Hiking The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
The 42nd most popular hiking trail in Alaska.
Tuesday 16 August 2016 04:49 GMT
Near Copper in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the Dixie Pass Trail is challenging 24 mile round-trip route along Strelna Creek to Dixie Pass. There is a 3,700 foot elevation gain. The trailhead is located on Kotsina Road.
At mile 14.5 along the Chitina-McCarthy road, turn north at the Strelna airstrip onto the Kotsina Road. After 3.8 miles, turn into the small clearing on the left side of the road. If no parking is available you may need to park at the McCarthy Road and walk to the trailhead. There are also two small pullouts between the Nugget Creek trailhead and the Dixie Pass Trailhead. The trail begins on the right side of the road.
For the first 3 miles the trail follows a wooded bench before dropping down to Strelna Creek. After reaching Strelna Creek, the hiker should stay on the west side of the creek for approximately 2 miles. Hike up the west side of the Strelna Creek to the confluence of Strelna Creek and the creek from Dixie Pass from the northeast. Cross Strelna Creek above the confluence. Follow the (right) tributary from Dixie Pass. The trail turns into a route at this point. Follow the creek, crossing several times on your way to the next confluence. At the next confluence follow the west (left) fork. You will come to a canyon that may be impassable at high water. If so, you will need to hike up and around it on either side of the creek. At the next confluence cross to the center of the two creeks where you will find a trail switch-backing up to the pass. There isn't any water available in the pass but you can camp in the stunning Rock Creek drainage just on the other side of the pass. Return via the same route.
Note: bears will be present along the entire route.
Overall, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the 42nd most popular hiking trail of all 54 hikes in Alaska.