Added by Christie Kay
This 2.7 mile out-and-back trail provides glorious views, and doesn't require entrance fees into the national park or a shuttle to get there.
The trailhead for the Mt Healy Overlook Trail is located at the visitor center, just inside Denali National Park. Take the Taiga Trail, and follow signs to the Mt Healy Overlook Trailhead. There is plenty of signage and it's an easy trail to follow.
The first mile or so of this 2.7 mile out-and-back trail is fairly mild, with a wide, well trafficked gravel path winding through tall forests.
Before you know it, you're at the first of many switchbacks, and the trail begins to climb slowly up Mt Healy. Most of the trail's 1,700ft elevation gain is in the last mile and a half, over the course of many switchbacks. If you're worried about the elevation gain and the word 'climb' in conjunction with a hike, don't be! My 60-something year old mom did this hike with us, and enjoyed every minute of it - she just took a couple rest stops along the way.
About halfway through your climb, the forest slips away and you are above tree line, and able to see gorgeous views of mountains and valleys in every direction (provided the skies are clear!) Once you're above tree line, you are almost at the end of the maintained trail. The trail technically ends at a perfectly placed rock outcropping, which provides breathtaking views and photo opportunities. If you're feeling motivated, a primitive trail continues on, speckled with interesting rock formations and photo spots. Either way, the overlook point is a great place to rest for a few, rehydrate, and refuel before you continue in or turn around.
- Extra layer, it can get windy and chilly
- Hiking boots/trail shoes
- Stoked attitude
- Sense of awe
- Money for a meal at the Salmon Bake after you've finished the hike!
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