9 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Alaska
Alaska is sparsely populated, but it is full of some of the heartiest adventurers. Many adventurers have an affinity for two-wheeled travel and have excellent trail systems from the dense forests and alpine wilderness. You will like all the mountain biking trails in Alaska. We are going to discuss the nine best trails.
Come ready to pedal. Most of the trails in Alaska require effort. The stunning views and fast ride are great rewards. You will not be alone on the trails. You will be enjoying the company of a four-legged local native.
There are bears and moose dominant throughout Alaska, and you must know how to behave around the fuzzy residents. This will prevent you from being featured in the local news as someone who ended up dead for being on the wrong side of a hoof or paw. Riders are advised to have bells on their bike and consider having bear spray. Also, pack a bug spray to keep mosquitos at bay. This article will talk about the best biking trails in Alaska.
1. Alyeska Bike Trail
Chugach range’s most notable feature is how steep the mountains are. Riders routinely exceed the 1,000 feet-per-mile benchmark on their way to the summit. Some riders enjoy the challenge of pedaling up trails that can be mistaken for a flight of stairs. Those preferring gravity help more than hindering. This makes Alyeska a great option for you. Mountain bikers can also leave the hard work to the lifts and relax while their bike is being lifted to the top of Alyeska Resort.
Before starting biking on the mountain, ensure you take in the Cook Inlet and surrounding peaks’ unobstructed views. You may miss it on your way down.
If you choose not to travel with your downhill rig, both Alyeska and Powderhound offer local rental options. After riding or when you bailout, you can have your beers at the Sitzmark. It is located at the base of Alyeska. You can also get your beer at the recently-opened Girdwood Brewing Company outside town.
2. The Dome Trail
The Dome trail is on the northern end of the Anchorage Front Range. It is somehow a forgotten ride in the light of the great Hillside trails. It is a fun mountain bike ride and a nice choice for a more alpine-style climb/descent without leaving the Anchorage and the Chugach Front Range.
The dome trail is on Fort Richardson property. Purchase a pass at isportsman.com. You have to sign in and out before and after your mountain bike ride. Sign out by 11 pm. The pass costs $10. When you sign in, you can add guests to look like one pass per party required.
Start your ride at the end of Basher Road or a neighborhood of the Tudor/Muldoon transition. The parking space is limited. Do not start your ride from North Bivouac. The bridge on the Bulldog Trail is closed for artillery practice.
When you start riding from the Klutina Rd neighborhood, you will experience a longer ride and more descent. The trail is a single-track that will take you through the forest. It is Rooty. The Dome Trail is not all marked and not that obvious.
Pedaling is possible at the actual Dome Trail, but there are steep sections where you may push your bike. There are three miles on the trail where you will be riding over to the actual ‘dome.’ You may feel like you are doing cross country. About a mile in, there is an intersection with a trail from Basher Rd. Take a left, go downhill a bit and begin climbing again.
Forty-five minutes in riding, you will carry/push your bike. The final steep section is quick to travel. Near the top of the trail, there is a junction. If you take a left, it will take you around. The right will take you straight up.
At the top of the trail, there are more trails you can follow. The view from this spot is spectacular.
The descent is fast. There are steps and challenging but ridable sections off the top. There are no actual berms. The trail has a lot of corners. It is also hard to see what’s coming next.
3. Kincaid Park Trails
Kincaid Park in Alaska is an ideal destination if you like biking on trails. There are both stiff climbs and sharp turns. You can also have fun with family and friends on the cycling trails in the park.
During summer, you will be spoilt of choices of routes to use. There are at least 40 miles of trails of every kind to take you through the park. The trails run from the mountain top with many rocks down to the hollows and along the beach. Some trails have twisty turns and run through dim forests, while others are broad, grassy highways with extensive turns and fantastic views. Some trails will burn their thighs and bust your gut. In others, you will need small efforts to sail. Here, you will have a perfect wildlife view and a nice conversation.
Kincaid Park features an extensive network of single-track trails that give you adventurous cycling. These twisted paths are well-engineered with banked turns and inventive routing, over 15 miles that run through the woods. These paths offer a great way to explore Kincaid’s hidden niche, winter and summer.
The Ski trails usually become off-limits sometime in October or November. You can combine the single-tracks with the multi-use trail that parallels the Raspberry Road entrance and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail down the bluff to the west shore. On a snow bike, you can ride all over the park, even when it’s snowing. You can rent a bike from Downtown Bicycle Rental. All the trails, both single-track and multi-use trails, are open to bikers, joggers, dog walkers, and skiers.
The members of Single-track Advocates are committed to keeping Kincaid’s trails in great shape. They also carve out new trails out of dense woods.
4. Lost Lake Trails
The Lost Lake trails get easier the more you climb up. The trails have a fairly high technical rating. This is because it has a rough and rocky section with a lot of roots. There are 1800 feet of climbing in 6 miles. These trails are not recommended for beginners.
Immediately after starting up the trail, follow the right route for the first mile. Following the trail, you will come across another Y dividing the summer and winter routes. Stay left. The trail climbs steadily through a highly forested ravine embracing hillsides and crossing several small streams.
At two miles and about 1000 feet, you will reach the tree line. The forest here has tall grass and raspberry bushes. The first three miles are more challenging. The trail flattens out and gets smoother at 3.5 miles.
There are beautiful views of south-central Alaska that can be seen on the Lost Lake trail, down on the Kenai Peninsula. You can ride in either direction on this trail. Riders can choose to add mileage with a steep and technical climb out of Seward. They can also ride on a high-speed downhill.
There are identifiable lakes of the Lost Lake trail found at the halfway mark. The lakes make an excellent place to stop and check on the beautiful sites. You can also camp at Chugach National Forest. Aspiring bike packers can set up a camp and ride overnight.
Before rolling downhill to the lake, there’s one more section of steep climbing. It’s worth the effort for the best views. On three sides, you will be surrounded by mountains and one side with Resurrection Bay.
After taking a break at Lost Lake, go back to the trailhead, enjoying the picturesque experience.
There are bears and moose in the area. To avoid them, use bells, sing, and/or travel in a group. Do not surprise the animals.
This ride can be done using either two trailheads. On Lost Lake Trail Road, about 5miles from Seward, drive into Seward but take a right turn on Scott Way. This turns into Rough Dr. At the T intersection, take a left turn onto Heather Lee Ln. from there, take a right hand turn onto Hayden Ln. this turns into Lost Lake Trail Rd. you will find the parking lot at the end of the road.
The other trail starts at Primrose Campground, 17 miles from Seward. When driving toward Seward, which is 111 miles from anchorage, take a right turn onto Primrose Spur Rd. The parking lot is at the end of the trail.
5. Resurrection Park Trails
The Resurrection Trails connects the small town of Hope with Cooper Landing via a 39-mile through the Chugach Mountains. You can ride the trails in either direction. When you run from north to south, you will be adding mileage. This way, the trails seem never to end. You will climb 18.8 miles to the trail’s 2600-foot summit.
When going downhill, several steep ascents will challenge the legs and lungs.
Start from outside of Hope and ride along the Resurrection Creek for some miles. You will then reach a dense forest settling in for the real climb of the trip. In the next 15 miles, pedal up a gradual grade with incisive climbs scattered for good measure through the dense forest. This will lead to an extensive valley that feels more of Iceland than Alaska.
Some sections will require instances of hike-a-bike, as knee-deep snowdrifts take long to disappear. There are several technical sections in the grassland where the trails cross over the twisting Resurrection Creek.
After riding past the tundra, riders will descent through high alpine meadows to a challenging part with rock gardens before riding back to the dense forest.
The trail eventually widens into double-track. The rider has one last uphill grind before arriving at 4.5 miles of fast, flowy descent. After nearly 34 challenging miles, you will like the experience of riding back into the backcountry. Riding will deal with dehydration, clump through snowbanks and thick mud, and experience leg cramps.
6. Kepler Bradley Lakes State Park Mountain Biking Trails
Kepler Bradley Lakes State Park has changed its name to Matanuska Lakes State Recreation area. In this park, there are a series of Single-tracks trails. They mostly follow ridges and rolling terrain around some small lakes. These trails make riding fun.
There are also other mails of double-tracks, farm type roads around fields cultivated by the nearby University. Stay on the roads. Do not ride across the fields.
The trails have a combination of tight and twisty single-tracks, double-tracks, x-country, beautiful lakes, rolling fields, and a backdrop of the surrounding mountains. This makes it a perfect place to ride. All these are within a few miles of Palmer or Wasilla.
The Long Lake Connector trail starts and runs a few miles north through the Crevasse Moraine Trail System & Gooseberry Mesa. These will add miles of riding within the area. In this350-acre Park, there are so many trails. It’s advisable to have a map. You can pick it up at LBS. A small campground is available. There is an area you can use near the lake at the main trailhead. This trail network also hosted 24 Hours of Matanuska summer.
7. STA Trails
STA trail is an 8-mile awesome single-track trail built by the Anchorage Single Track Advocates on city parkland. The trails are named after the lady who spearheaded them. Her name is Janice, but she goes by the name Queen Bee on the local biking board.
There are seven new trails in the park, with two older trails (the Llama Trail and the Gas Line) running through them all.
Enter the Drone Lane to start. Go up the steep climb with some switchbacks. When descending, be on the lookout. The trails are fast, curvy, and several hills.
Queen Bee Loop is both fun and challenging. In either direction, the loop will take you further to the main network.
Janice’s Jive and The Hive are outer trails in the network. They are rated as an intermediate level. They are full of roots, long uphill, short and steep climbs, and banked carves.
Yellow Jacket, Stinger, and Hornet’s Nest are rated as Advanced Trails. These trails have a fast downhill section, jumps, banked curves, roots, and technical climbs. These trails are multi-directional with blind curves. Watch your speed.
8. Crescent Lake Trails
The Crescent Lake Trails in Alaska start from the Crescent Lake trailhead. They start in a dense forest, rising firmly through some switchbacks. The trails transit across the edge of a slope and continue alongside a hill with a deep valley below.
The steepness of the slope rotates between long mellow and short, vigorous sections. There are some parts where the trail slides along a narrow single-track below a rocky wall. Here, watching the trail is beautiful.
The trail then crosses a rock field which sometimes is covered in snow and climbs up a bit more before you cross the bridge the opposite of the creek. The climb banks a bit up to the Crescent Lake valley. Here, there are some cool sections of pine trees. The view is big when the trail levels up. The route then flows gently downhill across rocks to a bridge at the bottom of the lake.
9. Mountain Biking 16 Mile Hatcher Pass
16 Mile Hatcher Pass trail is located along the downhill ski route. The switchbacks on the trail are sharp, so be ready on the breaks.
Attempt this trail with dry conditions because of the speed and the actual trail material. On some parts of the trail, you will be riding on rocks. There are many jumps and tabletops for daring riders. Other riders can go around the trail. The trail is rated for both intermediate and advanced bikers.
People who do mountain biking in Alaska love their endurance racing. Single-tracks members have ranked the best mountain bike trails in Alaska. There are many great events in the state that twine together from the trail to trail. There are one-day events like Arctic MTB’s 24 Hours of Kincaid. There are also weekend-long races like the Kenai 250. There is also a sufferfest like the Iditarod Invitational. All these events and the Mountain biking trails make mountain biking in Alaska enjoyable.