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Off Roading in Alaska

Off Roading in Alaska

Posted by Wet Sounds on 18th Mar 2022

If you're looking for memorable adventures off roading in Alaska, you'll find no shortage of options across this expansive state. We have a variety of 4x4, motorcycle, and ATV trails in Alaska to recommend to you. Get your gear ready for a big adventure out here, and keep in mind that gas stations and cell service are scarce in many areas, so it's always best to be prepared.

Nabesna Road

Nabesna Road covers a 42-mile stretch and offers access to the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve. You can enjoy a lengthy 1.5-hour drive each way with plenty of time to get lost in your favorite music and enjoy the quality of a new powersports audio system. These Alaska Jeep trails are recommended for high-clearance vehicles with four-wheel-drive, as they're unpaved and frequently experience washouts at creek crossings. 

The road begins in Slana, Alaska, at mile 60 on the Glenn Highway. The only reliable opportunities for fuel along the route are in Glennallen and Tok. You can also find fuel in Chistochina, but this location is not open 24 hours. 

Cell phones will only work intermittently on the trail, so you should prepare for this adventure in advance. The Slana Ranger Station can provide you with more details on the current road conditions so you know what to expect. Highlights along this route include the Slana River Bridge, views of the Wrangell Mountains, and Viking Lodge Cabin. There are several opportunities for primitive camping along Nabesna Road if you'd like to make this a multi-day adventure.

Plumley-Maud Trail

The three-mile Plumley-Maud Trail was constructed by loggers and includes several offshoots that connect to the main trail. In summer, these off road trails in Alaska are appropriate for mountain biking and ATV riding. In winter, you can try snow machining on the trails. Since this is a multi-use trail with hikers along the route, you must keep your speeds under 10 mph.

You may spot wildlife along the trail including bears that are native to the area. The trail passes through impressive stands of spruce, birch, and cottonwood, and offers views of Pioneer Peak and Matanuska Peak, as well as the Knik River Valley. Portions of the trail pass near residential areas, so you should be considerate of those living off the trail and keep noises low along these parts of the path.

Crown Point Mine Road #343

Open from June through September, the Crown Point Mine Road #343 offers great Alaska off road trails for an ATV or UTV under 50-inches wide. Motorcycles and dirt bikes are also permitted, though you cannot take a Jeep or 4x4 on this road. The trail is 5.6 miles long with some narrow terrain, tree roots, and rocky areas to navigate. It's comprised primarily of hard-pack gravel. This mine road is located near the Solars Sawmill in Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Bald Mountain B29 Trail

If you've seen Nitto's 2016 JK Experience or Dirt Every Day - Alaskan Army Truck Adventure, you may be familiar with the Bald Mountain Trail, also known as the Swift Creek Trail. Along these 4-wheel-drive trails in Alaska, you'll see stunning vistas of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley as well as wreckage from a B-29. This is an out-and-back trail that covers a total of 3.7 miles, though only the most intrepid make it all the way. Many off roaders turn back around the two-mile point, especially in wet conditions.

Be prepared for plenty of mud and steep climbs to make things challenging. The closest town is Wasilla, where you can fuel up, get a bite to eat, or toast to a successful trek.

Craigie Creek Road

If you're intrigued by Alaska's mining history, we recommend Craigie Creek Road. This trail is 4.3 miles long with a peak elevation of 3,800 feet. The out-and-back adventure typically takes about three hours, but there are so many interesting sights along the way that you may want to allow for more time. 

Grizzly bears and bald eagles call the area home, so you should keep your eyes open for wildlife. Along the trail, you'll come across several pieces of old mining equipment and may even stumble upon an active mining operation. Machinery, tools, buildings, and mine shafts are abundant here. This is, in fact, an old mining trail leading past the now-defunct Gold Bullion Mine mill and camp. 

Craigie Creek Road leads all the way to Dogsled Pass, where you can rest at the crest and take in the views before heading back. This trail is open to off roading and hiking, so be mindful of your fellow adventurers on this route.

Kings River Trail/Permanente Trail

The Kings River Trail and Permanente Trail are part of the Chickaloon Trail System. The Kings River Trail runs along the western banks of the river while the Permanente trail is on the eastern side. If you're looking for a more challenging trek, stay on the Kings River Trail where you'll encounter some challenging roads and the potential for a muddy romp. The Permanente trail is an easier alternative. 

Ruby Lake is located along the trail offering fishing opportunities for those with a license. The out-and-back trail is about 4.7 miles and should take under two hours, giving you a nice romp in Alaska's wilderness. 

Knik Glacier Trail

We recommend the Knik Glacier Trail to travelers who want to make a full day, or whole vacation, out of exploring off road trails in Alaska. This trail system covers 21 miles for about five hours of off roading fun in 4x4 vehicles. This is a great destination for salmon fishing, photography, and watching the Northern Lights. The scenery is almost unmatched with mountains looming behind you and sand dunes and glaciers along the water. You can even touch the Knik glacier to connect with this wilderness in a special way.

Expect a plethora of unforgettable sights and experiences with these Jeep and ATV trails in Alaska. Heading off the beaten path in this stunning wilderness gives you ample opportunities to see the state in a new way. With Wet Sounds equipment, you can make sure you have the perfect soundtrack on the route.