• Activities:

    Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    16 Miles

Easy Parking
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Absolutely amazing views, wildlife and a freaking glacier at the end. The trail follows a glacial river, so the water is incredible too.

Hiking through this valley really shows off the amazing landscape of Alaska.

The trailhead starts at mile 13.7 on Hatcher Pass Rd. There is a big parking lot ($5 for a day pass). The trail has mile markers for the first 5 miles and is fairly well groomed, although you do have to do a little bushwhacking because the beautiful bushes and fireweed are very overgrown.

The trail winds through the valley, following the Little Susitna River, a glacial river. The water is baby blue with big boulders in it. Gorgeous. Bring your camera, because you will be surrounded by towering mountains on all sides, fields of bright purple fireweed flowers, and lots of beavers! The beavers have built awesome dams all along the river. You might pass quite a few people for the first few miles, but the farther you go, the fewer people you'll see.

There is a cabin you can rent at the end of the trail (very inexpensive), or you can camp off the trail, next to the river. It can be a little difficult to find a place to sleep because of the slanted land and extremely thick vegetation, however. If you plan on camping overnight, don't depend on a campfire, as there are not a lot of trees or burnable wood around. Using a JetBoil (or similar) is easy and convenient!

Weather in AK can change quickly, so bring a rain jacket! Also, while this description is for summer, the trail is also known for skiing, and snowmobiling in the winter.

Pack List

  • Trekking poles
  • Water
  • Bug spray
  • Bear spray
  • $5 for parking
  • Rain jacket

Camping:* Tent* Sleeping bag* Plenty of water* JetBoil and food

Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Alaska's Mint Hut

Palmer, Alaska

Start your adventure by driving 1.5 hours north of Anchorage to the Gold Mint Trailhead about 20 mins away from the town of Palmer.

37 Saves

Explore Independence Mine State Historical Park in Hatcher Pass

Palmer, Alaska

If you've only got time to do a few things when in Alaska, make sure you visit Independence Mine State Historical Park in Hatcher Pass. It is open year round, and beautiful no matter the season.

108 Saves

Hut to Hut Across Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains

Palmer, Alaska

Cooling temps and changing colors often prompt us to squeeze in one more trip. And in the mountains of Alaska, it really is a squeeze.

158 Saves