Backpacking or thru-hiking in Alaska doesn’t mean you have to venture off the beaten path. Alaska has some great thru-hikes with marked routes and trails, making it easy to set up and enjoy Alaska’s beautiful backcountry on your own. As with all multi-day hikes, be sure to check the local weather forecast, have proper gear, carry bear spray, take wildlife precautions, and bug spray during the summer months Please bring
distance: 39 miles one way
time: 3-6 days
The Resurrection Path Trail runs north-south and can be started from either the North Trailhead near Hope or the South Trailhead near Cooper Landing. A gradual climb in both directions, the trail offers views of dense forests, rivers and mountains at lower elevations, dotted with eight public cabins along the way. Wildlife in the Kenai Mountains is abundant in vast populations, including elk, brown bears, black bears, wolves, dall sheep, mountain goats, lynx, marmots, beavers, bald eagles and even reindeer. The trail is open year-round, and non-hikers love mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
To get in and out of the parking lot, park at one end and the other and drive two separate vehicles, or use the local shuttle service to easily get to and from each area. can.
Campgrounds and public cabins are available off the trail. If you want to reserve a cabin, it’s available from May 1st to September 30th, but book in advance as cabins are usually booked in advance.
Camping is easy, with campsites dotted along the trail and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsites are often available at the last minute, but at worst, camping in the tundra or woods is welcome. The campground begins at mile 4 and ends at mile 33.7.
Learn more about Resurrection Pass Trail North and Resurrection Pass Trail South.
distance: 21 miles one way
time: Day 2
Located near Cooper Landing, it’s one of the closest thru-hikes to Anchorage. You can see the Russian River Falls, the Lower Russian Lake and the Upper Russian Lake. Be aware that there is regular bear activity on this trail and much of the trail is overgrown (bring bear spray). It is a popular destination not only for hikers, but also for birdwatchers and photographers.
For an epic 60-mile adventure thru-hike, the Russian Lakes Trail connects to the Resurrection Pass Trail, covering salmon spawning grounds, vast tundra, alpine terrain and mountain lake oases.
There are three public cabins and seven campgrounds along the trail that begins at mile 5.7 and ends at mile 19.2. Book early as cabins are usually pre-booked by other hikers. Campsites are also difficult to find during peak summer, but camping is permitted anywhere along the trail.
Find out more about the Russian Lakes Trail.
distance: 32 miles round trip
time: 3 to 5 days
This hut-to-hut backpacking trail on Hatcher Pass is full of adventure. The trail is challenging, traversing rocks, glaciers and scree, so be prepared for a variety of terrain. Not all backpacking trails are established, so only those experienced enough to map routes, traverse glaciers, and hike difficult terrain should attempt trails. I have.
The trail is best hiked from July to September, and huts are available for rent, but those wishing to stay must be members of the Alaska Mountaineering Club. Camping is also an option along the trail.
Learn more about Bomber Traverse.
distance: 29 miles one way
time: 3-4 days
This alpine trail in Denali State Park is perfect for hiking from late June through September. The trail offers wildlife, lakes, and rugged alpine ridgelines, but the real draw is the unparalleled Denali scenery and jagged peaks of the Alaskan Range. Shuttle services to the trails from Anchorage and Fairbanks are available to arrange transportation to and from the trails. Also, other shuttles provide transportation between trailheads.
Be sure to pitch your tent! Camping along the trail is the only option for this hike, and many campsites dot the trail.
Learn more about the Kesugi Ridge Trail.
Lost Lake Trail, Seward
distance: 16 miles one way
time: Day 2
This is one of the state’s most scenic hikes, filled with views of lakes, mountain vistas, and alpine ridges. It’s also a popular mountain bike trail (northbound) and is most popular from June to September. The trail begins in a rainforest area and eventually takes hikers above the treeline to witness the sparkling blue waters of Lost Lake, waterfalls, tall meadows and even glaciers. Includes bears, elk, mountain goats and marmots.
Campgrounds are available along trails from 3.68 miles to 7.3 miles.
Learn more about the Lost Lake Trail.
Chilkoot Trail, Skagway
Distance: 33 miles one way
Time: 3-5 days
Follow the historic footsteps of the tens of thousands of stampeders who hiked from Skagway to the Yukon in search of wealth during the Klondike Gold Rush. Originally the Tlingit Trade Route, the route over the Chilkoot Pass has a long history of being an important link between the coastal regions of the Inside Passage and the Yukon Territory of Canada. Today, the trail is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and begins in the haunted town of Dyre just outside Skagway and ends in Lake Bennett, British Columbia. Views of mountains, lakes, rivers and gold rush artifacts.
Hikers need a permit during high season from June 1st to September 13th. Most people start at the trailhead at Dyea, he races the hike in three to he five days, and when they reach Lake Bennett, they return to Skagway on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. ,B.C. A park ranger will be stationed at several of the nine campgrounds along the way and will provide information on area and trail conditions.
There are nine designated backcountry campgrounds along the way. Camping is only permitted at these sites and campsites must be pre-booked when reserving permits. Campgrounds have wooden platforms, pit toilets, food storage lockers, and some campgrounds have heated cabins and park rangers on site.
Learn more about the Chilkoot Trail.
Ongoing – Alaska Long Trail
It’s too early to plan a trip around the Alaska Long Trail, but local nonprofits Alaska Trails and the Long Trail Coalition are working to develop the ultimate Alaska thru-hike. The Alaska Long Trail travels over 500 miles from Seward to Fairbanks, stopping in gateway communities such as Anchorage, Talkeetna, Cantwell, and Nenana to access and refuel the trail.
The proposed route will be primarily on public land and will be a mix of newly developed trails connecting to existing trails. With more than 25% of his trail system already in existence, this dedicated group of trail stewards is working to secure state and federal funding to support trail development. For more information and updates on trail status, visit the Alaska Trail website. I look forward to experiencing Alaska’s long trails in the future.