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  1. #1
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    What is missing from Anchorage trails?

    Hello my people, I'm collecting informal beta from the local user group on what you like about Anchorage trails and what you would like to see. Please feel free to chime in with responses that are realistic and hopefully constructive.
    I've ridden all over the west, and I personally get kind of tired of flow trails. I cut my teeth in Durango, and I crave long climbs, views, and big ring descents. I know most of the Chugach State Park is closed to us, so I won't go there. I also learned to love tight, technical switchbacks and steep, rocky roll-ins from Arizona. Closer to home, Whitehorse and Carcross trails make me happy.

    But what do you all like? What would you love to see?

    Thanks, Adam

  2. #2
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    Less moose in Kinkaid. Open a special hunt.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  3. #3
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    I'd really like to see as many trails as practical directional (alternating on even/odd days like Bowling Alley at Kincaid).

    I also feel like Hillside/Campbell has a lot of potential for new trails and bringing some of the older renegade/bushwhacked/survey-cut-line trails up to modern standards. There's a lot of super tight and technical stuff at Campbell Tract in particular that's only accessible in the winter that reminds me of some of the rooty and rocky trails I grew up on back in Georgia.

  4. #4
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    More trails on mountains. Love Kincaid, but need more vertical. Campbell is fun, but flat. Like hilltop STA and would like a lot more. Don't care too much about the flow vs non-flow, I know the flow is built for certain reasons based on the soil and manpower available. I just want more miles and vertical.
    "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

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    Less moose in Kinkaid. Open a special hunt.
    The moose poop is the first layer of the trail.
    "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
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    We have amazingly good options, but the longer more epic trails are missing in the bowl. Ideally being able to ride in CSP above the German Bridge, maybe around the top of the bowl there to Powerline Pass. Or connect from Glen Alps straight to Canyon road, then up to Rabbit Lakes, McCugh Peak then down to Old Seward. And maybe a more gentle trail up to the Dome. Pie in the sky, but there you have it.

  7. #7
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    ...and that would be in the Park. I'm for opening up the Chugach to more trail building the process of getting that going is byzentine. Put it this way, we'll all be old and gone before anything meaningful happens in terms of new CSP trails.

    I'd like to see the North Bivouac phase of the STA program completed, Stuckagain Heights NIMBYs be damned. There was no reason those folks should have been able to stall that. In general, I'd like to see some more steep sections and some drops on the hillside along with a few more jumps and berms; a general rehab of the Hillside STA stuff.

    A system in Russian Jack would also be cool and I hear something like that is in the works.

    Oh and, PUMP TRACK! A big one: indoor, lighted, heated, free. Crazy talk.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by polarflux View Post
    ...

    Oh and, PUMP TRACK! A big one: indoor, lighted, heated, free. Crazy talk.
    http://www.muni.org/Departments/park...%20(final).pdf

    We're actually getting one of those. Well, not indoors or heated, but still.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroganof View Post
    We have amazingly good options, but the longer more epic trails are missing in the bowl. Ideally being able to ride in CSP above the German Bridge, maybe around the top of the bowl there to Powerline Pass. Or connect from Glen Alps straight to Canyon road, then up to Rabbit Lakes, McCugh Peak then down to Old Seward. And maybe a more gentle trail up to the Dome. Pie in the sky, but there you have it.
    This, x1000.

    After one pump track lap I'm bored, plus we have awesome trails here that are dirt/snow pump tracks already. I'm for a skills park with jumps, skinnies and such, but I could care less about a pump track. I think we are unique in our outdoor trails that are viable in winter AND summer.
    "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.

  10. #10
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    Snow.

    The valley has a couple of pump tracks already.

    More formalized trails in the UMED - There are some great social trails there in winter and some of them have started to migrate into year round use, let's get them official and maybe use them to help keep the road cut through out of the area.

  11. #11
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    Thanks y'all! I'm fully in for almost all of the above.
    I turn 40 this year so I hold no hope of riding in CSP any more than what was opened this winter. Don't get me wrong, I love the increased access, but it's so minimal.
    Drops, skinnies, tech, lung searing climbs, and rocks are what I'm hearing. Flow is cool, and I think we have plenty.
    I'd like to grow the next level of riders on trails that can allow them the middle ground between STA flow and Girdwood/Aly gnar. Trails that allow more growth of old school skills and even enduro style rowdiness.
    I love the trails and the work Alyeska has done, but I want it closer. Boohoo.
    I want alpine epics in CSP. For my kids I guess.

    I love bikes and I want to live in a place that is varied and full of bike love.

  12. #12
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    Yah, not holding my breath on CSP access. On the other hand, the current park administration will age out soon and perhaps a more progressive crew will replace them. Plus, the grumpy older hiker/skier folks are slowly but surely being replaced with cyclists, or at least with people who cycle as well as ski and hike. Perhaps one day we can get bikes access by eliminating the separate classification and just lump all "self powered" folks together and not make the distinctions. Depending on future park budgeting who knows, perhaps CSP will one day be receptive to STA type trail building for all users. Having served on the CSP Advisory Board for many years, it is very clear that the public commenters who were all anti-bike had a big influence on how things turned out.

  13. #13
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    The trail network here has improved a lot over the last 10 years. I am certainly happy with the progress but I think there are a few areas we could improve upon.

    First, we simply need more trails. The rider population has exploded in the last 2-3 years and the trails are packed. We need more trails or access approved on existing trails (CSP!!).

    Second, and this may not be the popular opinion but it is MY opinion, we need some trails that are technically challenging. We have some fun, flowy, entertaining trails. I enjoy riding Hillside, Kincaid, and KB. But as someone who grew up riding in the PNW and has traveled extensively to ride and race - our trails are Blue Square at the most. I would love to see some truly technical/difficult trails in the mix. Not every trail has to be IMBA buffed and not every trail has to be rideable by everyone. Part of the joy of biking (for me) is getting better at it. I love the feeling of going back to a trail I couldn't ride and cleaning it a year later. We have plenty of beginner/intermediate trails, lets feed the appetite for the upper end of progression.
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  14. #14
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    +1
    Technical riding is fun because it's hard. It keeps ya honest, just like massive climbs do.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weakened Warrior View Post
    +1
    Technical riding is fun because it's hard. It keeps ya honest, just like massive climbs do.
    I've fought that battle before though, real technical riding is hard to get built, unless it's done in a more "flow" style, like the bigger drops and jumps at a DH resort like Keystone, the man hours involved with hacking out a rocky technical trail without mechanized equipment get pretty crazy fast, so you have to have a pretty huge workforce. We also had issues where the riders in favor of "technical" riding would come out and help build the more tamer trails, but you would almost never get the more XCish riders coming out to help build technical trails. They did get past that in Prescott by using the "over the hill gang", a group of retirees looking for exercise and outdoors, to help build a good portion of the technical trails, so there is some hope sometimes. It's also not really possible to make it "sustained", although you can limit erosion, which further reduces the possibility of getting support for the "tech" (there's no such thing as a "sustainable" trail IME, there are levels of sustainability, but they all require work and nature will eventually reclaim it all if nothing is done). The fact that the more tech it is, the more it limits other trail users (not just riders, but hikers, etc) doesn't help.

    So, while I would love more tech, I think that's a pretty huge undertaking. I'd be more interested in some bigger climbs/descents with more of the hilltop STA style, yeah, a few more tech sections in that mess would be nice too, but IMO getting too far in that direction will be conterproductive, unless we get some sort of massive support for that kind of trailbuilding. I love Lost Lake, Resurrection and others. Why? You cover some distance, climb/descend some distance, encounter various trail surfaces/types, most of which are a blast.



    We need more Brown Bear trails, but many times longer.


    Tech climbs are great too.
    "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

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  16. #16
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    Alpine epics are always on the top of my list. Flowy machine built stuff is fun too but at times it can become a bit too sanitized in an effort to appeal to a wider range of entry to intermediate riders. Good for staying in shape but not exactly the stuff that'll make one travel to ride. Rez, J-pass, and LL are all great templates for what I think the majority of riders are looking for. That type of trail is exactly why the "enduro" segment is so popular and tends to be a strong indication of what the market wants. As for really techy stuff the Beaver Pond/Abe's trail and Upper Winner Creek (Girdwood) are pretty good templates for the upper end of the tech spectrum. Abe's is pretty much hike-a-bike for the up but a rooty flossy mossy of a good time on the way down. If only it were 6 miles longer and accessed via Crow Pass parking lot..... The CSP has soooo much potential.
    To prepare for a race there is nothing better than a good pheasant, some champagne and a woman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskyguy View Post
    ....As for really techy stuff the Beaver Pond/Abe's trail and Upper Winner Creek (Girdwood) are pretty good templates for the upper end of the tech spectrum. Abe's is pretty much hike-a-bike for the up but a rooty flossy mossy of a good time on the way down.
    Soooo, is Abe's Trail considered 'Multi use'? Asking for a friend....
    -Ride it like you stole it

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucRR View Post
    Soooo, is Abe's Trail considered 'Multi use'? Asking for a friend....
    https://www.muni.org/Departments/par...mmerTrlMap.pdf

    Non-motorized but otherwise looks good to go. Not sure I'd like it if a bunch of equestrians decided to destroy it but I don't make the rules. Rode good couple days ago What is missing from Anchorage trails?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1457062588.542969.jpg
    To prepare for a race there is nothing better than a good pheasant, some champagne and a woman.

  19. #19
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    More big climbs. I love the Dome and would be nice to have another trail like that close by. I don't feel as though they should allow bikers on the current trails in CSP as I feel the hiking is busy enough on those trails without adding bikers. Expand the hillside STA trails and rehab the current ones first. Might as well add a dirt jump track next to the pump track they are putting in.

  20. #20
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    Well, the hillside STA literally has nowhere to go. At the top of those trails you run into the powerline pass/wolverine bowl trail and it starts going back down into the canyon. I suppose they could eek out a little more in between the canyon and the Wolverine Bowl trail, but it wouldn't be cilmbing up, because the land just doesn't go "up" after the top of STA.

    Skills park in South Anchorage with dirt jumps is on order, pump track is just supposed to be one facet of it.

    I suppose they *could* STA it up to Glen Alps? With something on the West side of Powerline? That might be fun and a good way to significantly increase vert.

    Looking at the terrain though, give me a little epic loop in CSP that goes up into one of the valleys and comes out on the next. Massive undertaking, but man that would be a sweet trail. Powerline pass is so damn boring and then the other side of it is no-fun stomach on the seat burning-brake-pads steep all the way down. Give us a "destination" trail, something that people would drive/fly to ride.
    "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

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  21. #21
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    According to this:

    Chugach State Park Trail Management Plan, Alaska State Parks

    there are plans afoot to build new trails and allow bikes on existing trails resulting in a continuous downhill trail all the way from Glen Alps to Prospect Heights. I direct your attention to this map and specifically to trails:

    424c --> 415b --> 415a --> 412b.

    Whether it all gets built or not remains to be seen, but the prospect of new trails is pretty exciting.

  22. #22
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    I'm late to the conversation, but the only quality I think is really lacking from Anchorage trails is rocky, technical options. There's some rooty tech, but I grew up riding rocks and miss them. I understand that CSP really limits the ability to find rocky terrain in Anchorage proper, but Eagle River and Chugiak have plenty of rocky places that could be explored.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    I'm late to the conversation, but the only quality I think is really lacking from Anchorage trails is rocky, technical options. There's some rooty tech, but I grew up riding rocks and miss them. I understand that CSP really limits the ability to find rocky terrain in Anchorage proper, but Eagle River and Chugiak have plenty of rocky places that could be explored.
    And one of the things that holds back some of these places is just how limited the trails are, GRPA is fun (flow trails, a little different, I know), but so little trail that it's hardly worth it for us to come up from Anchorage, yet, if there was something "big" in Eagle River or the corridor, it would be well worth the trip to those trails, even on weekdays. I've heard from time to time about various "smaller places" that can be fatbiked with a few miles of trail, yet, you've got to do it pretty "big" IMO, otherwise it's going to have a hard time attracting anything more than just a few people that happen to live right there.

    Usually, a "bigger" trail has the opportunity and ability to incorporate a bunch of different trail sections and types of riding, much more of a "something for everyone", rocky, rooty, smooth, etc. The idea from the top of Glen Alps might help here, but the low mileage and not getting out of a very constrained area seems to be part of the problem.
    "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

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  24. #24
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    I think it is insane. Totally crazy, like, blows me away, that we don't have rideable trails deep into the Chugach. The front range would be one thing, and those trails would be world class, but there are endless possibilities for trails that circumnavigate or traverse the range. I'm not talking about the rats nest of "flow"trails. I mean a real trail that actually goes someplace, and takes the rider into the mountains of Alaska. Glen Alps, to williwaw lakes, to long lake to the dome, and into Anchorage. Just a small example of something that would be epic, and doesn't seem that impossible other than people being so adamantly opposed to riders. if we could make a trail there, it would benefit everyone. Not just riders. Maybe someday, when my knees stop working, there will be a rad trail there. Dang.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  25. #25
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    CSP contains the Girdwood to Eagle River crow pass trail and the Ship creek valley to Indian pass trails; both of these were actively used as transportation corridors on the original iditarod trail system prior to establishment of the railroad & Anchorage. It would be an awesome 70 mile historical loop to be able to ride both of these passes together
    with just a bit of existing pavement needed. Too bad it is all off-limits unless you are a hiker/skiier/horse or a Llama .

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    I wonder what the court ruling about use of hovercrafts in national parks will have on the limiting uses in all parks. Maybe they will have to have real evidence that irreversible long term damage is being done instead of the lame answer we donít like it there for it is not allowed.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    CSP contains the Girdwood to Eagle River crow pass trail and the Ship creek valley to Indian pass trails; both of these were actively used as transportation corridors on the original iditarod trail system prior to establishment of the railroad & Anchorage. It would be an awesome 70 mile historical loop to be able to ride both of these passes together
    with just a bit of existing pavement needed. Too bad it is all off-limits unless you are a hiker/skiier/horse or a Llama .
    Ship Creek to Indian would suck hard in the summer with a bike. Very soft and muddy. I've been on a short portion of it during a Bird Ridge to Glenn Alps hike a few years ago, and it's my understanding that it's muddy and soft from Indian Pass all the way to Arctic Valley. Crow Pass would be awesome. The trails at ERNC would be awesome if they were open. Lot's of rocky terrain in there.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Ship Creek to Indian would suck hard in the summer with a bike. Very soft and muddy. I've been on a short portion of it during a Bird Ridge to Glenn Alps hike a few years ago, and it's my understanding that it's muddy and soft from Indian Pass all the way to Arctic Valley. Crow Pass would be awesome. The trails at ERNC would be awesome if they were open. Lot's of rocky terrain in there.

    Maybe a good starting point with CSP would be to try and extend Rabbit Creek access to include McHugh Creek and the park boundary as boundaries for a designated portion of the park open to MTB? Those ridgelines are relatively gentle, there are already existing old abandoned roads in the area and it's probably the least used part of the front range.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Ship Creek to Indian would suck hard in the summer with a bike. Very soft and .
    I would settle for legal fatbike winter access to Ship Creek / Indian. The higher altitude CSP backcounty in a typical snow year produces some amazing crust snow conditions for 1-2 weekends each springtime when such a ride would be entirely feasibly.

  30. #30
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    Agree, bring on the tech and vert! Carcross/Whitehorse/Squamish

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