Ready To Spring Into Summer ASAP With These Phenomenal Alaska Hikes
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Okay, we lied. There is a really high probability that we included WAY more than just 15 hikes below. Also, some really good info about all those yummy berries and colorful wildflowers that you’ll see along the way through these phenomenal Alaska trails. Plus, a whole boatload of safety tidbits to keep you away from danger that you could experience along the way. If you’re craving hard-packed trails without a single flake of snow in sight, we hear ya loud and clear! We are right there with you just itchin’ for warm outdoor adventure. So we compiled this packed-full guide to help you start planning your perfect 2020 season under the midnight sun.
Each blue title is a clickable link – so feel free to give them a “tap” and learn a little something special about what each & every one has to offer…
Each of these 13 easy, breezy hikes are under three total miles, making them perfect for a fun day trip. With moderate terrain and easy accessibility, you’ll have a hard time trying to find a reason not to take each and every one of these enchanting outdoor adventures. Plus, they’re incredibly family friendly!
“The Slaughter Gulch trail is almost something of a secret trail with untold beauties and views at the top. Where can you find this treasure? In the small town of Cooper Landing which is about halfway between Soldotna and Seward. Cooper Landing is known for its beautiful views while fishing and river rafting on the Kenai River but this town is also nestled in between some majestic mountains.”
Topping the list of least-visited National Park’s in America is Gates of the Arctic National Park, America’s second largest national park, with around only 9,591 visitors annually. Considering Alaska’s short “peak” tourism season only lasting roughly four months a year, this averages out to be approximately less-than 100 visitors per day traveling to the 8,472,506-acre Gates of the Arctic outdoor playground.
“Exploring the trails and mountains gives us the opportunity to disconnect from technology, breathe fresh air and discover new things about ourselves. The more physically fit you are, the more capable you are in the wilderness. This not only makes your time spent outdoors more fun, it allows you to handle challenges that may arise in the backcountry.”
The hike to Exit Glacier in Seward is constantly being rated as one of the top hikes in Alaska by visitors from all around the world. From the parking lot, a flat well-traveled path will lead you to epic views of the only glacier area inside Kenai Fjords National Park that is road-accessible. Hike the ‘Edge of the Glacier Trail’ or continue on longer to the ‘Harding Icefield Trail.’ No matter what you choose, you’ll be rewarded with delicious eye-candy for the entirety. Trail length: From 1 – 4.2 miles round-trip out & back.
“Most Southcentral Alaska residents are familiar with the pair of mountain tops west of Pioneer Peak, known as Twin Peaks. Made up of East Twin (5873’) and West Twin (5472’), these peaks are among the most recognized mountains in the Chugach Mountain Range. I’ve lived most of my life in the shadow of their rocky summits, so I resolved to one day reach the top of East Twin.”
“When we are in the peak of summer, and thanks to unprecedented temperatures, Alaska berries tend to ripen early and often! Grab your favorite berry picking containers and get out on the trails to stock up on your favorite berries before they’re all gone!”
“Our family moved from Palmer, Alaska, to a neighborhood near the entrance to Hatcher Pass when I was 11 years old. I consider these mountains, valleys and trails my backyard and have had many adventures in this area rich with mining history and artifacts. Here’s a quick look of the hike to Lane Hut in Hatcher Pass.”
Check out the link above to watch an interactive YouTube video from The Alaska Life on the Crow Pass Trail route.
“My first few backpack hunting trips taught me many lessons. In turn, thought I would share some basic tips to help one avoid some of the misery that the lack of preparation can bring! Hopefully these tips will allow you to be better prepared to get into the field, and also have a more enjoyable time outdoors.”
“Many visitors to Seward, Alaska, take the detour down Herman Leirer Road to Exit Glacier. The road, commonly referred to as “Exit Glacier Road” directs traffic to the Exit Glacier Nature Center and a short trail that leads to the terminus of Exit Glacier—a fascinating spectacle of flowing ice. But there is something else at the end of the road, the fuel for Exit Glacier and almost 40 other glaciers in the Kenai Peninsula, the Harding Icefield.”
“When the summer season is in full swing, it’s hard not to adore all of the flowers we see outside during our weekend hikes and camping trips. We rounded up some of our favorite Alaskan wildflowers for you to spot next time you’re out and about in our beautiful state!”
“Portage Valley is often overlooked by travelers as they navigate from Anchorage down to the Kenai Peninsula. However, this location is full of hidden gems for those ready to take a short detour down Portage Glacier Road.”
“With so much to do and see, Seward is a perfect destination to enjoy with friends and family.”
“While many Alaskans remain singularly unimpressed by McCandless, his wilderness travels, and his peculiar demise…he has become something of a celebrity among certain circles. While I’ve said before, McCandless isn’t all that different than many folks who wander up here and die in the woods- he did have the benefit of a better than average storyteller. While I have enjoyed Krakauer’s work in the past- he wove very little fact and a pile of speculation and some outright fiction into a popular story.”
Looking for another great read? You’ll enjoy: Road-Trippin’ Alaska; Your perfect way to escape the crowds in 2020. Also, enjoy checking out America’s least-visited National Park located right here in Alaska.