This was my go-to hike to introduce someone to hiking off-trail in Denali. It offers great views of the Toklat Valley, Denali, great habitat for Dall sheep, and has a great scree chute for the descent.

From the Toklat contact station walk east back across the bridge (crossing the river) and drop down onto the river bar heading north. Walk for about 75 yards north hugging the cliffs on the right. Eventually you will reach an area where the tundra comes all the way down to the river bar. This is where you will need to bushwhack for about 5 minutes as you make your way through the brush line. Once you are on the tundra it's smooth sailing up the ridge. Eventually you will reach the first high point and will need to drop down into a saddle to continue forward. Climb up to the next high point. This is where you will find the scree chute that you will follow to make your way back to the road. If you can't see the road you are probably in the wrong spot. Here is the view: nps.gov/deana.

If you have the time I would recommend following the ridge and retracing your steps back to this point when you are ready to leave. Once you start your descent slowly make your way to the right and follow the drainage until you make it back to the road. From there you only have a short walk back to the Toklat Contact Station.

Pack List

  • summit soda
  • rain gear
  • camera
  • usual suspects for day hike
Show More
RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 1500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Scenic

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