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Eklutna Lakeside Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An easy but beautiful ride along Lake Eklutna and back, with options beyond.


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Map Key

26.5

Miles

42.7

KM

20%

Singletrack

1,136' 346 m

High

873' 266 m

Low

631' 192 m

Up

631' 192 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Family Friendly Flat trail with great places to stop and enjoy the beaches and views. Many families can be found along the first few miles of this trail.

Chugach State Park parking fees apply - buy annual pass or pay at kiosk ($5).

Open year-round.

ATVs allowed some days of the week.

Overview

This easy trail takes you along the beautiful deep blue waters of Eklutna Lake, nestled between the rugged and stunning peaks of the Chugach Mountains. This 13-mile trail allows access to several public use cabins and multiple offshoot trails (hiking-only for most of these).

Need to Know

It should be noted that bears are frequently sighted in the area. Come prepared and practice bear aware techniques.

A few years ago the non-motorized trail was washed out in places. The trail has now been repaired and is fully rideable (Sep 2017).

Bridge crossings at approximate mile 0, 11, and 12.

Cabins at approximate mile 3.5 and 12 (reservations required).

Backcountry camping at approximate mile 8.5, 9.5, and 10.75.

Hiking trails: Twin Peaks Trail at mile 0.5, Bold Ridge Trail at mile 5, East Fork Trail at mile 11.

Description

This trail begins at the Lake Eklutna trailhead. Follow the people to the obvious start of the trail. You'll cross over a bridge almost immediately and then go right.

About a mile in, the wide dirt road splits into a motorized (ATVs are allowed on certain days of the week) trail on the left and a non-motorized trail on the right. The motorized trail tends to be more hilly while the non-motorized trail is more flat. The two trails meet up and merge and then re-split over half a dozen times throughout the ride.

Once you reach the non-motorized trails, the trail changes to doubletrack width with occasional singletrack stretches. You'll wind through trees and ride right along the lakeside with stunning views.

Between mile seven and eight, the trails merge into a single trail as the trail veers off the lakeside. At this point, the dirt road becomes much rougher. The smooth trail gives way to loose rocks and unavoidable puddles if there has been recent rain. Many casual day bikers will turn back at this point.

Just before mile nine, you'll reach Bold Airstrip. There is a campsite and a landing strip here. Beyond this point, the trail conditions deteriorate even more.

After Bold Airstrip, you'll pass several campgrounds, Serenity Falls Hut, and the East Fork trail before reaching the end of the rideable section at mile 12.7.

At the end of the trail, there is a footpath that leads back to the glacier. It becomes quickly overgrown and requires route finding skills to make it far enough back to view the receding glacier. Drop the bikes and explore (you won't make it far trying to bike this trail - it is too rocky) or turn around and go back!

It should be noted that bears are frequently sighted in the area. Come prepared and practice bear aware techniques.

History & Background

Lake Eklutna is the main water source for Anchorage and the surrounding areas.

Contacts

Land Manager: DNR Alaska

Shared By:

Anna Ferntheil

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#1

in Eklutna Lake

#2520

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Eklutna Lake

#17

in Alaska

#2,520

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1,681 Since Sep 14, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Wide section of the trail-before the trail becomes more difficult.
Sep 14, 2017 near Butte, AK
Section of non-motorized singletrack.
Sep 14, 2017 near Butte, AK
Serenity Falls-near the end of the trail.
Sep 14, 2017 near Butte, AK

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Jun 2, 2018
Laura Anderson
Sep 16, 2017
Katie Swanson