If you’re looking for the best hikes in Alaska, look no further than these fantastic twelve hikes. Located all across the state, there’s bound to be one close to where you live. Or make a goal this year to hit all twelve, completing one each month of 2021. This is one to-do list you’ll be proud to check off!
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. January: Deer Mountain Trail, Ketchikan, Alaska
This trail combines all types of hiking into one fabulous day. Travel over boardwalks, through gravel and rock sections, and past steep rock cliffs. If there’s snow, the trail is still doable. Bring your snowshoes and your cross country skis and get to hiking, but be careful! The trail is rated difficult, so approach with respect. It’s a 6.7 mile out and back trail, with 2,801 feet of elevation gain. But the views are worth every single minute of climbing this amazing trail.
2. February: Mount Healy Overlook, Denali National Park, Alaska
Mount Healy Overlook Trail is so well kept up that it’s perfect for a winter hike. February offers stunning views of the Alaska Range, and the valley beneath you. It’s gorgeous all year long, but in the winter it’s something truly special. The trail is 6.1 miles, out and back, and 2,417 ft of elevation gain. It’s $15.00 per person, and kids and under are free. Make sure you bring crampons or ice cleats to keep your footing in case the path proves icy.
3. March: Mount Roberts Trail, Juneau, Alaska
Get a bird’s eye view of the capital when you hike up Mount Roberts on the Mount Roberts Trail. Rated difficult for its steep ascent, it’s technically easy but does require a bit of exertion. The 7.6 out and back trail climbs 3,733 ft during its ascent. But the views from the top make up for everything! If you’re too tired to continue, consider taking the tram back down to the bottom and skip the steep trek, and cut your hike in half!
4. O’Malley Peak Trail, Chugach State Park, Alaska
O’Malley Peak Trail is a fantastic one to complete any time of year. April brings a little more warmth and sunshine to your hike, although there may still be snow and ice along the trail. Bring crampons, and plenty of layers, in case you run into bad weather. The 7.7-mile out and back trail covers 3,293 feet of elevation gain. It will also showcase stellar views, including Denali if the weather is clear. This is a great hike for getting that blood pumping!
5. May: Hope Point, Hope, Alaska
Greet the summer with this amazing hike on the Turnagain Arm! Starting in the small town of Hope, this gorgeous trail winds its way up 3,441 feet of elevation, to give you some of the prettiest views on the Arm. On a clear day you’ll see well past Anchorage, and may be greeted with the likes of Denali, Redoubt, and Foraker! A gorgeous 7.5 mile, out and back trail for those who want some spectacular views.
6. June: Crow Pass, Chugach State Park
Since this trail is the second-longest one on our list, we recommend completing it during peak hiking season, and recommend June as its travel month. 26 miles long, one way, this gorgeous trail links Girdwood to Eagle River and travels over Crow Pass. The trail is challenging, and if you’re a slower hiker, make sure to rent the two cabins along the way to break up the hike into two or three days. Or, if you’re very experienced, shoot for the moon and run the trail as a single hike. Race winners have finished in just less than three hours, but two days allows for a genuine enjoyment of this trail that climbs 3,290 feet along the 26-mile track.
7. July: Mount Marathon, Seward, Alaska
This mountain is so epic, they made a world famous race out of it. Every July 4th, tons of racers run up and down this mountain as fast as they can. July is the perfect month for it, but we recommend heading up after the racers have finished training and running, so you’ll have a bit more peace and quiet on your hike. The 4.1-mile out and back trail is challenging, especially over 2,923 feet, but it’s doable and totally worth the views of Seward and Resurrection Bay.
8. August: Angel Rocks Trail, Fairbanks, Alaska
Angel Rocks Trail is a popular trail all year long in Fairbanks, but there’s something about those extra long summer days and warm weather that make hiking this trail a treat. This moderately easy 3.6-mile loop is a must do, and the elevation gain is a more gradual 1,204 feet throughout the trail. Bring layers, and mosquito repellant, and take in the wildlife, wildflowers, and gorgeous views you’ll see along the way.
9. September: Kesugi Ridge Trail, Denali State Park
The longest trail on our list is certainty a doozy, and earns a “hard” rating due to its length and elevation gain. This trail is known as one of the most beautiful trails in all of America, and comes in at 29.2 miles long, traveling over 5,990 ft in elevation gain, one way. Situated just outside of Denali National Park, you’ll be in awe of the views of Denali, the Alaska Range, and Talkeetna Range. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but definitely deserves a spot on your 2021 hiking bucket list.
10. Slaughter Gulch via Juneau Trail, Cooper Landing, Alaska
Talk about your stunning views! This trail will take you up and over Kenai Lake on a five-mile, out and back trail. The trail is accessible year round, but October colors really make the turquoise glacier-fed lake pop. The trail is 2,598 ft in elevation gain, but some travelers even run it. There are three false summits, keep going until you see the cairn. If you want to experience some of the best views of the area, make sure to head on up, but bring water and snacks!
11. November: Gold Mint Trail, Palmer, Alaska
Gold Mint Trail is an iconic trail out in Hatcher’s Pass. Make this trail an overnighter and stay at the cabin in the pass at the finish line. This gorgeous hike will showcase all of November’s glory, and you’ll see reds, oranges, and yellows, as far as the eye can see. The majority of the trail follows the Little Susitna River. Pick good weather if you can, because this 18-mile hike gets steep at the end. Altogether you’ll ascend 3,937 feet, and be greeted with views that will knock the breath right out of you!
12. December: Winner Creek Trail, Girdwood, Alaska
There’s not much prettier in Alaska than Girdwood during the winter season. This temperate rainforest turns into a winter wonderland once the snow starts flying. Winner Creek is the perfect easy trail for everyone to get out and enjoy the snowy weather. It’s 6.4 miles long, out and back, and you’ll catch glimpses of a frozen waterfall at your destination. It’s a great trail to end the year on!
Have you had the chance to complete all of the best hikes in Alaska? Is there any that you would put on the list that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!