Nature June 26, 2018
Take This Gorgeous River Valley Trail In Alaska For The Ultimate Summer Adventure
Denali National Park & Preserve is as vast as the mountain it is named after. The park is laced with beautiful trails from end to end, and miles of backcountry to explore off trail. The Savage River Loop Trail is one of the best for a power hike when you want to get some fresh air. This trail takes you along a stunning river valley following the winding Savage River. Next time you are in Denali National Park, take the time to check out this beautiful trail to take in the grandeur of Alaska.
Savage River Loop
Denali National Park & Preserve
Healy, AK 99743
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
To get to the trail head, drive the 15 miles into the park on the Denali Park Road. The parking area is clearly marked. The road is open from mid-April to early October, depending on snowfall.
If you like, take the shuttle to the trail head. The Savage River Shuttle leaves from the Park Entrance from Memorial Day to Labor Day at regular intervals. Pay attention to the schedule to get back to the entrance after you hike.
This Savage River Loop travels along either side of the Savage River as it carves the way along the canyon. Mount Margaret is to the west, and Healy Ridge is to the east in this gorgeous river valley.
The trail is 1.7 miles long heading up one side of the river and crossing back over a foot bridge back to the parking lot. The trail generally follows the river at low elevation.
The path is smooth and easy for all levels of hikers, including little ones. Hiking off the path is generally permitted, but can be dangerous on the steep sides of the canyon. Dogs are not allowed, so leave the pups at home.
Denali is teeming with wildlife and you never know where you may run across wolves, bears, caribou, moose or other animals. Sticking to the path and making lots of noise is usually the best way to avoid a surprise encounter on the trail.
You are likely to see Dall sheep on the steep upper ridges of the canyon, sometimes just as little white dots high above you. Ground squirrels and snow show hares may pop up along the river, but they are harmless and just add a little action to the hike.
Wildflowers are plentiful along the path in June, July and August. Fireweed, pictured here, ignite the trail with their magenta color in the late summer, and when they turn white, the snow is on it's way.
The trail is short and sweet, but has opportunities to see the Savage River, the canyon and the striking mountains of the Alaska Range as a backdrop to it all.
If the day is clear and Mount Denali lifts the veil of clouds that often covers the top half of the mountain, North America's highest peak will stand before you in all her splendor.
Virtually follow the trail in this cool video:
If you want to plan a week in Denali, you’ll agree
It’s Impossible Not To Love This Breathtaking Wild Flower Trail In Alaska. And you may be interested that National Geographic Just Named These Two Alaska Trails The Best In The World.
Have you hiked the Savage River Loop Trail in Alaska?