Nature September 20, 2017
Take This Gorgeous Alpine Trail To Crystal Lakes In Alaska
Crow Pass is a popular place to hike in Girdwood, but the full Crow Pass Trail is a 21-mile one-way and takes several days of backpacking. Luckily, the Crystal Lakes are just three miles up the pass and make a fantastic destination for a day trip. There is a public use cabin available for reservation if you’d like to spend longer in the fresh mountain air. Head into the Chugach Mountains to try this trail if you haven’t yet. The views are postcard worthy with Dall sheep and mountain goats, alpine meadows and turquoise pools.
Crow Pass Trail Map here.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Head out to explore the Chugach Mountains on the Crow Pass Trail. The first three miles to Crystal Lakes are perfect for a moderate day hike and the entire way, you will be met with breathtaking scenery.
Hiking in the area is best done between June and September, and not recommended in winter due to a high danger of avalanches. It is recommended to stay on the trail for your own safety when hiking in these mountains.
At about one mile up the trail, you will find the remains of the Monarch Mine, active from 1909 to 1938. The ruins have been rusting into the tundra ever since and are a reminder of the Gold Rush history of the area.
After you pass the mine, the trail forks. Take the lower route and wind through a rocky gorge with a series of waterfalls, especially in the early summer and after heavy rainfall.
Wildlife is abundant in this wilderness area. In the initial miles of wooded area, brown bears and moose are sometimes seen. Stay in groups and make noise to avoid startling encounters.
Learn about bear safety here.
Crystal Lakes are a series of bright, clear lakes nestled in the alpine meadows at 3 miles up the trail. There is a cabin for public use available to reserve for overnight trips.
This trail is alive with wildflowers May through August and wild berries in late August and September. Look out for mountain goats, Dall sheep, hoary marmots, arctic ground squirrels and white-tailed ptarmigan at the higher elevations.
Raven Glacier lies at mile 4 of the trail, a bit beyond the lakes. If you stay the night, hike up to the cabin, settle in, and continue to the glacier for an evening adventure.
Head out to to see the beautiful Crystal Lakes and check out the variety of trails in the Girdwood area. The Chugach Mountains are always a wonderful place to escape to in Alaska.
Ready to head out on this trail right now? Book the
Crow Pass Public Use Cabin and you can hang out for the night and wake up to the glorious mountain views!
Is chasing turquoise lakes your hobby? Check out
This One Destination Has The Absolute Bluest Water In Alaska. Also, check out these 11 Magnificent Trails You Have To Hike In Alaska Before You Die.
Have you hiked Crow Pass? Tell us about it in the comments below.