Iditarod Trails – Meridian Lake & Bear Lake

Well, I have long wanted to check out mountain biking the Iditarod Trails near Seward, AK to consider what the full Lost Lake loop would be like. So, to that end, I rode Meridian Lake and Bear Lake trails, starting from Primrose. I’ve added this trail report to my full Alaska mountain biking guide as well!  This is part of a larger project to connect the Iditarod National Historic Trails and it’s cool to ride a mountain bike on them!!!

Here’s are my thoughts on mountain biking these trails:

  • The combo of trails is 18 miles (20 miles if you add the additional 2 miles to the Seward-side Lost Lake trailhead) and 3300′ of accumulated climbing according to my Trailforks ridelog.  It took me 4 hours.
  • While bikeable, and legal for mountain bikes, I did not find these trails to be very good bike trails! Lots of up/down with steep sections and not very many sustained downhills!
  • The ride is all in the rain forest and is really cool to be in such peaceful and green forest.  While it’s sort of close to the road, it feels super remote as the forest is super dense and the trail not super crowded.
  • There are many lakes along the routes and all super pretty – there are very few mountain views, however, so I’d only recommend these trails on a sunny day if you’re committed to the Lost Lake portion as well!
  • Meridian Lakes felt like mostly an uphill, which would make it a fun out/back from Primrose – it might be a good early season option before other trails are melted out!  Other good early season rides are Russian Lakes and Crescent Lake and additional options are always nice!
  • I honestly think the better way to use the time and energy is to do an up/over twice on Lost Lake – ride Primrose-to-Seward-to-Primrose.  It would take about the same amount of time, be on trail more suitable for biking, offer more reward (downhills!) for the effort, and be more fun!
  • But if you love cross country riding, epic loops, and/or sufferfests, the Meridian Lake + Bear Lake + Lost Lake loop is for you!!!!

 

Mountain biking Iditarod Trails near Seward is definitely doable, though I think there are way better ways to spend a day!


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