Since we’re in the holiday spirit, we chose a trail that is as close as we can get to the North Pole, and still be in the United States. Alaska, it is! This is our last Featured Ride with MTBProject, and we would like to extend them a HUGE thanks for being partners with us in sharing some of the best riding in the United States!
Lost Lake starts at its namesake trailhead. After a very quick downhill out of the gate, the route climbs up through big forest. The trail is somewhat wide for singletrack and a bit technical with roots and rocks.
Stay straight when the trail intersects with a doubletrack, and then bear left at an intersection with the winter/horse route.
From here the trail narrows and skirts a rocky hillside. The valley to your left drops away as you climb up and through a shallow waterfall. Continue pedaling up through the dark forest around small bands of shale-laden cliffs.
As the valley begins to close, the route transitions to a section of open forest. You’ll be traveling right along side, and only a few inches above, a tiny creek. After a few bends in the trail you’ll get through this section and then start to hear the waterfalls in another giant valley that you’ll ride above.
The route transitions again. You’re still in the forest, but will have an awareness that you’re very high up above another giant valley. As you continue climbing, the big trees give way to big shrubs and big mountains. It’s hard to keep your eyes on the trail at this point.
The ascent continues to be steady and a little rocky. Lost Lake is a very popular route so the trail is also a little trenched in places.
Pedal up a few punchy sections on the way to the upper intersection with the winter route. Stay left to continue towards the lake. The grade begins to roll across alpine meadows and dry marshes. The route winds its way across narrow trail through small stands of twisted pine and spruce.
There’s one more section of steep climbing before rolling downhill to the lake. It’s well worth the effort with the best views available. On three sides you’re surrounded by mountains, and one side with Resurrection Bay.
After a break at Lost Lake, retrace your steps and enjoy the spectacular experience in reverse back to the trailhead.
The land manager for Lost Lake is the USFS – Chugach National Forest Office.