Hiking The Crow Pass / Iditarod Trail
The 7th most popular hiking trail in Alaska.
Thursday 4 August 2016 03:04 GMT
East of Anchorage in the Chugach Mountains, the Crow Pass / Iditarod National Historic Trail is a 26 mile route from Girdwood in the south to Eagle River in the north.
To reach the southern trailhead from Anchorage, head south on SR1 (Seward Highway) for 35 miles to Girdwood. Near milepost 90, turn left heading northeast on Alyeska Highway for 2 miles. Turn left onto Crow Creek Road (gravel) for 5 miles to the end at the Crow Pass Trailhead.
The first 4.5 miles of trail are suitable for hiking and horseback riding. The trail has steady uphill climbs with some steep sections with switchbacks. Well maintained although some large rocks are embedded in trail surface, and trail crosses some rock scree slopes. At Mile 1.7 are ruins of Girdwood Mine, including remains of mill and crews quarters. Hike 1/4 mile beyond ruins for a side-trip to the Crow Creek cascades west of the main trail. At Mile 3 is a U.S. Forest Service cabin, (there is no stove for heat in the cabin). Beyond the cabin is Crystal Lake which is surrounded by wildflowers in July, and can be seen from the front of the cabin. Continue up to Crow Pass at Mile 4 and views Raven Glacier.
Many trail users do not venture beyond Crow Pass. It's 22 miles further to the northern trailhead at the Eagle River Visitor Center. Expect to see a great deal of wildlife, including black and brown bears, mountain goat, Dall sheep, ptarmigan and beaver. The many unbridged river crossings can be difficult.
Overall, Crow Pass / Iditarod Trail is the 7th most popular hiking trail of all 54 hikes in Alaska. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Crow Pass / Iditarod Trail including Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Hilltop Trails, Kincaid Park, Anchorage Parks, Eklutna Lakeside Trail and Twin Peaks TrailBold Ridge Trail.