Nature June 07, 2017
11 Magnificent Trails You Have To Hike In Alaska Before You Die
Hiking is a fun pastime anywhere, but in Alaska hiking leads to the most incredible views of tall, proud mountains running with crystal streams and waterfalls, rolling miles of softly colored tundra or crisply gorgeous ocean views. No matter which part of Alaska you hike, you will have a wonderful experience getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the great outdoors in the great land. Add these magnificent Alaska hikes to your bucket list and get started in the sunny summer days ahead.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Tonsina Point Trail, Seward
This three mile round trip hike winds through the forest and opens out to a very pretty beach. Perfect for a picnic or a beach fire, the path is lined with salmon berries and the waters are filled with chum salmon in the summer.
2. Lost Lake, Kenai Peninsula
This amazing hike on the Kenai Peninsula can be accessed from two different locations - either from Mile 5 of the Seward Highway or at the Primrose Campground on Kenai Lake, Mile 17 of the Seward Highway. Head 14 miles one way and discover the most perfect picnic spot at the half-way mark with a crystal view of the lake.
3. Kesugi Ridge, Denali State Park
This hike is over hills leading up to the great mountain Denali, providing skies full of fluffy clouds and craggy peaks. The full hike is a 36 mile route that starts at Troublesome Creek and ends up on the Little Coal Creek Trail (Mile 137.6 to Mile 163.9 of the Parks Highway). A popular day hike version is to take the Little Coal Creek Trail up to the top to see the alpine views and back, a 6.5 mile loop.
4. Crow Pass, Girdwood
This hike leads you from Girdwood to the Nature Center in Eagle River Valley, approx. a 24 mile distance. For a day trip, head up from the Girdwood side to Raven Glacier for a scenic and manageable day hike. The views are unimaginable.
5. Angel Rocks, Fairbanks
This amazing hike is a Fairbanks favorite. The Angel Rocks Trail is at 49 mile Chena Hot Springs Road and has all the amenities of a proper state run trail from outhouses to information on the local plant and wildlife. The loop is 3.5 miles up to the rocks for the beautiful view and back down again. You can also continue the 8.3 miles to hike all the way to Chena Hot Springs. Either way, the brisk air of the hike and a soak in the hot springs are a perfect combination.
6. Pioneer Peak, Palmer
This trail starts at Mile 4 of the Knik River Road and heads up and back 12 miles to the summit of Pioneer Peak. Going all the way up and back can be a little tricky in cloudy weather, so pick a clear day. The spectacular views from the ridge of Bold Peak, Bashful and Baleful peak and the Eklutna and Whiteout Glaciers are well worth the climb.
7. Lion's Head, Chickaloon
This prominent rock outcropping is beside the Matanuska Glacier. You can climb right up it, a steep one hour scramble to the top. Once there, the view is incredible with the Matanuska River rushing below, Caribou Creek with the Talkeetna Mountain Range behind you and the Chugach Mountains before you.
8. Granite Tors, Fairbanks
This hike features a unique aspect of interior geology: granite tors, or giant granite boulders as big as houses formed 70 million to 90 million years ago when molten rock pushed upward and cooled before reaching the surface. The full hike is a 15 mile round trip that is perfect for a backpacking trip. The trail features beautiful wildflowers in June and July.
9. Deer Mountain, Ketchikan
This iconic hike in Ketchikan is 5 miles of incredible scenery. It switchbacks up the face of the mountain and the top provides an excellent view of Ketchikan Lake and Dude and Diane Mountains to either side.
10. Crescent Creek Trail,
This is a perfect hike for the whole family. Alternating between open meadows and forest, this hike has lots of places to camp, stop for a picnic, or ways to continue on for more adventure. There is lots of wildlife to see and the lake is a good fishing spot. The entire hike is a 6.5 mile loop.
11. Chilkoot Trail, Skagway
Climbing this 33 mile ascent was the classic way people who came to Alaska in the Gold Rush era entered their new lives in Alaska. This hike is very intense and intensely beautiful.
Some of these hikes are pretty intense to check out more manageable hikes in Alaska, see
10 Amazing Alaska Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love or 14 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List in Alaska.
Do you have a memory of one of these hikes? Let us know in the comments below.