Crow Pass mountain biking – Girdwood

In all the times I’ve mountain biked crow pass, I have always started the descent from the mine ruins. This summer, I have started to push my bike to the pass/lake, and start my descent from there. It is spicy and oh-so fun!  I’d call it my favorite mountain bike ride of summer 2020 🙂

The push-up took me about 1.5 hours from the parking lot… 45 minutes to the base of the normal descent and another 45 minutes of hike-a-bike to the lake. 

A lovely October day on the final push to the mine ruins . . . hike-a-bike gets steeper from here!

 

Hiking over to the falls is a worthy side trip 🙂

I’ve started to go all the way to the pass instead of turning at the lake when it’s a nice day . . . easy pedal and the view of Eagle River and the Raven Glacier is stunning.  I really enjoy watching waterfalls and taking in the high alpine from this area.

The state park boundary is just in the distance so ok to pedal up to a nice view of the Raven!

The descent is a fast and fun 30 minutes from the lake, shorter from the mine ruins.  The first half of the upper descent is steep, though has good dirt and lots of options.  From there, the trail crosses a creek, goes through a ravine that’s not really rideable, and then starts the rocky section with lots to pay attention to.  Most is rideable, with the exception of one ledge that I continue to walk.  From there, a right turn to the steep section that parallels the canyon and where stopping with brakes isn’t really an option . . .but you can point the bike into the uphill side of the trail (it seems) easy enough . . . I am surprised at how rideable it is . . . and how fun!  It has become one of my favorite trails in Girdwood for sure!  

Leaving the lake, ready for the fun part!

 

The main route is over Heather’s back . . . a fun rocky traverse, which then transitions to a steep section just out of view on the right.

 

Coming out of the steep tech section

From the mine ruins, it’s super fun – some ‘baby head’ rock sections interspersed with good dirt, then the fun steep sections jsut before transitioning to the brush/forest and enjoying long open sections where you can carry speed.  Caution is advised in these parts as there may be hikers on the trail and it would be difficult for them to see you coming.  Above, the trail is wide open alpine terrain, and speeds are slower due to the technical nature – so perhaps less of an issue.

The faster and flowier descent from the mine ruins begins here!

 

Different view of the same spot . . . seasonal differences!

 

A nice flat reprieve between steeper sections – a good place to regroup!

 

The final switchback section rides super well – this is where I’m always looking for people as it gets fast!

 

Final stairway to the parking lot!

I go out of my way to do this ride in very uncommon times given its high pedestrian traffic.  It’s a super fun ride and a helluva descent . . . leg burner!  Most people are stoked to see bikers out, especially on the steep section, although there are also a few unhappy pedestrains.  The Girdwood side of the trail is USFS land (Chugach State Park begins at the toe of the Raven Glacier) so it’s not prohibited to bike the Girdwood side!  

For more mountain biking trail reports, check out the whole guide to Alaska biking!!!  Ride on and enjoy 🙂

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