Basic: All Level Riders
Park Road is the main road into Denali National Park. It runs 91 miles into the heart of the park and ends in the old gold mining town of Kantishna. The road is paved for the first 15 miles and free to ride on up to this point. Beyond that, a park entrance fee is required for those entering on foot, bicycle or on a tour bus--the only vehicles allowed into the park at this point. The unpaved, gravel portion of the road extends another 76 miles.
An easy self guided tour would be to follow the road into the park for the first 15 miles, turning around where the paved road ends and the gravel road begins. Kick it up a level and continue on to the Eielson Center and Wonder Lake, another 17 miles in. You will need to pay the park entrance fee to continue riding to the center and the lake.
If you're staying in the Denali campgrounds or backcountry units, another great option is to catch a ride on a camper bus. The camper buses run up and down Park Road and act as a sort of shuttle system for campground and backcountry visitors. Riders are able to catch a ride and be dropped off at any point on the road. Camper buses are available only to those visitors staying in the campgrounds or backcountry. You must reserve space for your bikes at the Visitor Transportation Desk at the Wilderness Access Center located at mile 1 on Park Road.
South of the Denali National Park entrance is another great scenic bike tour for riders of all levels. The Denali Highway runs 133 miles, east to west through some of the most historic and pristine wilderness in Alaska. Not the typical "highway" that one thinks of, it is lightly traveled since Park Road became the main route into Denali National Park. The road is paved for only the first 21 miles. Plan on taking an entire day to take in the scenery, explore the many archaeological sites and view wildlife.
Advanced: Expert Riders
Stampede Trail is a great ride for physically fit, advanced riders that ends at Eight Mile Lake. The ride takes you through the high tundra and provides breathtaking, sweeping vistas of the mountains. The trail starts 14 miles north of the Denali Park entrance.
Ferry Trail is located 12 miles north of Healy. It is a little known trail that runs through historic gold rush country with some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Alaska Range. It is rated a strenuous ride, best for fit, experience cyclists.
Guided Tours or Bike Rentals
Located on Otto Lake, seven miles from the Park entrance, Denali Outdoor Center offers Alaska adventure travel tours at its finest. Kayak, river rafting, glacier and bike adventures along with cabin and campground rentals are all available here.
The Center offers a guided mountain bike tour twice daily originating from Otto Lake taking you on to Park Road through Denali National Park.
Denali Outdoor Center
Just about any adventure you can dream of you'll find at Denali Tours. Air, river rafting, kayaking and even ATV and photography tours are a few of the unique experiences offered. Take their two and a half hour remote mountain bike tour and experience the wilderness of Alaska first hand as you travel through valleys, by lakes and up mountainous terrain all while surrounded by amazing views of Denali National Park, Mount McKinley and the Alaska Range. This tour is rated as a moderate ride for those who are reasonably fit and have basic bike skills.
Article Written By Jany Martin
Jany Martin is a freelance writer living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing covers a wide range of topics including fashion, crafts, health, history and travel. She is currently a freelance copywriter for several local corporations and has worked as a marketing manager in the casino and event design industries. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in radio/tv/film from San Jose State University.