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Porcupine Road/Sunshine Mountain Trail

Haines:

Haines is a small bicycle friendly community, having moderate connecting bicycle lanes and paved shoulders throughout the community and slow vehicle speeds. The Haines terminal of the Alaska’s Marine Highway is located three miles north of town with three foot paved shoulders connecting to downtown. The Haines Highway starts at the ferry terminal and extends through town and 42 miles to the Canada/US border.

Haines has excellent cycling services and is served by one bike shop. Sockeye Cycle is a full service shop offering bicycle repair, new and used bicycles for sale, and rentals. They provide numerous guided bicycle tours along the Haines Highway, on the Golden Circle Route (Haines to the Yukon and back down to Skagway), Bike and Canoe tours in the Yukon, and tours throughout Southeast Alaska. They also offer information on self-guided tours. Sockeye Cycle is located downtown at historic Fort Seward at 24 Portage Street, (877) 292-4154 or (907) 766-2869, http://www.cyclealaska.com. Haines also has limited auto service stations that can provide a basic level of service. There are no cycling services on Haines Highway once north of the community. Bicycle racks are located throughout the community and can be found at local destinations including super markets, the ferry terminal, and public facilities.

Summary:

The Porcupine Road/Sunshine Mountain Trail follows the old historic roads to the old mining townsite of Porcupine. The loop trail is a gravel roadway that accesses Porcupine and the famous gold bearing Porcupine Creek. Gold was discovered in 1898 and a town quickly became established. The town is no longer but old historic ruins are still visible throughout the area. Today small independent mining operations still continues in the area and is the subject of a popular Alaskan gold mining television reality show. A variety of users can be found on the route including hikers, snowmachines, ATV and large vehicles. The road can be in very poor conditions especially after major weather events or after periods of heavy use. There are no services along this route.

Activity:

Mountain biking with hiking, ATV, and winter use

Intrinsic Qualities:

Historic

Length:

11 mile loop plus two spur trails along Porcupine Creek at the midway point

Elevation:

900 feet elevation gain

Difficulty:

Moderate, due to the varying conditions of the narrow gravel/dirt road which can be in poor condition in some sections especially after major weather events or periods without maintenance. Large trucks, ATVs and other vehicles can be found on this route. Use caution. The route is appropriate for large tire bicycles and mountain bikes.

Trip Highlights:

A variety of users from bikers to snowmobilers access this loop trail to the old Porcupine townsite.

Starting Point:

The trailhead begins across the steel bridge on the south side of the Haines Highway at Mile 26; take right fork in road after crossing bridge. Travelers can then either (1) continue right, following river; or (2) bear left at next fork, proceed about 1/2 mile, then right up a hill. The two road options converge at the Porcupine Creek and the two spur roads.

Google Earth File:

Click HERE to download a Google Earth file of the bicycle route. To view profile in Google Earth, right-click on the route in the 'Places' window and choose 'Show Elevation Profile.' Note: Trail route is approximate. Also, the 8/2003 imagery that Google uses is slightly shifted.

Weather:

HERE is the official National Weather Service forecast for the trail location. To view the current FAA webcam image from Haines, click HERE.

Contact:

Dan Egolf, (907) 766-2876