Numerous opportunities are available to combine,
both, a scenic flight with a mountain biking adventure that you will remember for the rest of
your life. From day-trips, to overnighters in either cabins or tent camping, you will be biking
through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, the Bush country of Alaska. The flight
will drop you off at a remote location and pick you up again for the return flight to Anchorage.
From beginner to experienced mountain-biker, it will be the bike trip of a lifetime.
Option #1: RESURRECTION TRAIL - RESURRECTION PASS
The flight will depart our Merrill Field offices in the morning for a scenic ride through the Kenai Mountains to our drop-off point in Cooper Landing, a small village along the Kenai River. From here you depart on your bikes for about a 5-7 mile ride along the highway to the trailhead of Resurrection Pass. (all appropriate maps will be supplied. You can’t get lost) Once on the trail your progress will be entirely up to you, for either tent camping or cabin stays at the different Forest Service Cabins along the trail. Reservations are required for the cabins, and our staff here at Bush Air will be happy to assist you. Resurrection trail was first used by gold miners near the turn of the century. The well established trail starting near Cooper Landing at an elevation of approximately 600 ft. proceeds to the summit at 2600 ft, which is the half way point of the trail. Then down the other side to the historic and colorful village of Hope, overlooking Turnagain Arm. In the thirty eight miles through the Chugach Mountains you will see many small streams and lakes where trout and arctic grayling abound. The degree of difficulty is rated at 3 to 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5. There are several small streams to ford and the trail can become quite boggy after a rain. Up to date trail condition information is available and is used for planning a trip. Expert riders have ridden this trail in only 12 hours while most take several days.
Option #2: Petersville Rd.
Petersville road is located in the foothills of the Alaska Range. The road was established by miners in the 1920’s. Some mining is still going on in the area. The view of Mt. McKinley is unsurpassed and was a favorite spot for Alaskan painter Sydney Laurence who’s paintings of “The Big One” are renowned. The road progresses for eleven miles up a gentle climb to the town of Petersville a small mining town. Beyond Petersville the road enters the Dutch Hills. The road then descends to the banks of Peters Creek where there are good camping spaces with a chance to supplement your diet with trout or grayling. Beyond the camping area, a bridge crosses the creek. At this point the trail comes to a fork. The main trail goes to the left and up a hill. At the crest a view of the entire valley opens up. After cycling through aspen and willow, paralleling Long Creek, private lands prevents further travel in that direction. If further riding is desired, backtrack to the “Y” and go to the right. Several knee deep creeks cross this trail and the degree of difficulty increases as it accesses Denali Park. From the trail head at mile 19 of Petersville Road to private land at Cache Creek the distance is seventeen miles one way. The degree of difficulty is rated by the experts to be 3 to 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. Riding time is estimated to be 6 hours to several days.
Option #3: Chitna to McCarthy
The McCarthy Road from Chitna to historic McCarthy uses a railroad bed built by Kennicott to haul copper and gold ore to Cordova on Prince William Sound where it was shipped by sea to the lower 48. The rail and ties were removed many years ago leaving a wide rutted gravel road winding through Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Glacier fed rivers join the Chitna River which flows parallel to road. Most evidence of early mining ventures still exists and adds to the spectacular scenery. Cycling the presents no hazardous terrain although the degree of difficulty is judged to be 3 to 4 based on a 1 to 5 scale. This is due to the length of the ride over a dusty road rutted from auto travel. There is little altitude gain and few long hills to climb. At mile 44 the road enters the Long Lake Wildlife Refuge where salmon come to spawn in season. At the end of the road a hand operated tram spans the Kennicott River to McCarthy and the old mine site. The length of the trail is sixty miles one way. Estimated riding time is four to eight hours.