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Gold Mint Trail - Hatcher Pass

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A low elevation gain mountain pass with lots of technical boulder sections.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.7

KM

80%

Singletrack

2,664' 812 m

High

1,808' 551 m

Low

944' 288 m

Up

944' 288 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Great ride year-round, but check avalanche conditions in winter.

Overview

An amazing mountain pass ride not too far from Anchorage, Hatcher Pass is a gravel path for the first mile or so, but quickly turns into natural singletrack that you'll share with the occasional hiker - hardly ever see bikes here but they're allowed.

This awesome ride features a gradual climb on the way out, gradual descent on the way back. Beware of the multitude of short, technical rocky sections, but enjoy the wide-open valley views. This trail can be ridden year round.

Need to Know

Check avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass if riding this trail in the winter.

Parking has a $5 fee, waived if you have a Chugach State Park Pass.

After riding, head further up the paved road from the parking area to Hatcher Pass Lodge for good hot food, beer or hot mixed drinks (hot buttered rum is killer).

Description

One of my favorite rides. A roomy gravel path becomes singletrack as it follows the Little Susitna river up the valley. The gravel lasts for about a mile then the singletrack gets quite narrow. This dirt singletrack through the alders punctuated by rocky sections. You won't get lost on the way out - there's basically only one path up the valley. I've made a wrong turn on the way back, but those were short-lived and it's impossible to get totally lost because there are no trees.

My favorite aspects of this trail are the fun rock obstacles. I'd rate them between 3/5 to 5/5 difficulty - be careful when the rocks are wet! The further out you make it, the more closely-spaced the technical sections become. I turned around at mile 5.5 at which point I was walking sections pretty often. I recommend a fatbike on this trail, even in the summer.

A gradual climb on the way out (not at all painful or very aerobically challenging) means it's significantly faster coming back. Be careful hitting puddles at high speed on the way back - some of them hide big craters that have sent me over the handlebars.

I've ridden this a few times in the winter/spring but we crossed a few avalanche slides that time of year, so check avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass before you go out. Epic crust riding in the spring if you hit it just right (above-freezing days, below-freezing nights). Each mile is marked with signage.

Contacts

Shared By:

Will Corbridge

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#2139

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in Alaska

#2,139

Overall
120 Views Last Month
5,191 Since Sep 14, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Little Su river.  Nice fall colors here in September.
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK
My turnaround point mile 5.5
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK
Looking back down the valley at around mile 5 of Gold Mint Trail.  This section is on a sandbar after crossing the river - fun riding but this sandbar section of trail is pretty brief
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK
Another one of the rocky sections on Gold Mint Trail.  Mile marker 4
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK
A few beaver dams on this trail.
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK
One of the many rocky climbs
Sep 14, 2014 near Fishhook, AK

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Sep 8, 2017
Eric Billingsley