Red Mountain Tour
A CycleLogical favorite, the tour to Red Mountain is a full and varied day trip.
We set off from the Homer Harbor on a water taxi and enjoyed calm seas complete with whales on the way to the Jakolof Dock.
Within minutes of drawing alongside the dock we were in the saddle and pedalling along the side of Jakolof Bay. There were abundant salmonberries that we enjoyed along the route, a particularly plentiful treat this year.
Once we passed the head of the Bay the road becomes steadily narrower and less travelled by motorized vehicles. After a few miles the reason for light traffic becomes apparent, the road has been severely damaged by flooding and is only passable by bike or ATV in many places.
It's a steady climb up a rocky surface with occasional stream crossings, and one place where you'll carry your bike and either scramble or wade across a waterfall.
After 9 miles we reach the bridge, and choices begin. Where to eat lunch? What activity to enjoy in the 2 or 3 hours before we have to head back down to the dock? Options included: napping in the sun, picking blueberries, hiking to the top of Red Mountain, traversing up a slope of Red Mountain to see an old mine tunnel and a waterfall, exploring the bottom of the valley more... You get the drift.
This time we enjoyed a Bagel Shop lunch and then hiked (bush-whacked through alders) up to the mine tunnel and waterfall.
The ride down is much faster, and some might say more fun! The water taxi back to Homer is a great time to reminisce about the day, and to plan what to have for dinner.
This tour is best suited to strong mountain bikers that are comfortable with terrain which is often moderately technical and occasionally pretty much unbikable. There are some short stretches of exposure at times. Don't let this deter you, more than 90% of the 9 mile trip up is ridable. An 18 mile total round-trip to the bridge with optional hiking or biking opportunities on and around Red Mountain.