Experience a challenging 26-mile trail near Girdwood, about an hour outside of Anchorage. This popular route is a favorite for locals and those that like to backpack. Starting in Girdwood the route to the Eagle River Nature Center in Eagle River can take around 12 hours to complete. While it can be done in a day, it's a great trail for an overnight camping trip or multiday hike. For a shorter trip from Girdwood, hike to a recreational cabin and a serene lake at the top of Crow Pass in a few hours, or continue a little further to Raven Glacier (roughly 7 miles roundtrip). About halfway to the cabin, a stop at old mining equipment provides the perfect spot for a break or lunch. View beautiful waterfalls, and possibly mountain goats along the rest of the route. *Although the public use cabin can be reserved, booking several months in advance is suggested.
Within the first mile of the trail, there are many scenic lookouts. Beyond the switchbacks the trail opens up to a valley with stunning views. In the summer, wildflowers bloom along the trail, and in the fall, the beginning of the trail is great for berry picking.
Dogs: Welcome, on a leash.
Conditions: Some areas may not be marked well and some areas can get washed out. Be prepared for weather changes and river crossings, with high water.
Access: The trail can also be accessed from the Eagle River Nature Center (the end of this route), however starting from there can be difficult as the majority of the uphill portion is in the last 10 miles of the hike.
Parking: All Chugach State Park trails require a day-use parking pass or parking decal.
As with all trails in Alaska, hikers should be prepared, dress in layers, and bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a map of the area, bear spray, and a well-charged cell phone.