Middle Fork Fat Bike

Located at the front range of the Chugach State Park it is an easily accessible trail.  For a few months during the winter (Nov.15-Apr.1) you can get a permit to bike this trail.  Write to csp@alaska.gov with your: Name, Address, and Email.  They will quickly email your permit, map and rules.  And yes I have heard of bikers getting a ticket without a permit.

There are a few points where you can access this trail (check out map).  We decided to do this as a loop starting at the  Prospect Heights Trail Head.  This loop was 11 miles with 1,671′ of climbing.  It took us just under two hours of riding at a moderate pace.

We went down the trail at the end of the parking lot by the toilets, crossed Powerline to the South Fork Rim trail.  This is a nice single track trail that winds along the ridge with a gentle climb.  It has been a low snow year and the planks were still exposed.  We continued on the Rim trail as long as we could before joining the Powerline trail.  This is a wide utility trail that as the name suggests is under the power line.  After passing the Glen Alps trail at a nice flat spot you get to finally go downhill.  After about 100 yards the Middle Fork trail will be on your left.

The first part of the Middle Fork trail can be slick and or icy.  Keep control and watch for hikers.  Cross over the bridge and after a short climb you are on the flats.  Take a left at the top and let the fun begin.  This is a great single track trail that has some cruiser riding, plank riding, bridge crossings, sweeping turns, and fast descents.  Not to mention the stunning views and solitude.

As I had mentioned not much snow yet and we encountered some glare ice.  Even my fellow rider Mike with his studded tires slide a bit, but was able to ride.  Me without studs got stuck slipping and sliding around and ended up walking a bit and on my arss more than once.  Next year I am investing in studs.

At the end of the permit part of the trail you end up back on some wide double track.  Let the brakes go and fly.  We chose to take a right on Wolverine Bowl towards the Lost Cabin trail.  The trail isn’t marked, but where the near point and wolverine peak trails are there will be a third trail to the left leading into some trees, take it.  This was a fun winding trail with lots of roots still exposed, did I mention there hasn’t been much snow yet.  The Basher Trail Head intsects about half way through. (I took this trail at a later day and though fun it is steep at the beginning and end.  As this trail head doesn’t connect will with surrounding trails it would not be my choice of starting points.)

Back to the loop, we continued around and still tight twisty fun trails.  All of which are mostly flat, yet technical.  After a few minutes you get spit out on some wide trails.  Take a right and follow the signs back to Prospect Heights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s