Crow Pass Trail
With a few extra days of vacation left before I had to be
back at work, I thought I would give the Crow Pass Trail a go. This is an
excellent trail and a favorite for avid hikers in Anchorage, Eagle River and
Girdwood. A 25 mile trek takes a person
from the Girdwood, through the Chugach Range to Eagle River.
This was a tough hike for me to do in two days and I wish that I had
given myself three days. There were others I met along the trail who do the hike in
one day, starting early in the morning and finishing in the evening, bringing
with them only a fanny pack containing water and a lunch. Overall, this is just an awesome adventure for people in
moderate to good shape.
The trail is recommended only during June, July August
and September. During any other
months the avalanche danger is high. The
U.S. Forest Service rents a cabin near the top of the pass, but only during
these months due to avalanche dangers.
It is important to pack for the trip according to how
long you plan to stay. Water is
heavy, and it is difficult to carry enough water for the entire trip.
However, water is plentiful all along the way.
Once you get past the public use cabin, all the water will be glacial,
and therefore full of silt. Bring a
filter that can handle silt-filled water. You
will be fording at several points along the way.
I brought a pair of Teva sandals and cargo pants that zip-off into
shorts. Switching from my hiking
boots to my Tevas and zipping off my pants from the knee down worked
There were two items that I wished I had packed.
The most dangerous parts of the trip by far were the snowfield crossings
found when dropping down into the valley beyond the pass.
I envied the people who thought to bring hiking poles.
The poles are also highly recommended for fording Eagle River.
The second thing I should have brought was moleskin for blistering feet.
Other than these items, the packing list contained in the introduction
covered what was needed.
To find the trailhead, leave Anchorage going south on the
Seward Highway. After approximately 40 miles, take a left on Alyeska
Highway. Turn left on Crow Creek
Road found a mile and a half from the Seward Highway. Follow this road to the very end. Near the end the road is in poor condition and is narrow so
proceed with caution. The road ends
at a parking lot approximately six miles from Alyeska Highway.
Parking at the trailhead is free and there is no cost to use the trail or camp anywhere along it. The only exception is the U.S. Forest Service’s public use cabin, which costs $35 per night. Click here to jump to the Reserve America site that allows one to reserve the cabin. There are no toilets or water pumps anywhere along the trail, including at the campsites. It is just you and nature, baby!