Trip advice: Kodiak to Fairbanks, which trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trip advice: Kodiak to Fairbanks, which trails?

    Planning a trip at the end of September with another buddy. We're taking the ferry from Kodiak to Homer and plan on making our way towards Fairbanks hitting as much singletrack up as we can. We'll be taking his truck and a pull behind camper for the trip. We plan on driving to a spot posting up and riding for for a couple of days, then moving on to the next spot.... We both have good climbing capabilities, but prefer to go up for a reason - to come down! Good flowy fast cross country style singletrack is also fun. So, what are the spots, where do we ride, and what are the must do trails? Also any other info on, camp fees, reservations, funny local stuff, and good bike shop tips will be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Park at the Russian Lakes trailhead, ride back out to the Seward Highway, ride to the Kenai Lake, take a right on Snug Harbor Road, ride to the top, ride down the Russian Lakes trail back to the car. Fun. Ride from Cooper Landing up the Resurrection Pass Trail to Resurrection Pass and then back down. Drive to Seward and ride up the Primrose Trail and down Lost Lake (do it as a loop by riding up the highway first). Ride from Hope up the Resurrection Trail to Resurrection Pass and then back down. That's the Kenai.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Park at the Russian Lakes trailhead, ride back out to the Seward Highway, ride to the Kenai Lake, take a right on Snug Harbor Road, ride to the top, ride down the Russian Lakes trail back to the car. Fun. Ride from Cooper Landing up the Resurrection Pass Trail to Resurrection Pass and then back down. Drive to Seward and ride up the Primrose Trail and down Lost Lake (do it as a loop by riding up the highway first). Ride from Hope up the Resurrection Trail to Resurrection Pass and then back down. That's the Kenai.
    If I remember right, you can make the Lost Lake trail a loop by using the "new" iditarod trail on the other side of the highway back up from Seward to Primrose or somewhere around there. Sounded like a great trip, but haven't done it myself, yet.

    Spend a couple days in Anchorage and hit of the good variety of trails we have around here, both out at Kincaid and definitely the STA trails on the Hillside. A good number of local bike shops that can help direct you. Chain Reaction, Speedway, Paramount, The Bicycle Shop, etc...

    That late in the year, you are likely going to find some pretty wet and sloppy trails. You might get lucky with the weather though. Sounds like a fun trip.

  4. #4
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    If I remember right, you can make the Lost Lake trail a loop by using the "new" iditarod trail on the other side of the highway
    That makes it into like a 1,000 mile death march. If you are in shape and ready for it, I'm sure it's fun. Normal humans may want to spin up the highway. Just sayin'

  5. #5
    is buachail foighneach me
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    I definitely prefer to climb Lost Lake and descend Primrose. Lost Lake is a longer, but easier climb, and Primrose is more techy of a descent.

    Definitely spend a day or two riding the Hillside in Anchorage, and one day will get you all the trails in Keppler-Bradley/Crevasse-Moraine in Palmer.

    Hatcher pass is worth visiting for the views and history, and you can ride the Gold Mint trail while you're there. It's an out and back. Technically goes quite a ways in, but get's muddy and alder choked beyond 6 miles or so. Easy 6 miles climb up, turn around and bomb back down. Use a bear bell. All dirt and rock singletrack after the first mile or so of gravel. Some light tech the farther in you get, but nothing unrideable.

    It's not singletrack, but I think Cragie Creek Rd on the Willow side of Hatcher Pass is worth a ride up to the lake at Dogsled Pass. Beautiful country up there.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips so far guys, I think we'll pass on the 1000 mile death march though... We probably won't be heading to Seward either, more likely to head North towards Anchorage at the junction.

  7. #7
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    Try Gull Rock near Hope out and back nice view challenging yet short ride. Maybe a little overgrown September?

  8. #8
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan51
    We probably won't be heading to Seward either, more likely to head North towards Anchorage at the junction.
    If you are at the turnoff at the Sterling/Seward highway junction, and the weather is nice, you HAVE to ride Primrose/Lost lake. Maybe the prettiest ride in AK on a warm sunny day.

  9. #9
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    lost lake is my favorite kenai trail definitely worth the drive to seward. if you make it to fairbanks rid the the new ester dome single track. on the kenai devils pass to hope is fun.
    litespeed's break

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    That makes it into like a 1,000 mile death march. If you are in shape and ready for it, I'm sure it's fun. Normal humans may want to spin up the highway. Just sayin'
    Well, you have to make sure to make that left before you get to Nome September probably wouldn't be a good time to head too much further north on that trail unless your bike floats and you have a few spare gallons of blood to donate to the mosquitoes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak greeff
    lost lake is my favorite kenai trail definitely worth the drive to seward. if you make it to fairbanks rid the the new ester dome single track. on the kenai devils pass to hope is fun.
    So it sounds like lost lake/prim rose will probably be added into the trip based on everyone's recs. What about between Seward and Anchorage, and does anyone have experience/info about riding in Denali park?

  12. #12
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Resurrection Pass (Cooper Landing to the Pass and from Hope to the Pass) is *basically* between Seward and Anchorage. As is Johnson Pass (not much experience on that one).

    Denali is a national park so no bikes allowed offroad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Resurrection Pass (Cooper Landing to the Pass and from Hope to the Pass) is *basically* between Seward and Anchorage. As is Johnson Pass (not much experience on that one).

    Denali is a national park so no bikes allowed offroad.

    True that bikes are not allowed offroad, but it is a great way to see the park even if on the road. The best time to ride that road though is right around the solstice (June 21) when you can ride all night and not have to deal with the tour busses and the dust, plus the animals are a bit more active. I'm trying to figure out how I can swing that trip again in the next couple of years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    True that bikes are not allowed offroad, but it is a great way to see the park even if on the road. The best time to ride that road though is right around the solstice (June 21) when you can ride all night and not have to deal with the tour busses and the dust, plus the animals are a bit more active. I'm trying to figure out how I can swing that trip again in the next couple of years.
    That sounds awesome! and also like the only way I'd really want to do any road riding. Unfortunately we won't be able to make the trip till late September. Are there grabvel/fire roads in the park that are open to riding? What about trails off of route 3 between Anchorage and the park? Also, Is it worth traveling through the park to the North side, is there quality riding between Denali and Fairbanks?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan51
    That sounds awesome! and also like the only way I'd really want to do any road riding. Unfortunately we won't be able to make the trip till late September. Are there grabvel/fire roads in the park that are open to riding? What about trails off of route 3 between Anchorage and the park? Also, Is it worth traveling through the park to the North side, is there quality riding between Denali and Fairbanks?
    The main road into the park is pretty much it for the park (this is just to the west of the highway). It is paved for the first short stretch, then gravel after that. Total length is about 85 miles one way, and if you can swing it, you can sometimes catch the "camper" bus for a ride back out. There is very limited access to the road. Essentially no public vehicles. Tour busses have supreme reign (even bikers are supposed to stop and get off their bikes when a bus is passing) - hence the nice part about riding it at night in the middle of summer and no busses.

    To the east of the Parks Highway, the Denali Highway, is pretty much totally open to the public (also gravel road). There are going to be a number of ATV trails in that area that lead to some great views for sure, but the timing of your trip (September) will put you right in the heat of the hunting season and you will likely be dodging motorhomes and ATV's no matter where you try to go and it won't be much fun. After the 20th of September, the traffic will drop down dramatically due to the end of the moose season, so it might not be too bad by them.

    There are some good trails at Kepler Bradley toward Palmer as you head north of Anchorage, but beyond that, I don't know of much good trail riding between there and Fairbanks. There might be some decent gravel road/ATV trails, but I can't think of much in the way of single-track.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=anchskier]the timing of your trip (September) will put you right in the heat of the hunting season and you will likely be dodging motorhomes and ATV's no matter where you try to go and it won't be much fun. After the 20th of September, the traffic will drop down dramatically
    QUOTE]

    This is great info, thanks! so it sounds like the majority of our focus should be the Kenai and around Anchorage. How about Girdwood, I saw a couple shots of some sweet looking trail on another thread, does anyone ride there with any cosistency, how hard is it to get a shuttle? What about South or East of Anchorage, and what campgrounds do people recommend to be able to ride out of to trail heads in Anchorage?

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