Knik Glacier one of Alaska’s best fatbike destinations

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 09:01
  • Photographer Micahel Dinneen rides across a creek during a bicycle trip to the Knik Glacier. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinneen)
  • Chad Caprenter and Sean Ruddy make the best of their studded tires on Knik Glacier Friday, March 17, 2017. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinnen)
  • Chad Carpenter rides the overflow near pressure ridges near the face of Knik Glacier Friday, March 17, 2017. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinnen)
  • With Pioneer Peak hiding the sun, shadows chase up the face of Knik Glacier Friday, March 17, 2017. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinnen)
  • Sean Ruddy chooses the Extra Tuf solution to a creek crossing. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinnen)
  • Sean Ruddy rides between Knik Lake and the mouth of Knik River. (Photo for the Star by Michael Dinnen)

This year’s incredible spring weather has allowed increased access to local glaciers and lakes, by all manner of vehicles, four wheelers, snow machines, cross-country skiers and the ubiquitous fat bikers.

On two occasions this spring, I have been lucky enough to ride with some hardy companions along Knik River some 12 miles to the glacier, where we spent several hours exploring the iceberg-filled lake and its environs. Rapidly changing conditions on the first ride allowed us to ride across ice-covered braids of the river on the way in, but forced us to wade or ride in the water on the way back.

Our round-trip sojourn from the south side of the Knik to the glacier and return trip encompassed 25 miles, and some eight hours.

Numerous mountain, trail, and snowmachine forums have information about the ride and recent conditions, and at knikriver.alaska.gov. Access to Knik Glacier can be made from Jim Creek on the north side of Knik River, and Hunter Creek on the south side.

With the weather warming up, the seasonal over-river access will become unavailable, so be sure to check weather and surface conditions.

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