I'll be checking it out first and everything. That would just give me a place for maybe a year to look around for something I really want.

    So far, I'm thinking that:

    -There will be moose in my backyard. Yes
    -Bears will try to eat me. Not likely
    -It will be cold, like when it's 14 here and you spill fuel on your hands and two airplanes start up in front of you (for a windchill of probably -100), add the increased humidity though. It's not too cold or windy in anchorage
    -My .45 won't cut it. Yes
    -I will be able to scoop salmon right out of the water. With a net, yes.
    -I'll go out for 20hr mountain bike rides because it's day all day long, then look at my watch and realize I have to be at work in 2hrs. Maybe depends on you
    -A beater front-wheel-drive car will get me around fine. I delivered pizza for a couple years in a 2wd Ford ranger without snow tires, if you know how to drive you'll be fine.
    My answers in your post.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blockphi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    833
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yep, I'm considering renting a house close to the Southern end of Cheney Lane now, but I'll be checking it out first and everything. That would just give me a place for maybe a year to look around for something I really want.

    So far, I'm thinking that:

    -There will be moose in my backyard.
    -Bears will try to eat me.
    -It will be cold, like when it's 14 here and you spill fuel on your hands and two airplanes start up in front of you (for a windchill of probably -100), add the increased humidity though.
    -My .45 won't cut it.
    -I will be able to scoop salmon right out of the water.
    -I'll go out for 20hr mountain bike rides because it's day all day long, then look at my watch and realize I have to be at work in 2hrs.
    -A beater front-wheel-drive car will get me around fine.
    The Cheney area is a decent area. I live just down the road from there and love it. In fact, I am looking for a permanent place in the area I am in now.

    Cheney lake is a nice little lake and there is a short, but fun trail around it, goof for a warm up or cool down. Likewise you'll be just about a mile from Russian Jack park that has some nice trail and great xc skiing in the winter. Also, you'd be less than two miles from APU and their great trail system which connects up to the Chester and Campbell systems - from there you can get to single track, double track, paved, and beach riding within a half-dozen miles or so. Really a good location for the cyclist. My first year here I commuted on a set of 1.95 inch studded tires and had only a handful of days where the snow wasn't ridable on teh Campbell system becuase the city does such a good job of grooming for skiing - it benefits all users.

    Some insights from me:
    Drop the 45. Get a can of bear spray. More effective when you are freaked by a bear - don't really have to aim for it to work, provided you don't aim it at yourself.

    Cold is a state of mind. I've ridden in -15 before and it is chilly, but compared to places like South Dakota where there is always a lot of wind with the cold, it is warm here. Dress in layers. That's the best approach.

    Yes, you can scoop salmon right out the water. That's what everyone is doing right now with a huge run down on the Kenai. You can only do this after you've lived here a full year and only at certain places.

  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,747
    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    The Cheney area is a decent area. I live just down the road from there and love it. In fact, I am looking for a permanent place in the area I am in now.

    Cheney lake is a nice little lake and there is a short, but fun trail around it, goof for a warm up or cool down. Likewise you'll be just about a mile from Russian Jack park that has some nice trail and great xc skiing in the winter. Also, you'd be less than two miles from APU and their great trail system which connects up to the Chester and Campbell systems - from there you can get to single track, double track, paved, and beach riding within a half-dozen miles or so. Really a good location for the cyclist. My first year here I commuted on a set of 1.95 inch studded tires and had only a handful of days where the snow wasn't ridable on teh Campbell system becuase the city does such a good job of grooming for skiing - it benefits all users.

    Some insights from me:
    Drop the 45. Get a can of bear spray. More effective when you are freaked by a bear - don't really have to aim for it to work, provided you don't aim it at yourself.

    Cold is a state of mind. I've ridden in -15 before and it is chilly, but compared to places like South Dakota where there is always a lot of wind with the cold, it is warm here. Dress in layers. That's the best approach.

    Yes, you can scoop salmon right out the water. That's what everyone is doing right now with a huge run down on the Kenai. You can only do this after you've lived here a full year and only at certain places.
    Haha, I've gotten bear spray in my eyes before.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    720
    Agree on the cold. Moved to MN, and the wind just tears through you. In the Anchorage bowl the temperature "feel" was nothing like the windchill we get in Minneapolis.

    Also, whatever car you end up driving, get yourself dedicated winter rims and studded tires. Don't go off believing that your all weather radials will be fine. Cheap steel rims, and an ok set of studs will be your best friend come February and inches of ice has become the new road surface. Anchorage doesn't salt the roads (at least not like they do in most of the US), so unless a road is pretty frequently driven (like the highway) there is a better than average chance that your tires will not be running on pavement.

    Also, Snowmobiles have just become Snowmachines for you.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blockphi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    833
    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate View Post
    Also, whatever car you end up driving, get yourself dedicated winter rims and studded tires. Don't go off believing that your all weather radials will be fine. Cheap steel rims, and an ok set of studs will be your best friend come February and inches of ice has become the new road surface.
    No! No studs on your car. Studs on your bike, yes, but not on your car. Have you driven the roads in A-town? The big arsed ditches in the road? Those be from studs.

    Actually, I tend to find that folks who drive studded in the winter come in two flavors - those who never learned how to properly drive in snow and ice and those who think that studs and 4X4 make them invincible. Both are the types of drivers you don't want to be around.

    I've been here two winters thus far - both with all season tires on a 4X4 - the first year on an end of life set and the second wth a new set. Never had a problem. It is just a matter of taking your time, being aware of the road conditions and understanding that when we have a chinook overnight followed by a nice cold snap or three inches of freezing rain that is it best to either not go out or wait for the plows to get their jobs done.

    Anchorage does salt, but I agree it is not as much as some other places. In SD they sand rather than salt, so you learn real quick how to drive in poor winter conditions.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •