Snowshoe the Granite Tors Loop Trail

Rate this Adventure Alaska Granite Tors Trailhead

Added by Dwayne Parton

If you're looking for a taste of the tundra, some really cool rock formations, and wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska the Granite Tors Trail is worth exploring.

The Granite Tors Loop Trailhead is located at Milepost 39 on Chena River Road east of Fairbanks. It starts at about 700ft above sea level and climbs to about 3200ft, peaking around the 8 mile mark. The climb is slow and continuous adding to the difficulty of the hike.

The Chena River State Recreation Area has a much different landscape than the mountainous areas of Denali or Anchorage. It doesn't have the same breathtaking feel. It's giant hills roll through the tundra and make the rock formations, known as Tors, seem minuscule.

You can see the Tors from Chena River Road. They litter the landscape and there are hundreds located through out the wilderness. The Tors are a popular place to rock climb but are very icy in the winter. There are even some bolted routes on a few of them.

As the days get shorter and colder this hike becomes increasingly more difficult. It's easy to lose the trail in the snow when you are above the tree line. Bushwacking would be very difficult, so finding the trail before you reenter the forest is important. You will enter and reenter the forest a few times through out the trail. Coupled with darkness and cold it can be even more difficult and dangerous.

It took us about 10hrs to navigate the loop. Our pace slowed down considerably when it got dark, and we spent a few hours looking for the trail markers and signs of a trail. I would not say it is well marked, but there are reflective markers occasional placed on it and the trail is very clear when in the forest. After we found the trail, the descent went very smoothly.

For more information check out the Trail Map and dnr.alaska.gov. After you've completed the hike you might even want to drive up the road about 20 miles to Chena Hot Springs to warm up.

Pack List

  • Arctic Survival Kit (Just in Case)
  • TOPO Map or GPS
  • Headlamp
  • Warm Layers
  • Snowshoes
  • Extra Food
  • Camera
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

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

15 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2900 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Dwayne Parton

Travel. Outdoors. Lifestyle. 
 I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. I loved the lifestyle it afforded. Now I live in a van with my dog Bobby traveling across the country. Life's a journey, so let's participate.

More Adventures Nearby

Explore the Knik Arm's Ice Fields

Alaska / Peters Creek, Alaska

Alaska's Knik Arm has an impressive tide. When out, the mudflats appear, and in the winter, massive, beautiful pieces of ice are left behind.

Kayak the West Arm of Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska / Glacier Bay National Park (West Arm Starting Point of Scidmore Bay)

Ever wanted to sleep beside a calving glacier? Wake up with a humpback whale feeding along the shoreline of your private beach? Watch the sunset for hours until midnight?Witness bears foraging in the.

Hike Skilak Lookout

Alaska / Skilak Lookout Trail

This was my very first afternoon in Alaska. By myself just meandering around the state by car with a map in my lap. Alaska - what a limitless place of adventure.

Abby Vohaska
1 Saves