Biking the Trail of Blue Ice in Portage, Alaska

The Trail of Blue Ice is an easy biking and hiking trail in Portage Valley. It’s 5 miles one-way and links all of the developed recreation sites in the valley.

You’ll bike along single tracks, wooden boardwalks and bridges, all while enjoying views of creeks, lakes, glaciers, and the surrounding Chugach Mountains.

There are many campgrounds along the way, which make it a great area to explore for a couple of days.

In this post, I’m going to share everything you need to know to bike the Trail of Blue Ice in Portage Valley.


Biking Trail of Blue Ice in Alaska

Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 5 miles one-way
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Yes

Trail of Blue Ice Map

Trail of Blue Ice map

Quick Tips

  • Bring $5 for parking if you don’t have an Alaska State Park Pass
  • Use a mountain bike, gravel bike, or fat bike
  • Watch out for parts of the boardwalk that may be slippery
  • Keep an eye out for bears and carry bear spray

How to Get to Portage Valley

From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway. Take the Portage Glacier Road exit and keep an eye out for the Moose Flats Day Use Area on your left hand side. It’s just over a mile down the road. Park next to the Trail of Blue Ice sign.


Planning Your Trail of Blue Ice Bike Ride

Best Season

This trail is open year-round but the best summer mountain biking conditions are usually May or June (when the snow has melted) to October (before the snow falls).

During the winter, there are a lot of avalanches in this area. It’s important to be avy savvy before any winter recreation.

Where to Start From

The Trail of Blue Ice can be accessed from many areas in Portage Valley. The main starting point is the Moose Flats Day Use Area. You can also start the trail from the other end, which is the Begich Boggs Visitor Center at Portage Lake.

Recent Conditions

To check the current conditions, you can contact a ranger at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center:

  • May to September: +1 (907) 783-2326
  • October to April: +1 (907) 783-3242

trail of blue ice portage valley

Moose Flats Day Use Area

The Trail of Blue Ice starts from the Moose Flats Day Use Area. After parking near the trail sign, you’ll hop onto a wooden boardwalk before you follow a gravel path through the forest.

You’ll get to enjoy views of the Chugach Mountains between breaks in the trees.

biking trail of blue ice alaska

Biking Though Portage Valley

The trail will cross to the south side of Portage Valley Road and then continue to head east through Portage Valley.

You’ll bike through many camping and recreation areas that all connect to the trail.

explorer glacier viewing area portage valley
dam in portage valley alaska

Glacier and Wildlife Viewing

The views along the bike route are amazing. You’ll get to see mountains, lakes, streams, wild flowers, and glaciers, including Middle Glacier, Explorer Glacier, and Byron Glacier.

You’ll also have chances to see moose, bears, salmon, and birds. If you want to see spawning salmon, stop by the Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform.

middle glacier alaska
biking trail of blue ice alaska

Portage Lake (Begich Boggs Visitor Center)

The Trail of Blue Ice ends at at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center at Portage Lake, which is where you can enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

At this point, you can continue on the road to reach the trail to Byron Glacier. This is a great way to add some extra miles to your ride and also get a quick hike in.

You will use the same trail to bike back, but you can also connect to the Williwaw Nature Trail.

There is little elevation gain on the trail, which makes it super cruisy. It will take you less than two hours to bike the entire trail both ways.

bike portage lake
portage lake alaska

Additional Information

Trail Access

There are many access points along the Trail of Blue Ice:

  • Moose Flats Day Use Area
  • Explorer Glacier Pullout
  • Five Fingers Hike-in Camping Area
  • Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform
  • Begich, Boggs Visitor Center

Designated Camping Sites

There are 2 remote campgrounds along the Trail of Blue Ice. Each campground has a picnic table, fire ring, and a latrine.

Here is a list of designated campgrounds:

  • Black Bear Campground
  • Williwaw Campground

There are also many dispersed campsites in Portage Valley! Just drive around and you’ll come across a few. Keep in mind, these areas have no facilities.

Happy biking!


Read More

How to See Portage Glacier: Summer vs Winter

Kayak Portage Lake to Portage Glacier

Biking Johnson Pass Trail in Alaska


Pin For Later

The Trail of Blue Ice is an easy biking and hiking trail in Portage Valley. The trail is 5 miles one-way and links all of the developed recreation sites in the valley.

You'll bike along single tracks, wooden boardwalks and bridges, all while enjoying views of creeks, lakes, glaciers, and the Chugach Mountains.

Add this adventure to your Alaska trip.
 
#mountainbiking #bikingtrail #alaska #travelalaska

Do you have any questions about the Trail of Blue Ice in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.

About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

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