Hike Reed Lakes, AK

Alaska Archangel Road Parking Area

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    18 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1850 Feet

Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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Excellent hike, full of wildflowers even worth it when the cloud cover obscures all the scenery. We started hiking through the mist and clouds but by the time we headed back, the clouds had lifted and we could tell what the valley we had been hiking through looked like. It was stunning. Just a note, the boulder scrambling can become a little intense. We had to turn back early since one of our party hurt her ankle on the rocks, be careful and take them slow and you should be okay though.

3 months ago
3 months ago

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!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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