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5 Must-See Trails in Alaska

5 Must-See Trails in Alaska

August 15, 2018

Alaska is a massive state, home to nearly 500 hiking trails. With so many options, it can be tough to know which paths are worth doing. To help you out, here are some of our favorite trails:


5. Hatcher Pass – Mat-Su Valley

Gold Cord Lake, Hatcher Pass

Gold Cord Lake, Hatcher Pass. Photo Credit: Jim from Lexington, KY

Admittedly, this one's cheating. Hatcher Pass isn't exactly a trail; instead, it offers easy access to your pick of the Talkeetna Mountains. Hatcher is friendly to hikers of all skill levels, making it a great family destination. While you're there, check out the historic mine, lakes, berry picking, wildlife viewing, and even cliff gliding that goes on during the day!


4. Flattop Trail – Anchorage

View from Flattop Mountain

View from Flattop Mountain. Photo Credit: Hike Anchorage Alaska

Flattop Mountain (not to be confused with Flat Top Mountain, also in Alaska) is the most frequently climbed in the state. One of the most accessible trails from Anchorage, Flattop Trail is a well-maintained 1.5 mile stretch. The trail is dog-friendly, but be ready for high traffic and rocks near the top. For other trails on the mountain and transportation, check out a trail map and the Flattop Mountain Shuttle.


3. Exit Glacier, Lower Trail – Seward

Exit Glacier Trail

Exit Glacier, Lower Trail. Photo Credit: Sarah Living Simply

The Lower Trail, nicknamed the "Edge of the Glacier Trail", provides visitors with a great photo opportunity directly in front of Exit Glacier. The trail features informational plaques and access for people with disabilities. If you can't make the trip, look into the guided audio tour available on The Alaska App.


2. Harding Icefield

Harding Icefield Trail

Harding Icefield Trail & Exit Glacier. Photo Credit: Adventure 69°North

On the other hand, if you can get to Exit Glacier, you should also make time for Harding Icefield. It's a more challenging hike than the Lower Trail, but if you can make the 8.4-mile round-trip (9 miles if you hit visitor center) it's worth it. The Icefield Trail rewards visitors with views of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield and its 36 glaciers. Though recommended for in-shape hikers, you don't have to grab any fancy gear for this trail from summer to early fall. We do, however, suggest a jacket.


1. Crow Pass

Crow Pass

Crow Pass, with Dog. Photo Credit: Adam Elliot

One of the best hikes in the Chugach Mountains, if not all of Alaska. Crow Pass covers a portion of the original Iditarod Trail. It's a whopping 21-mile stretch; most hikers break it up into two days. If you're not willing to sacrifice an entire weekend, the first four miles have gorgeous views. Crow Pass has it all: glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife, ruins of the historic Monarch Mine, and even berries in late Fall.

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