Trails along the Denali Highway? Suggestions?-
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  1. #1
    ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
    Reputation: crsouser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Trails along the Denali Highway? Suggestions?

    I was thinking of heading up the Denali Hwy and trying some of the trails up along there just for some variety. Maybe even doing multiple over a period of a period of a couple of days or even a week depending on what is available and how things go. Does anyone have any recommendations on trails, and what skill level is required?

    I have checked out the Trails of Alaska Book (I think thats what its called, the one with the guy holding the bike from 10 years ago), and saw several trails listed there but have found his difficulty rating system very hard to interpet. (For example he rates Cresent Lake on the same level as Gull Rock, Crecent Lake was pretty easy, Gull Rock I found hard and very technical with all of the overgrowth, roots, rocks, and mud.)

    My skill level is mid-level and I can do some distance without much of a problem, and a have a full suspension bike. I would also prefer something other than a straight road ride or a all out hill climb like McClaren Summit.

    So with the above said, any recommendations?


  2. #2
    Beware of Doggerel
    Reputation: Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Denali H-Way

    I went up there a bunch of times last year and the year before. Here are some ideas, McClaren Summit trail is a nice ride with good views, it is short and gets boggy with lots of bugs, From the same parking area you can also ride the Oskar Lakes trail this trail is great, it is a wide fast dirt road, great views really really nice. Also there is the McClaren river trail that goes back to the glacier, if you are riding alone I would skip this one, it has a pretty fast and deep and cold river crossing right at the start I think these are all in the Richard Larson book that you mentioned in your post. If not they are easy to find on most maps. Nearer to the Cantwell side of the road is Butte lake, which should be nice but I only made in a few miles or less before I turned around at a deep ATV mud bog, also there are a series of trails going out from the Bruskana campground. Also I found a really nice trail that drops down to the right after you climb up from the Susitna River heading east, it just went on and on crossed a medium sized river, joined another trail etc. I'll dig around and see if I can find the GPS coordinates for that trail. There appear to be tons and tons of ATV trails going off the road. Some are short or muddy but you could just spend time exploring if you don't mind a few dead ends.
    Here are some pics, the first two are from the trail up from the Su (that I may or may not have GPS stuff for), the next one is riding up McClaren summit trail and the last one is a lake along the Oskar lake trail.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
    Reputation: crsouser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Denali Hwy Trails, GPS coordinates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    I'll dig around and see if I can find the GPS coordinates for that trail. There appear to be tons and tons of ATV trails going off the road.
    Thanks, if you can find them that would be great. I am going to go up there this weekend and take and do some scouting. I know where the McClaren trailhead, and Oskar Lakes trail head are also. I know where Butte lake is on a map and I will check that one out and try to maybe scout a few more trails paths off the road and I will let you know if I find anything good.


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