Hiking The Winner Creek Trail
The 44th most popular hiking trail in Alaska.
Tuesday 12 July 2016 05:30 GMT
Near Girdwood, the Upper Winner Creek Trail is a 4 mile one-way route. The trail is a very pleasant hike with no severe ups or downs (maximum elevation gain is only 260 feet). New wooden planking keeps the hiker above most soggy areas, but at times in the summer, grasses and ferns can overhang in spots. While the hiking is easy, there is a hand tram and foot bridge over 2 gorges that are really cool, but can be scary for the non-adventurous.
A very good day hike for the whole family and all ages. The gorge itself is where Winner Creek flows through a small cleft in the rocks, making a picturesque series of small waterfalls/cascades on its way down to a rendezvous with Glacier Creek. The trail goes through a tall spruce and hemlock forest with ferns, blueberry bushes makes for a good berry picking. Wildlife includes moose and bear, watch for them along the trail. In the summer many songbirds can be seen and heard along the trail in surrounding forest.
This trail can be teamed up with the Upper Winner Creek Trail to make a good overnight hike.
The trail starts from the Crow Creek Mine off Crow Creek Road from Girdwood. There is a small chance of being towed if you park at the mine. The trail starts on the east side of the driveway to the mine, a couple hundred feet before the parking area. Parking at the hard-to-identify pullout with no risk of being towed: there is a pullout on the north side of Crow Creek Road about a half mile or so before the mine driveway with a trail leading out the east side. This trail joins the main trail after about a half mile. Its miserable if theres been rain recently. From this trailhead, go straight, ignoring the well-traveled left-hand turn ~1/2 mile in, as it only takes you to the mine parking area.
Overall, Winner Creek Trail is the 44th most popular hiking trail of all 54 hikes in Alaska. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Winner Creek Trail including Devils Pass, Resurrection Pass Trail, Russian Lakes Trail, Primrose/Lost Lake Trail, Cresent Lake Hiking Trail and Johnson Pass Trail.