As I (Ryan) live in Cordova longer and longer- I’m trying to figure out a way to get more people on bikes. Cordova sits on the coastal side of the Chugach National Forest, the second largest National Forest in the United States. Cordova is landlocked, surrounded by mountains and glaciers to the North and East, and the waters of Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska to the West and South. In all of it’s beauty, it doesn’t seem all that plentiful when it comes to mountain bike and cycling options. Our road- the Copper River Highway (Alaska State Route 10,) follows the old railroad bed east and north, and ends just north of Miles Lake and Childs Glacier approximately 50 miles. Unfortunately- the changing currents of the mighty Copper River washed out a bridge at mile marker 36. In the summer there is a shuttle service that takes people across on an airboat, otherwise you can take a skiff, packraft, or other watercraft. In the winter, snowmachiners can travel across.

With the current state of the highway it is difficult to travel across the Copper, ride, and come back the same day so most of my ride info will be based on trails and roads west of the river.

The Copper River Highway begins at the Alaska Marine Highway with Mile 0. The Merle K. Mudhole Smith Airport is at Mile 13. Just beyond the airport the highway turns to gravel. Our city dump is at Mile 17 and is often the last road maintenance that occurs once the snow flies unless the DOT is really bored.

We have only one “bike trail” in the Cordova Ranger District- Saddlebag Glacier Trail. An out and back, 6 miles in length. Many other options are available for those with intermediate- but they are geared towards hikers, which means stairs, narrow bridges and 2×10 boardwalks. All that said- riding in Cordova is awesome. Double down with a packraft and (it has me thinking like Dr. Seuss) Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

I’ve been using Gaia GPS and it’s a great tool. The “USFS Classic” layer is badass as it shows all the old logging roads that have been grown over. Some have been totally reclaimed by nature but many have a solid road bed that the alders are just growing over. Some have been sort of maintained by ATV riders and some by cyclists or hikers. The old logging roads give some pretty great options for loop trails over native lands. The Eyak Corporation asks that you first pick up a (free) permit from the office before traveling on their lands.

Crater Lake Trail

Saddle Bag Glacier Trail

Sheridan Easement- Boulder Alley

Power Creek Trail

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