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
- Planning Your Trail of Blue Ice Bike Ride
- Additional Information
Biking Trail of Blue Ice in Alaska
Trail of Blue Ice Map
- 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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Pin For Later
Do you have any questions about the Trail of Blue Ice in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.