• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2200 Feet

Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Hike and do some rock scrambling to great views and the highest point overlooking Anchorage at 5,184'. You'll need $5 to park.

Parking is at the Glen Alps trail head and costs $5 if you don't have a yearly pass which is $40 and lets you park at all the state parks without paying every time. This is also the same parking lot that you would use for the most hiked mountain in Alaska, Flat Top, so get there early to find a spot.

The start is on the gravel bike path that leads out to Powerline Pass and Campbell Creek. Once getting to Powerline Road, about a half mile down the trail, turn right and follow the gravel road for about 200 to 300 meters before turning off onto the trail on the left side of the road. This is the O'Malley trail that will take you all the way up to the peak.

The trail starts off with a downhill that takes you to a bridge over Campbell Creek. The bridge is a little bit under a mile from the parking lot and is also the start of your climb. There is about a 1,100' climb in under a mile before you reach the ball field (The large mostly flat open area at the base of O'Malley). The ball field is a great place to open up your legs and run along the trail. If you are walking it should take about 35 to 45 minutes to reach the base of O'Malley. This is also a great spot to turn around and see Anchorage and the surrounding mountains all the way out to the water.

The climb to the top of the peak is steep and will involve a good amount of hand over foot scrambling. From the start of the ball field to the peak you will gain another 2,000' almost all of it coming in the last half of a mile before reaching the peak. On the way up take time to admire all the lakes and other peaks and valleys that surround O'Malley and make up the Chugach State Park. It is also very windy most of the time so be sure to bring something warm to throw on. After climbing and feeling the burn in your legs you will be rewarded with some of the best views of Anchorage and the surrounding mountains.

The rout down leaves you with two choices, go back down the same trail you went up or test your luck on the shale going down the chute back to the ball field. If you chose the chute it is much faster but you need to watch for large rocks rolling down and injuring yourself or others. This rout is much steeper but is also very fun. Once you descend back onto the ball field you get hop onto the same trail you came out on and follow it back to Glen Alps parking.

This is a great day hike that can be extended to an overnight trip if you want to add in a few more peaks or explore some of the lakes. No permit needed if you have a group of less than 12 for camping.

Pack List

  • Good trail shoes
  • Extra Jacket
  • Water
  • Camera
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O'Malley Peak is an excellent scramble with wonderful views from the top. An alternate Class 3 route exists along the West Ridge over False Peak, a fun scramble for more ambitious folks.

12 months ago
12 months ago

Great job with the camera. Those views are incredible! I appreciate your detailed description as well. If only I could be so lucky and explore this place for myself some day.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Andrew Rigler

Runner/Adventure originally from Phoenix, Arizona then spent some time in Virginia and now living it up in Alaska. Run, Bike, Hike, Swim, climb, you name it and I will at least try it. I love taking pictures on all of my adventures, that is if I can find space to bring along my camera.

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