Cross Country Skiing in Homer
Experience the Best of Alaska!
Compliments to the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club!
Quite simply, the Homer area has some of the most spectacular ski trails in Alaska, in fact anywhere in the world. Not only are they well designed for novice and expert alike, but they feature some of the most jaw-dropping views and scenic beauty found anywhere. Generally, snow coverage is reliable, and extensive networks of interconnecting trails allow for short 1k loops, or long 30k tours where you barely re-trace a stride. A vast array of combinations provide for groomed skate skiing, or classic style, and allow skiers lots of options in terms of aerobic workouts with lots of hills and curvy slides, to flat tracks.
Rarely are trails ungroomed the day after a snowfall, and the best feature: many days you ski for hours and see no one. The trails are that extensive.
Please take the time to support the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club. They work tirelessly and passionately to make this opportunity available to Nordic skiers, and their work is nothing less than extraordinary!
In general, there are three basic systems: the in-town “Homestead Trail” often called the “Roger’s Loop” trailhead, easily accessible from Baycrest Hill. North of Homer is “Lookout Mountain”, often called the “Ohlson Mountain Trails”, which is higher in elevation and more reliable, many of the local races are held there as well. It is only a short drive from town. Finally, McNeil Canyon, where there are many trails that wind through beautiful forests, 30 minutes from Homer out East End Road.
Here’s a link to Homer’s trail map and descriptions : http://kachemaknordicskiclub.org/trails/
Here’s more detail of the three trail systems:
From the Baycrest Roger’s Loop Trailhead, the Homestead Ski Loop heads east over gently rolling terrain until it crosses Diamond Creek. From there the trail climbs steadily to an open meadow on Pitzman’s Hill. A short downhill gives a brief respite before another climb up to the intersection with Master Blaster. The trail continues west skirting the edge of the forest until it comes to a four way intersection. A small bench here invites skiers to take a break and enjoy the view of Cook Inlet, Mt. Augustine and Mt. Illiamna volcanoes. A long downhill run to Diamond Creek is a fun payback for the uphill climbs. A left behind the bailing facility then a right with a short uphill brings you back to the Roger’s Loop trailhead. The top of the Homestead Loop is on private property. Please stay on the trail while on private property.
Located at Mile 2 Ohlson Mountain Road, the Lookout Mountain Trails include a 3 km flat section of trail on the hayfields perfect for beginners, the Junior Nordic program and instructional clinics. The system also includes 5 km of highly developed trails designed for competitive skiing on public land leased from the Kenai Peninsula Borough. There are large parking lots, outhouses, a timing shed, fire pit, and an equipment building. The mowed trails are the first in Homer ready for skiing in early winter. In the spring the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski club grooms more than their usual trails in preparation for the many marathon races that happen there. The springtime with the marathon trails is one of the greatest times to ski because of the beautiful views and warm weather. These trails are designate as NO DOGS PLEASE in the winter. These trails are adjacent to private property and the Kachemak Ski Club Rope Tow.
The McNeil Canyon trails are a great change of scenery that get you back into the woods and on lovely trails. You are more likely to see wildlife on the trails rather than other skiers, and they stretch for quite a ways making it easy to make a day of skiing out of the short drive to the trail head.
Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Marathon: http://kachemaknordicskiclub.org/events-information/2016-kachemak-bay-nordic-ski-marathon/