Duration: 1 -5 days.
Distance: 127 - 210 miles.
SUMMARY: From Anchorage go South by Train or Bus to Seward then take a Glacier Cruise, then Bike Back to Anchorage with the Wind at Your Back on the Seward Hwy. Detour to the Resurrection Trail if on a Mountain Bike. Whitewater Raft Near Hope. Hike Mt. Alyeska.
Anchorage to Seward
The train departs from Anchorage for Seward at 6:45 am and costs $75 plus another $20 for your bike. The train arrives in Seward at 11:05 am. If you'd rather take the bus to Seward, there are three to choose from. The Park Connection Express departs Anchorage at 7 am, arrives in Seward at 10 pm and costs $55. The Connection's second run departs at 3 pm arrives in Seward at 6 pm and costs $65. The Seward Bus Line departs Anchorage at 2:30 pm costs $50 and arrives in Seward at 5:30 pm. There is no extra charge for your bike.
Seward to Anchorage in One Day on a Bike
If this is a one-day trip then you will need a road bike. As soon as you arrive in Seward you will have to start pedaling north. It is a 125 mile bike ride from Seward to Anchorage. So far, only one renter has attempted to do it. He got an early am start by taking the train to Seward. He rented the Ridley Excalibur the night before. It took him eight hours to bike from Seward to Anchorage. He had a great time. If, however, you want to see and do other things on the way back, you'll need to stay overnight in one or more places.
Staying Overnight in Seward
From mid-June through mid-August it's a good idea to reserve in advance a place to stay in Seward. Here is a long list of Seward Lodging choices. There are four hostels in/around Seward. They are: Kate's Roadhouse, Kayaker's Cove, Moby Dick Hostel, Snow River Hostel. There are also two campgrounds. Waterfront Park has tent spots with restrooms and coin-op showers for $10. Miller's Landing has cabins from $50 and tent spots with central showers/restrooms for $26. Deciding whether to stay one or two nights in Seward depends on how many things you want to do while there.
Things to do in Seward
When in Seward, one of Alaska's top attractions and best values is a Kenai Fjords Glacier Cruise. Prices range from $69 -$149 and depend on the length of the cruise. Pick the cruise that coincides with your arrival in Seward. Here's the schedule for Major Marine Tours.
Another don't miss activity is to hike Mt. Marathon If you arrive in Seward too late to take a glacier cruise, then hike up and down the mountain after you arrive and take the cruise the following morning. An indoor Seward activity is to visit this small town's large Aquarium . It costs $20.
After doing one or more Seward attractions, start your bicycle trip north. Where you spend your first night on the road depends on the time of day you leave Seward and what time of year it is. During June and July it's sunny almost all the time so you can get a late start. But you'll have to plan in advance whether to bypass activities in order to make it where you want to spend the night.
Things to do Just North of Seward
Seward is mile marker zero. The first potential detour is just 3.7 miles from town. Turn left/west at Herman Leirer Road and bike 8.4 miles to Exit Glacier After hiking the glacier, perhaps visit Seavey's Ididaride . Here you can take a dogsled ride. This famous Alaska mushing family also has cabins for rent.
Where to Stay on First Night North of Seward
After returning to the Seward Hwy, you could camp without a hot shower or pay for a room or cabin somewhere in in or around Moose Pass, Mile 29.4. The other option is to bike either to Cooper Landing or Hope. If you don't have a road bike then go to Hope and stay at Discovery Cabins. Or if you have a road bike and are able to handle a longer one-day ride from Seward, bike to Girdwood. There are many lodging choices in Girdwood but the cheapest is the Alyeska Hostel.
Mountain Biking the Resurrection Trail
If you have a mountain bike and/or have more time, instead of biking directly to Hope, take a left on the Sterling Hwy and stay overnight in Cooper Landing. Here there are about a dozen places to stay including Kenai Riverside Campground which has hot showers for $5. The reason why those with mountain bikes should go to Cooper Landing is because there are a number of mountain bike trails near there including the 38.5 mile-long Resurrection Pass Trail. The trail ends in Hope. Bring bear spray. If you overnight in Cooper Landing you will want to dedicate the entire next day for the bike ride to Hope. If you don't overnight in Cooper Landing because you arrive there to early in the day, then you will want to have one of the nine cabins on the Resurrection Trail reserved in advance. They cost $35. Go to http://www.recreation.gov/ to check availability. At the prompt for the zip code, punch in the zip code for Hope which is 99605. If you want to go directly to what that search will produce, copy and past this url into your browser:
Where to Stay & What to do in Hope
After cycling the Resurrection Trail you will be tired and will need to have advance lodging set up in Hope. One place to inquire is Discovery Cabins.
The next day you can cycle up the steep hill to the Hope cutoff and the Seward Highway, or first raft Six Mile Creek. The two companies that raft the Creek are Chugach Outdoor Center and Nova. It costs $165 for all three canyons and it is worth it. It's also a great way to take a break from the biking and work some different muscles. When inquiring with these outfitters ask if after the rafting they will give you a lift in one of their trucks to the top of the hill and the Seward Highway. Whichever one will do that would be a good one to book with. (Also ask where the meeting point is for the raft trip because if you have to bike up the hill from Hope to it then that would be something to avoid.)
Hope to Girdwood
From Hope there is a 17.8 mile-long climb to Turn again Pass where you reconnect with the Seward Hwy. After turning left (north), it's 22 miles to the intersection of the Whittier/Portage Glacier Access Road. At this intersection, decide whether to ride 5 miles to Portage Lake and Glacier. If you're not tired and have time, it's worth the trip. Otherwise, bear left at the intersection and continue on to the ski resort town of Girdwood where there are many places to stay including the 5 star Alyeska Hotel. The cheapest place is the Alyeska Hostel.
Things to do in Girdwood
Before leaving Girdwood, in the morning, consider hiking to the top of Mt. Alyeska and riding the tram back down for free. It takes most people two hours to hike up. Another great hike is the Winner Creek Trail. Another thing to do is visit the Crow Creek Mine. Also, the resort has a downhill mountain bike park but it is only open Friday - Sunday from noon - 6 p.m. If your stay in Girdwood coincides then you will need to book in advance a high-end downhill mountain bike from the resort. Our cross-country bikes are not suitable for such intense abuse and would get destroyed which means you would have to figure out another way other than biking to get back to Anchorage from Girdwood.
Girdwood to Anchorage
When biking from Girdwood on the Alyeska Hwy, about half a mile before the intersection with the Seward Hwy, exit right into the parking lot of the Chugach National Forrest Ranger Station. This is where a great new 7-mile-long "Bird to Gird Trail" begins. Actually the trail ends in Indian, just north of Bird. From Indian it's about 10 miles along the scenic (but busy) Seward Hwy to the Potter Section House. There is a wide shoulder with a rumble strip. Exit right from the highway onto Potter Valley Road and then take a quick left onto the Old Seward Hwy. This is a rural two-lane road on the north side of Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary.
Where the Old Seward intersects with Rabbit Creek Road, stay left on the Old Seward. At roundabout with Huffman, consider taking a right to get food at the Carrs/Safeway Supermarket. Either way, continue south on Old Seward to Klatt Road where you take a left. Ride about one mile to another roundabout stay to the right then go straight through two more roundabouts taking C St back to downtown Anchorage. There's a bike path buffered from C St that will bring you directly back to Downtown Bicycle Rental.
If you don't want to head directly downtown from south Anchorage and want to finish your trip on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, stay left at the Klatt roundabout through Southport riding about five miles to Dimond Blvd. Take a left on Dimond, a right onto Sand Lake Road and then a left onto Raspberry Road which dead ends in Kincaid Park which is where the 11-mile long coastal trail ends/begins.