Nature August 28, 2017
Follow This Picturesque Trail In Alaska For Staggering Views
Portage Lake, a day trip from Anchorage, is a wonderful place to hike. As it is one of the most accessible in the area, this hike is for everyone and can be a simple half day exploration or expanded to an overnight camping trip. Travel up the historic Portage Pass trail to Portage Lake and Portage Glacier. This spot in southcentral Alaska is a great place for a day trip from anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula. Follow Portage Pass Trail for staggering views of Alaska.
Click here for a
map of the trail.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Drive south from Anchorage about 50 miles and pass through the Whittier tunnel. Follow the signs, cross over the railroad tracks on the gravel road, and the trailhead is on the right.
The hike up Portage Pass leads you to the Portage Glacier and Portage Lake. At about 2 miles one way, this hike is moderate in both difficulty and distance.
Portage Pass has been used in the past by Alaska Natives, Russian fur traders, and pioneers. Currently it is used as a migratory route for birds and as a path for hikers.
The hike up starts with a climb up a 750 foot elevation, then the trail levels out at the top.
The pass is stunning in the fall when the colors paint the tundra.
Portage Pass is the only established trail with a view of Portage Glacier! At the Lake you may see icebergs with the tell-tale blue of the glacial silt.
The calving face of Portage Glacier at its southern end and pieces of the glacier regularly break off. You can take a short cruise to see the face of the glacier right there at the lake.
The lake is 3 miles long and about a mile wide, carved by hundreds of years of glacial advancement.
The large gravel beach on the lake a perfect place for a picnic.
The lake is very deep at over 600 feet! The icy water is filled with glacial silt and sometimes little floating icebergs.
Salmon do make it into the lake, but they are protected from predators by the silt that clouds the water. They travel unharmed and continue going upstream to find where they were born.
This is also a popular spot in the winter where people ski and snowshoe to the lake for hockey and ice skating. Portage Lake is a great place to visit year round!
Have you hiked Portage Pass? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Address: Portage Pass Trail, Whittier, AK 99693, USA