The Denali Highway – Biking – The Outdoor Women

Denali-Highway-bikingA leisurely pedal is one of the best ways to enjoy the spectacular land along the Denali Highway. Cyclists should be prepared for a rugged ride once the pavement ends 21 miles from Paxson. The road is improved gravel, but that does not preclude long washboard and potted stretches. The high point is Mclaren Summit at 4,086 feet. The summit does not sound terribly high, but it is the second highest pass on an Alaskan road. The highway has plenty of opportunities for camping and limited facilities. Check with the BLM for an update on the services you will find along the way.

Mountain bikers will find ample tracks off the highway. In the Tangle Lakes area, BLM trails are open to bikes and off-road vehicles. The BLM recommends several of the drier routes for mountain biking. The Mclaren River Road follows the West Fork for 12 miles to the Mclaren Glacier. The river must be forded after 4 miles and it can be running high after rains. The Mclaren Summit trail (see Hiking) is also good for bikes, along with an eight mile route to Osar Lake. The trail to Landmark Gap Lake (see Hiking) is good if bikers don’t mind passing through a brief marshy stretch.

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