Hike Reed Lakes, AK

Alaska Archangel Road Parking Area

Added by Andrea Thornton

The first two miles are flat and then you gain the elevation pretty quickly in the next 2.5 miles. It's a great choice for an overnight adventure, or day hike. Some of the highlights include 2 glacier lakes, rocky granite mountain peaks, beautiful valley and alpine tundra landscape.

The trail head starts at the small unpaved parking lot which is free, (it was very full though because of berry picking). The trail starts off wide and flat as you walk through a beautiful valley surrounded by trees and giant granite mountain peaks. The trail changes to an upward climb with lots of switchbacks. Beautiful view of the valley below as you go up. Then comes the boulder field. You will make your way over some big granite boulders that cover a river. (It can be a bit challenging if you have an overnight backpack). Follow the stream because there is no definitive path. After navigating through all the boulders, you get back on the trail and soon after Lower Reed Lake will come into view! If you are staying overnight, this is a great place to camp; plenty of spots to set up your tent. There is nothing to burn, so don't count on making any type of fire. The trail continues up, right past a waterfall, and once at the top of the falls it flattens out some. The trail takes you right to the Upper Reed Lake. We went in late August and it snowed on us quite a bit and got down to 29*F at night. Be prepared for cold!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Water filter
  • Camera
  • Day Pack/Overnight pack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag/pad
  • Food
  • Hat/gloves/coat
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



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



18 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1850 Feet




Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

6 months ago

Blue Lakes

Wow! What an incredible hike. I did an overnight trip, and it was challenging at some points to climb over the boulders with my pack on. Stay on the right hand side of the river as that's where the trail continues. If you are in the area, do not miss out on these two lakes. Also! The upper lake is a very short hike from the lower lake so don't miss that one either. It is much bigger than the lower Lake and has a beautiful reflection of the mountains in it. The water is super cold, but I had fun going in!

6 months ago

7 months ago

Superb hike! I could do it again and again..

I adored this hike. We did it early June and only went up to the waterfalls past the first lake. The lakes were both still frozen over so they looked like a field of snow.. But otherwise the hike itself was sooo fun! The terrain seemed to change every mile or so. The boulders were a blast as I love to hop around and scramble (one girl in our group wasn't a huge fan though..oh well). Overall this was one of the best day hikes I've ever done. Some hikes I do and I'm good doing them only once a year. This hike I could do a couple times a month and be pretty content! I can't wait to do it again this summer when the lakes melt!

7 months ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Rabbit Lake and the Suicide Peaks

Alaska / Rabbit Lake Trailhead, Anchorage

The best part about this trail other than the stunning views is it's easy access from Anchorage; it is about a 20 minute drive from the center of town.

Eric Hedstrand
6 Saves

Hike to the Bonanza Mine in the Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

This 9 mile strenuous hike will reward the intrepid hiker with a serene setting and in-tact mining ruins for any and all to explore at will.

Eric Hedstrand
1 Saves

Hike the Root Glacier to the Donoho Lakes

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

Traversing the glacier can be a whole day experience in and of itself. Make sure to set aside enough time to explore. I'd plan on at least 3-4 hours total travel time round trip on the glacier alone.

Eric Hedstrand
1 Saves