With so much natural beauty, it's no wonder that there are plenty of bike trails to be found all around Alaska. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or you want to go cycling for the first time, it can be difficult to know which trail is the best to choose. Here is a list of four beautiful biking trails, with backdrops like forests, mountains, lakes, and even glaciers.
Denali National Park and Preserve
Location: Denali National Park and Preserve
With 92 miles of trail in total to explore, Denali National Park and Reserve is home to the longest bike trail in the state of Alaska. Ride along the designated cycling trail and see all the park has to offer, from the lakes and rivers to the local wildlife. There are several places around the park where you can start your journey, thanks to the Savage River Shuttle and the public busses in the park. Spend a day cycling around, or make a camping trip out of it by camping in the back road or at one of several designated campgrounds in the park.
Eklutna Lakeside Trail
Location: Eklutna Lake
The Eklutna Lakeside Trail is a scenic 13-mile trail that's fun and easy for cyclists of all skill levels. This trail in Anchorage is mellow, without much variation in elevation. Some sections of the trail are open to motorized vehicles like ATVs, but some are dedicated strictly to hikers and cyclists. Several hiking trail offshoots exist as well, which may be of interest for those interested in seeing more scenery on foot. For those who wish to stay on the cycling trail though, the views of the valley, the lake, and the cliff walls can be described as breathtaking.
Herbert Glacier Trailhead
Between the Glacier Highway and Herbert Glacier itself lies Herbert Glacier Trail, a short mountain biking trail. Past the small parking lot at the entrance is a wide gravel road for a few miles through spruce forest, then through the valley beyond. The last mile and a half of the trail is somewhat more technically challenging, but still safe to traverse on a mountain bike. At the end of the trail—at a safe distance from any potential falling ice—you can see the Herbert Glacier and the cliffs surrounding it. The trip from the parking lot to the glacier and back again is roughly 10 miles.
Upper Russian Lakes Trail
Location: Upper Russian Lake
The Upper Russian Lakes Trail is a ride through the backcountry of the Kenai Peninsula, with great views throughout. With 21 miles between the start and the end, this trail is a good destination for intermediate cyclists. The trail alternates between inclines and descents through the alpine terrain, with dense woods and views of both mountains and the eponymous lakes to make the journey that much more worthwhile. There are several places along the trail, such as the Upper Russian Lake Cabin, to stop to catch your breath and take in the natural scenery around you.
Cycling is a great way to see the beauty of the Alaskan landscape for yourself, and a great way to get some exercise. Whichever trail suits you the best, take a helmet with you and enjoy the journey.