Johnson Pass - Trail, Hope, Alaska

Johnson Pass - Trail, Hope, Alaska

DESCRIPTION

This is an amazing trip through the mountains on the eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula. The trail is easy to follow along the many hills and creeks it rolls through. The middle section of the trail near the pass is fairly overgrown and in a few parts near the pass/summit lakes it is submerged in a foot or so of water, but generally quite a good trail by Alaska standards. This is a very steep trail in parts, but the scenery is incredible and there is much wildlife to be spied. The trail is easy to follow and I do not recall any side trails leading off the main route. This trip is a great traverse, but if you are solo, it is still very worthwhile to travel to the pass, camp, and return to your chosen departure point next a.m. This is my personal favorite trail for biking. Bring a fly rod for the trout in the southern summit lake. The colors are spectacular in late Fall.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-9 of 9  
[Jul 08, 2009]
JDH
Cross Country Rider

This is an Intermediate trial as far as technical difficulty but as for endurance, this is the longest 24 mile ride in Alaska. From the north the trail starts off pretty technical with lots of roots, rock and washout areas then transitions into an alpine meadow within the first couple miles and the trail narrows down to a foot a crossed. About 8 miles in there are a couple cliff hanger sections. Then you hit the lake at the top of Johnson Pass, this section is very over grown and the plants will lodge little spines into your shins so wear something to cover your legs. Mid way along the lake there is a short section that can have up to a foot of water, be careful some parts can be really deep. A couple miles after the lake you’ll start the long bomber downhill which seems to last about 5 miles. At this point the trail starts to roller coaster, steep up hills with short just as steep down hills. About 20 miles into it you’ll come to the back side of Upper Trail Lake; this section is the only part with cell phone coverage. This part of the ride has a lot of rocky spots and you shadow the lake till shortly before you pop out to the south trail head. This is some of the best back country riding out there. This is defiantly a 2 or more person ride (if you screw up and burn in hard) there might not be another person along the southern part of the trail for days. Bug dope is a must and PLEASE remember this is BEAR COUNTRY, so bells might be a good idea. A great place to gather after the north to south ride is the Trail Lake Lodge Restaurant for a few beers and some great food.

Customer Service

The north trail head is located right after the Turnagain pass rest area, mile marker 64 and comes out close to mile marker 33 by the small town of Moose Pass.

Similar Products Used:

Carter Lake Trail,
Devil's Pass Trail,
Lost Lake Trail,
Primrose Trail,
Ptarmigan Creek Trail,
Resurrection Pass North Trail,
Resurrection Pass South Trail,
Russian Lakes Trail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 29, 2009]
doug vermillion
Cross Country Rider


As of last weekend, the trail is in relatively great shape. In July, the brush will become very thick and the trail is overgrown. We started near Trail Lake which is not as smooth as the finish. the views were breathtaking. The middle portion was muddy in a few spots but overall it was a great ride! Bring pepper spray and alot of mosquito repellant.

Customer Service

Trail Lake to Center Creek

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 28, 2008]
AKFreerider
Cross Country Rider

This trail is a lot of fun! There are many technical areas that need full concentration, and at the same time some of the most beautiful scenery around. Most all of the trail is single track, but watch out for over grown brush. There were several parts that I had to push-thru over-grown weeds that were blocking the trail. Some spots were grown well over my head. Also be careful of Black Bears. We saw quite a few prints and a lot of scat (no bears though).

Customer Service

Left Off Seward Highway coming from Anchorage. Short distance after the snow mobile pass. I have also heard there is a way to access the trail from the other end. I have yet to try

Similar Products Used:

Any and all State parks that allow MTB from Anchorage to Portage Valley.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 27, 2003]
Dawn
Racer

Johnson Pass Trail is supposed to be 23 miles long one way, but we were only able to make it in 6.5 miles due to the heavy growth on the trail. (We were there the 2nd week in August.) There were hired trail stewards cutting the brush back the day we were there and they had only gotten in about 6 miles. Due to the great job they were doing, the first 6 miles of trail were incredibly enjoyable. After this we tried to continue through the brush and decided that we weren’t having much fun. We couldn’t see the trail through all the Salmonberry bushes and other heavy brush. When we met two different riders coming back from further down the trail who said it didn’t get any better up ahead, we decided to turn around. I'm giving this trail a rating based on the first 6 miles.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[May 21, 1999]
Daiel Harro

easy gowing, good veiw, well mantained.

Customer Service

start at the Seward side

Similar Products Used:

Fullar lakes

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 26, 1999]
Jerry

This is an awesome trail if you're ready for it. 24 miles of pristene AK singletrack. Watch out for moose, bear, and hikers (which are probably more dangerous than the bears or moose).This trail much closer to Seward than Hope, which is on the other side of Turnagain Arm. The best time to ride would be nid to late July to early August. Any sooner and you could run into snow on some of the shadier parts. Any later and the August rain turns the thing to soup. Five knobby tires.

Customer Service

Start at the north trail head and head south.

Similar Products Used:

Devil's Pass, Ressurection, Cresent Lake, Lost Lake.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 18, 2000]
j sutcliffe

Pristine? Maybe 10 years ago. This is a highway now
on the weekends. Worse thing I've ever seen was some yuppie overacheiver couple on Kleins flogging their
kids up this trail the hard way. No apparent food,
limited water, no extra clothes. It's Alaska OK.
Don't ride this trail in August whatever you do. The
cow parsnip will rub off on you and give you a hideous
reaction if it's sunny out.
My nine year old rode out after I flew her into the
lake once. It's doable for kids.

Customer Service

Hope side to Seward side so you get the cool downhill after the lakes.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 10, 2000]
Clyde Pearce

I am not a biker, but hiked this trail with my wife last weekend and wanted to comment on a couple of things. One, there is a thread here hinting that encounters with hikers may be unpleasant, however we shared the trail with 40+ bikers (about 34 were with a local biking club) and had a very pleasant experience. We simply stepped aside when they came through, we expected it, they were friendly, courteous and some even apologetic (although it is a shared trail, so no need). They were responsible bikers... no one that we saw went off into the tundra tearing up the "pristine" environment. We would gladly share the trail again for the experience. The Arctic Bicycle Club people did a great job and seemed to be having fun. The other is that we found it to be one of the easiest hiking-biking trails we've been on recently. The trail is dirt, without a lot of rocks except at two points noted in the "55 hikes..." book. The only negative is that it is very narrow. If there were two people coming from opposite directions it would be "tight" to pass. Also, no where to go if a griz or black bear ambled along on the trail toward you. Cow parsnip is shoulder high for miles, and I'm 6'3".
As far as no facilities, that's typical for wilderness type hikes. Just make sure you go prepared with your own water, food, jacket, first aid kit, etc.

We made it to Johnson Pass (~9 miles) and plan to go again soon, starting from the other end.

Several of the bikers we saw seemed to be relatively inexperienced, however with the exception of one couple once they passed us we never saw them again, suggesting that they were able to negotiate the trail successfully. In other words, although it is rated as "advanced" I think that is more because there is more or less continuous uphill climbing until you get to the pass. Also, there are few places to pull out to rest, and if you have a lot of people behind you it might feel like a push. Be prepared for weather changes from hot to cold, dry to rain.

Customer Service

There is only one trail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 19, 2000]
Brent

I would like to start off by saying thank you to Clyde Pearce for his comments. I rode this trail on the day that he was there and I have to agree with him. It was wonderful to see hikers and bikers share the great outdoors. As far as the trail goes, very fun and some technical spots. There is only a few steep climbs and one is really rocky. Try to ride the trail early in the summer. After about mid July it is too over grown by cow parsnip. If you don't know what that is...You really don't want to find out.

Customer Service

Take two vehicles and park one at the South trail head. Drive back to the North trail head and ride the whole trail.

Similar Products Used:

Ressurection Pass and if you can get to Anchorage, ride powerline pass.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jun 15, 2002]
Mike

A great singletrack throught the wilderness of Alasaka. I rode the trail in mid september. It had rained very hard for at least a week before we rode it(it is alaska). The first half of the trail(we started at the north trail head) was very nice but the second part was a mud bog. Luckily the trail is not very steep so we were able to stay on our bikes for the most part. We did not see one other person the whole time. I wish I could do it again when its dry. It certainly one of the great rides around. How many 21 mile singletracks through the mountains have no major climbs. This is the only one I know of.

Customer Service

Car shuttle

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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