Knob Ridge

Summer Multi-Day Hikes

Distance: 12 miles round trip to granite tors

Elevation gain: 2400 feet, round trip to the tors

Trail type: Hiking, mountain biking, 4-wheeling

Considerations: b Good campsites at the tors, but no water

This narrow 4-wheeler trail winds along pleasantly for several miles through dry, ridge top forest, and then enters a surprising world of spectacular rock towers, often called granite tors in this part of Alaska.  The towers continue as the trail narrows to an indistinct footpath and climbs up into alpine tundra to the top of Knob Ridge.

From Delta, drive about 60 miles to the small village of Dot Lake.  Just before the populated area, there’s a maintained gravel road on the right which leads up to a communication tower visible at the top of the hill.  Just before the tower, the trail cuts off to the right, along the ridge crest.  

The forested trail along the ridge is susceptible to blowdowns, though it had been cleared as of late summer 2015.  The initial several miles are really fun on a 4-wheeler and probably would be on a mountain bike as well, but the trail eventually becomes a very rocky, slow ride, and would likely be impossible on a bike.  No troubles if on foot however.  

After about 6.5 miles you suddenly come upon the first of the rock towers.  The next couple miles of trail are really spectacular, weaving through the spires with far reaching views of the Tanana Valley and parts of the Alaska Range opening up as you gain elevation.  While there are some excellent campsites (including one right up against a vertical rock wall), it will be challenging to find water here.  According to the map, there is a creek 300 feet below the ridge to the southeast, but we did not notice a trail heading in that direction.  A possibility for the adventurous would be to explore the trailless region along Knob Ridge, north of Fish Lake, and then connecting across the tundra to the Macomb Plateau trail, described previously.  Most of this route looks like very reasonable travel for a 5 or 6 day backpacking trip, though the portion north of Fish Lake may be very brushy.

ATV Trails

Distance: 12 miles round trip to granite tors

Considerations: Trail becomes bouldery near the end

The trail out Knob Ridge near the community of Dot Lake makes for a very enjoyable trip on 4-wheelers.  The trail is fairly narrow through the woods, making for fun riding, but with a good surface most of the way and none of the boggy mud holes so common on interior Alaska wheeler trails.  Nearing the upper end, the trail gets very bouldery, which is somewhat unpleasant and will slow you down, but the scenic granite tors along the last portion of the trail make it worth it.  There is also good camping among the rock towers, but be aware that there’s no easily accessible water, so it will have to be packed in.

Knob Ridge