See glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and mining ruins on a full-day hike to Crow Pass near Girdwood. Pass the highest point on the historic Iditarod Trail and discover one of the finest hikes in south-central Alaska.
What to Expect
This 5-hour hike from Girdwood to Crow Pass takes in superb views of glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and old mining ruins. You will walk past the highest point of the Iditarod Trail, one of the finest day hikes in south-central Alaska.
Watch out for arctic ground squirrels, marmots, and mountain goats, as you walk. They all inhabit the high country, where bears, moose, and Dall sheep are also frequently spotted, especially on the Eagle River side of the pass.
The fantastic trail is relatively snow-free by late June, though the Crystal Lake basin south of the pass, and some of the gullies north of the pass, may hold snow well into the summer.
Discover the area’s mining history, which starts even before you reach the trailhead. The Crow Creek and Girdwood Mines, both just off Crow Creek Road, were two of the earliest mining claims in this part of the state. The Monarch Mine, 1.7 miles up the trail, was an active lode (vein) mine from 1909 to 1938.
Just after the turn of the 20th-Century, hundreds of prospectors heading for other parts of the state on the Iditarod Trail passed the Monarch’s undiscovered vein without knowing it.
You will walk approximately 2 miles to the site of a mine, along moderate to steep trails, and 3 miles to Crystal Lake and Raven Glacier along moderate to steep trails that lead to mesmerizing vistas.
Take in the spectacular scenery of alpine passes, mountain glaciers, old mines and wildlife, with access to off-trail wilderness rambles. One of south-central Alaska’s classic alpine backpacking traverses, your expert naturalist guide will give you an interpretive commentary of the fascinating landscape, helping you to get a better grasp of Alaskan history.
- All equipment
- Naturalist hiking guide
- Tram ticket
- Transportation to and from trailhead
- Interpretive natural history, ecology and glaciology discussions
- Granola bar snack and water
- Boxed Lunch with Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit & water
Meet at Ascending Path Yurt, located between the base of the aerial tram and Hotel Alyeska.
Know Before You Go
• Previous hiking experience is recommended
• Ages: 9 and up
• This trip operates in all weather conditions
• Tour will only operate with a minimum of 2 people
• Elevation Gain: 2,100 feet to Crow Pass from trail head. 4,200 feet round trip.
• Mileage: 2 miles to mine site (moderate, steep) one-way; 3 miles to Crystal Lake and Raven Glacier viewpoint (moderate, steep, exceptional vistas) one-way. Up to 6 miles round trip.
• Please wear comfortable, warm clothes, dressing in layers (fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap) hiking boots or trail shoes, backpack and camera. Note: Cotton attire IS NOT recommended.