Government Peak Recreation Area mountain biking

Mountain biking the Government Peak Recreation Area (GPRA) in Palmer, AK is a fabulous network of purpose built mountain biking flow trails.  Like Mirror Lake in Eagle River, Tsalteshi/Slikok in Soldotna, Ester Dome in Fairbanks, and Hillside and Kincaid in Anchorage, mountain biking GPRA is a really cool part of a growing network of bike-specific trails in Alaska.  

In an effort to ride as much of the network as possible, I started on Fiddlehead Singletrack and connected to the Fireweed singletrack to ride the Monkshood loop (it’s counterclockwise, so pass the exit and keep riding to the entrance).  From there, I rode a few laps on Puffball and Amanita (new flow trails of summer 2020) using the Pushski trail to ascend.  After lapping the new flow trails, I went and lapped Larkspur DH using Jacob’s Ladder to climb back out, and finished by completing the clockwise Fireweed loop to the car!  Here’s my ridelog for reference!

Overall the ride was about 8 miles and 1.5 hours and I was reminded how trails that look really long and overwhelming on a map oftentimes ride much shorter!  The network is well-signed at junctions so it’s easy to navigate even without Trailforks.  

Ride reflections:

  1. These trails are super fun!  Many are similar to the older Kincaid trails and Mirror Lake trails – on the narrower side, nice corners, meandering through the woods.  Really fun to ride!
  2. Puffball and Amanita are more similar to the Kincaid re-worked trails and are wide with deep berms and purpose-built jumps.  They’re very quick laps and the climb up Pushski is super short, though reasonably steep.
  3. I thought the Larkspur trail was the best of my ride!  Fun jumps and corners built largely off of natural features, and longer than the new flow trails, this trail really hit the mark for me!  The climb up Larkspur is also nice and it made this section really enjoyable to lap!  
  4. The Fireweed loop was fun, and I think it would also ride super well counterclockwise.  These trails really flow well and would flow either direction (for the 2-way ones).
  5. If you want more flow in the area, the 16-mile DH on Hatcher Pass is fun . . . or go freeride April Bowl!

Nice views from the top of the new flow trails (in the Monkshood loop)

 

Older narrower singletrack

 

Newer wider (and jumpier!) singletrack

 

Here you can see both the Amanita and Puffball new singletrack

 

The Larkspur climb combining with the Fireweed loop and AMAZING fall colors!!!

 

An example of the very well-marked trails!

You can support Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers (VMBAH) for expansion and new trails! 

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

Ride Essentials

Trail Snacks


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