Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Distance: 65+ miles
Difficulty: Intermediate +
Dates: August 28-31
Coming to Alaska and not sure whether to bring your Mountain bike or fishing gear. This is the trip that started it all. Ride with the founders of Alaska Backcountry Bike Tours and enjoy fishing for gigantic Rainbow trout, world class Grayling, and the ever powerful Coho Salmon.
This tour can be combined with white water rafting, kayaking, or ice climbing.
Day 1 - Crescent Lake
Distance: 17 miles round trip
Gain: 1000 feet
Ride time: 3-5 hours
We will cycle steadily up a winding trail and through a valley to Crescent Lake, eventually looping back down on the same trail. The path will lead us through birch and aspen woods along a sparkling creek. Ascending a ridge, we will cross over the creek at mile 3.5, just beyond a major avalanche chute.
At this point, the trail lies in the shadow of Right Mountain with views across the valley to Wrong Mountain-both peaks standing over 5,000 feet. The crescent-shaped lake will unexpectedly appear as we cycle back across the creek, where we will lunch along the shores of the lake. Bring your fishing gear: Crescent Lake is brimming with world-class grayling.
As we wind our way back, we will cruise through the valley. Descending the ridge, the outstanding trail conditions make for an exhilarating ride back to the trailhead. After a small refreshment, we will shuttle to base-camp for dinner, showers, and relaxation.
Day 2 - Russian Lakes
Distance: 23 miles one way
Gain: 950 feet
Ride time: 4-6hours
The Upper Russian River trail-a section of the original Resurrection trail-is a great second day: 23 miles of single-track. The trail skirts the Harding Ice Field before dropping into the Russian River Valley. We will traverse a sub-alpine forest and fields of wildflowers, stopping for a leisurely lunch at mile twelve along the banks of the picturesque Upper Russian Lake.
We will continue our descent into the Russian River Valley, an area that was decimated by a wildfire in 1969. Here we will encounter the natural and extraordinary process of reforestation: a majesty of new growth interspersed with scarred forest remains. At mile twenty, we will briefly visit the Russian River Falls. Here, viewing decks allow an incredible view of sockeye salmon successfully ascending a series of forty-foot falls on their way to their instinctive spawning grounds.
Day 3 - Excursion of your choice
Today we will rest our legs for day four's challenging ride on Johnson's Pass. We will start our day early and travel to the nearby coastal town of Seward here you'll have your choice of 3 premiere day trips: The Kenai Fjords Cruise, Kenai Fjords sea-kayaking, or, stay on solid ground and visit the Seward Marine Sea-life Center. For the strong riders who would prefer to ride this day, depending on weather and trail conditions there are many options.
The first two popular tours offer the maximum opportunity for seeing whales, sea lions, otters, and colorful seabirds playing and feeding. In addition you can experience the splendor of a massive tidewater glacier calving to the sea and the stunning beauty of the glacially carved cliffs.
After your day tour we will have the afternoon to explore this charming town. Your guides will point out attractions including the Alaska Sea Life Center and Mount Marathon, location of Seward's famous Fourth of July mountain race. Dinner this evening will be on your own.
Day 4 - Johnson Pass
Distance: 24 miles one way
Gain: 1550 feet
Ride time: 4-7 hours
Ask any mountain biker in Alaska: this demanding single-track ride is a favorite. The memorable trail passes through parts of the original Iditarod Trail, built during Alaska's historic gold rush era. Our ride begins along the shores of Upper Trail Lake then parallels Johnson Creek.
At mile seven we will cross the creek and continue to Johnson Lake, a sub-alpine and partially forested area that abounds in wildlife viewing opportunities. We will lunch here before continuing up to the summit of Johnson Pass at mile 13.
A quick descent takes us to the alpine beauty of pristine Bench Lake. Brace yourself for a roller-coaster ride as we sprint through mountain meadows and lush forests crossing over several creeks. At mile 19 we will take a break to admire the splendor of a beautiful waterfall cascading over tall cliffs. From there we will finish the day on a level course.
The shuttle van will be waiting at the trailhead to take us back along the scenic Seward highway to Anchorage.
*Tour includes everything, except the cost of third day excursion and sleeping bag, pad and pillow which is available for a small cleaning fee.
Included: all meals except 1 dinner, camp and park fees, transportation
Also see tour packages in:
USA Alaska Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Fishing