The wife and I are planning a couple week trip to the Anchorage area next July/August (2013). We are planning on doing a 4-5 day backpacking trip around Denali and any suggestions for some loops in the park would be great. We are also looking for some day, or even over-night hikes in the Anchorage area to fill in the rest of the days between a bit of kayaking and sightseeing. We are generally looking at the Chugach Mountains and a couple days in the Kenai Peninsula. We tend to enjoy climbing peaks, maybe something with some 3rd of 4th class for a little excitement, but really just want to experience the beauty that Alaska has to offer….I guess hikes with the most bang for the buck! I’ve been checking out the peaks here on Summitpost and there looks to be some…well a lot of great ones, but hopefully someone has a few suggestions to start narrowing down the search. Any other suggestions as to things to see/do are also welcome. Thanks.
Last edited by MattK on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
A great "bang for the buck" day hike option is the Harding Icefield Trail. It's about 8 miles round trip and starts at the Excit glacier down on the Kenai. It's got it all, bear, sheep, glaciers and it ends at an icefield. No summit but there is a few thousand foot gain overall.
First of all, you`ll have a great time I`ve been to Alaska last July and August and the first hike I thought of is the Harding Icefield trail (nearly have the same photo as Tonka...), it`s definitely worth it!
Down in Seward there`s also the lost lake trail, very beautiful or the trail to Caine`s Head. Around Girdwood there are many nice short and longer hikes and I would recommend the Portage Pass trail starting at Whittier... In these surroundings you`ll find many very cosy little camping grounds to stay at.
If you want to get in an 'easier' summit within Denali National Park, check out Scott Peak or Mount Pendleton. Both will take about 3-4 and go through some beautiful areas.
Last summer I researched both peak extensively, and set out for Pendleton after speaking with the rangers about conditions. Unfortunately, we had to turn around at the toe of the glacier due to illness. July/August may be late but call the rangers for useful info.
I agree with the other posters, Harding Icefield is likely the most incredible day hike I've ever done.
The Race Point (Mount Marathon) hike, while not a mindbomb like the Harding Icefield hike, can be quite scenic in good weather. It gives you a good: overview of the Seward area/bay appreciation for those that "run" it and the history of the "marathon" view/exercise for the 2-3 hour time investment