Jul 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm #1305933
K CBPL Member
@kalebcLocale: South West
I'm spending 8 days in AK next month, I have plans for all days except 3 nights. I'm looking for some mind blowing short overnighter backpacking locations. (my first 4 days will be at Bear Glacier Lake via water taxi). Thanks!Aug 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm #2013484
John SmithBPL Member
@jcar3305Locale: East of Cascades
I would look at the following:
Most beautiful scenery would be Crow Pass Crossing, 24 mile single track trail hike through thick brush, open mountain passes and a river fording to boot. You pass within camera range of two glaciers and likely will see bears there as well. Caveat, it is traditionally hiked starting in Girdwood Alaska and terminates in Eagle River Alaska. There are no other exits short of boonie busting it. This is one of my favorite hikes in Alaska. I used to do it at least once per year. Also it would be a stretch to call Girdwood on the Kenai Peninsula.
Johnson Pass trail is a 21 mile trail that starts near Turnagain Pass and terminates at Johnson lake. Great trip but this time of year the creeks flowing into Johnson lake are teeming with bears. I had my closest encounter ever on that trail. Still gets my heart rate up thinking about it. If you like fly fishing there is a great lake at the pass itself that guides will often float plane in clients too. I recommend this one and the trail is far easier to hike than Crow Pass.
Ressurection Pass Trail is a two section hike that has trail heads in Seward area, Hope and near cooper landing. There are several trails as well that intersect with the trail as well. Stunning hikes that offer views that are amazing. If I remember right the 2 sections are 57 miles combined with the trail crossing at Cooper Landing being about in the middle.
There are plenty of other hikes but these 3 are considered classics for Alaska. My PM is set up if you want to contact me directly. I have hiked these trails for year and love them but since moving from Alaska in 2006 I can only hike them in memories.
john the xcarAug 7, 2013 at 10:13 pm #2013505
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
KC: sorry I missed this earlier (I live in Kenai). John has nailed it:
Johnson pass for a shorter trip. Resurrection trail for a longer trip. I usually do the Hope to Cooper Landing portion (40 miles) because it is better maintained. Cooper Landing to Seward (Exit Glacier actually) 35 miles was full of blow-down trees and had a bridge out when I last did it. Maybe call the USFS in Seward for an update. There are USFS cabins spaced along that route, usually booked long in advance, but may be worth checking on.
Shorter but more scenic (and rigorous) per mile would be Twin Lakes north of Seward – 7 miles one way from either trail head for a 28-mile death march, I've done it all out and back in a day – has nice views of Ressurection Bay on the south end and a lovely alpine, above tree line, above brush line setting at the lakes.
More vertical and with no water in the middle is the Skyline traverse ( of the ridge line) between Skyline Trail (mile post 58? On the Sterling Highway) and out on the Fuller Lakes Trail). 8 or 10 miles? But 5,500 vertical feet. Lots of crowberries to nibble and I usually encounter Dall sheep along the way. The descent to Fuller Lakes is hard to do without bush whacking thru alders so have some leg and arm covering of some sort. I like thin nylon pants (Patagonia, gramicci, etc).
PM if you need help with a pick up or drop off.
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