Answer the Call of the Wild – The 10 Best Hikes in Alaska

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Prepare to embark on a journey through some of the most breathtaking and unspoiled landscapes in the world as we explore the 10 best hikes in Alaska. From glacier-capped mountains to lush forests and rugged coastlines, Alaska offers some of the most epic and challenging hiking experiences on the planet. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, there’s a trail in Alaska that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty and raw wilderness.

Encounter everything from intense elevation gains and treacherous terrain to serene alpine lakes and majestic wildlife. The vast and diverse terrain of Alaska makes it a hiker’s paradise, with hikes ranging from moderate day trips to multi-day treks that will push your limits and reward you with unforgettable vistas. So lace up your hiking boots and get ready to answer the call of the wild as we dive into the 10 best hikes that Alaska has to offer.


Key Takeaways:

  • Alaska offers some of the most breathtaking and challenging hikes in the world.
  • From the iconic Denali National Park to the remote Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska’s hiking options are diverse and abundant.
  • The landscapes on these hikes range from towering mountains and glaciers to lush forests and coastal trails.
  • Visiting Alaska for a hiking adventure requires proper planning and preparation, including bear safety and understanding the unpredictable weather conditions.
  • The 10 best hikes in Alaska include the famous Kesugi Ridge, Harding Icefield Trail, and Lost Lake Trail, each offering unique experiences for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Wildlife encounters, such as grizzly bears, moose, and bald eagles, are common on these Alaskan hikes, adding to the thrill and beauty of the experience.
  • Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast seeking a new challenge, Alaska’s top hikes are sure to leave a lasting impression and create unforgettable memories.

Harding Icefield Trail

Before embarking on the Harding Icefield Trail, hikers should prepare for a challenging yet incredibly rewarding experience. This 8.2-mile round-trip trek in Kenai Fjords National Park is not for the faint of heart, but those who brave the journey will be rewarded with unparalleled views of the expansive ice field and surrounding glaciers.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Icefield views aside, Kenai Fjords National Park is a true wilderness wonderland, boasting rugged coastlines, abundant wildlife, and dynamic terrain shaped by massive glaciers. The Harding Icefield Trail serves as a gateway to this untamed landscape, offering hikers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the remote beauty of Alaska’s natural realm.

Stunning Glacier Views

Stunning glacier views await those who conquer the challenging terrain of the Harding Icefield Trail. The trail’s steep ascent leads to breathtaking overlooks of the Exit Glacier and the endless expanse of the Harding Icefield. Plus, hikers may even catch a glimpse of local wildlife, such as mountain goats and black bears, adding to the allure of this unforgettable adventure.

Plus, the trail features awe-inspiring panoramic vistas, intense vertical relief, and the chance to witness the raw power of glacial forces at work—making it a must-do for adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Kesugi Ridge Trail

If you’re seeking an unforgettable hiking experience in Alaska, Kesugi Ridge Trail should be at the top of your list. This stunning 27-mile trail offers breathtaking views of the Alaska Range, including the iconic Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley). The trail is known for its diverse terrain, from alpine tundra to lush forests, and is a favorite among experienced hikers and backpackers.

Denali State Park

Ridge runners and nature enthusiasts flock to Denali State Park to tackle the Kesugi Ridge Trail, which traverses the park’s vast wilderness. As you trek through the park, you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping vistas of snow-capped peaks, pristine valleys, and meandering rivers. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as the park is home to a variety of animals, including moose, caribou, and grizzly bears.

Mountainous Panoramas

For those craving a challenge and unbeatable views, Kesugi Ridge Trail in Denali State Park delivers on all fronts. The trail rewards hikers with sweeping vistas of the Alaska Range, with Denali stealing the show. The rugged terrain and ever-changing landscapes make for an exhilarating adventure that will leave a lasting impression.

A hike along the Kesugi Ridge Trail will test your endurance and determination, but the panoramic views, rich wildlife, and sense of accomplishment make it all worthwhile. Be sure to prepare for ever-changing weather conditions and remember to respect the wilderness as you embark on this unforgettable journey.

Chilkoot Trail

After discussing the best hikes in Alaska, it is impossible not to mention the iconic Chilkoot Trail. This 33-mile trail, stretching from Dyea, Alaska to Bennett, British Columbia, offers hikers a stunningly diverse range of terrain and scenery, making it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Historic Gold Rush Route

The Chilkoot Trail is not just a scenic hike, it is also a historic route that played a significant role during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800s. The trail is dotted with artifacts from that era, including old cabins, tramways, and even the remnants of the famous “Golden Staircase,” where stampeders once hauled tons of supplies on their backs in search of gold.

Coastal Rainforests

Rush through lush coastal rainforests as you traverse a variety of landscapes, from dense forests to alpine meadows. The diverse flora and fauna found along this portion of the trail will leave hikers in awe of the natural beauty surrounding them.

For instance, hikers may encounter Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and red cedar trees, while keeping an eye out for wildlife such as bald eagles and black bears.

Lost Lake Trail

For those seeking a true slice of Alaskan wilderness, the Lost Lake Trail does not disappoint. This 15-mile round trip hike near Seward offers stunning views of mountains, glaciers, and of course, the namesake Lost Lake. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for hikers of all skill levels, making it a popular choice for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Alaska.

Seward Area

The Seward area is a hiker’s paradise, with a multitude of trails offering diverse landscapes and stunning scenery. From coastal walks to mountainous hikes, there is something for everyone in this area. One standout trail is the Harding Icefield Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the famous Exit Glacier and the expansive ice field beyond.

Alpine Lakes

One of the highlights of hiking in Alaska is the opportunity to explore its alpine lakes. These crystal-clear bodies of water are often nestled in valleys surrounded by towering peaks, creating a truly magical setting for hikers. One of the most picturesque is the Tangle Lakes, located in the heart of the Eastern Alaska Range. The area offers unparalleled opportunities for photography and wildlife spotting, with the chance to see everything from moose to grizzly bears.

A must for anyone exploring this region, the alpine lakes in Alaska are a true testament to the natural beauty and diversity of the state. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a peaceful retreat, these lakes are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Crow Pass Trail

To truly experience the untamed beauty of Alaska, there’s no better way than to hike the Crow Pass Trail. This 24-mile trek takes hikers through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Chugach Mountains, offering a true taste of the Alaskan wilderness.

Chugach Mountains

Passing through the Chugach Mountains, hikers can expect to encounter rugged terrain, breathtaking vistas, and a variety of wildlife. The trail winds through lush forests, alpine meadows, and over glacial streams, providing a diverse and challenging hiking experience. As you traverse the trail, be prepared for steep inclines, narrow paths, and the constantly changing weather conditions that are typical of the region. It’s important to be well-prepared and have the right gear to tackle this demanding but incredibly rewarding hike.

Wilderness Adventure

Adventure seekers will find plenty to love about the Crow Pass Trail. The sense of isolation and connection to nature is unparalleled, offering a chance to truly unplug and immerse oneself in the wilderness. This hike is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are up to the challenge, it promises an unforgettable experience. With the right preparation and mindset, this trail can be a transformative journey that leaves a lasting impression.

For those looking to extend their adventure, the trail connects to the historic Iditarod Trail, providing even more opportunities for exploration in this rugged and remote part of Alaska.

Mount Healy Overlook Trail

Despite being one of the shorter hikes in Denali National Park, the Mount Healy Overlook Trail offers stunning views of the park and surrounding wilderness. The 4.5-mile round trip hike ascends through birch and spruce forests before reaching the alpine tundra. For those looking for a challenging yet rewarding hike, this trail is not to be missed. For more details on other amazing hikes in Alaska, visit The 10 Best Hatcher Pass Hikes – Alaska Itinerary.

Near Denali National Park

National Park, the Mount Healy Overlook Trail provides an opportunity to experience the Alaskan wilderness without venturing too far into the backcountry. The trailhead is located just outside the park entrance, making it easily accessible for visitors. With its varied terrain and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder why this trail is a favorite among hikers in the area.

Overlook Views

An elevation gain of approximately 1,700 feet rewards hikers with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the impressive sight of the striking Denali peak. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wildlife along the way, such as Dall sheep and marmots.

To enjoy the best of Mount Healy Overlook Trail, it’s recommended to visit during the summer months when the trail is clear of snow and the weather is more predictable. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, snacks, and proper hiking gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Root Glacier Trail

Not for the faint of heart, the Root Glacier Trail is a challenging and exhilarating hike located in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This 4-mile trek takes adventurers through rugged terrain, offering breathtaking views of the glacier and surrounding mountain peaks. As you navigate through ice fields and crevasses, you’ll experience the raw power and beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Park enthusiasts will find themselves in awe of the vast expanse of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. As the largest national park in the United States, it boasts diverse landscapes, including towering mountains, expansive glacial valleys, and abundant wildlife. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

Glacier Hiking

The Glacier Hiking experience in Alaska is truly unparalleled. The opportunity to explore ancient ice formations and witness the dynamic nature of glaciers is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The sensation of standing on a glacier, surrounded by towering ice walls and crystal-clear blue pools, is an experience that will stay with you forever.

The National Park Service provides guided glacier hiking tours, ensuring the safety and preservation of these delicate landscapes. Visitors have the chance to witness the effects of climate change firsthand while learning about the history and formation of glaciers. This immersive experience is a must for any nature enthusiasts visiting Alaska.

The thrill of traversing through rugged terrain and witnessing the power of ancient glaciers is not to be underestimated. Proper preparation and guidance are essential for a safe and memorable glacier hiking experience in Alaska.

Twin Peaks Trail

Your journey through Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes wouldn’t be complete without tackling the Twin Peaks Trail. This hiking gem is a part of the 6 best day hikes in Southcentral Alaska and offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

Eklutna Lake Scenery

With its stunning views of Eklutna Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges, the Twin Peaks Trail will treat you to some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. As you venture along the path, be prepared to be captivated by the pristine beauty of the turquoise lake, majestic peaks, and lush forests that envelope the trail.

Challenging Terrain

Trailblazers seeking a more rugged hiking experience will find the Twin Peaks Trail to be a perfect fit. The trail features a variety of challenging terrains, including steep ascents, rocky sections, and narrow pathways. This adventure trek is not for the faint-hearted, so be sure to come prepared with the right gear and physical conditioning.

This challenging terrain adds an extra layer of excitement to the hiking experience, and the sense of achievement that comes with completing it will be worth every stride.

Deer Mountain Trail

Unlike many other hikes in Alaska, Deer Mountain Trail offers a unique combination of accessibility and breathtaking natural beauty. Located near Ketchikan, this trail is a part of the Tongass National Forest, which is the largest national forest in the United States. With its diverse terrain and stunning vistas, it’s no wonder that Deer Mountain Trail ranks among the top hiking destinations in Alaska. For more details on other hiking trails in Alaska, visit Alaska Parks & Hiking Trails | Details on Nearly Every….

Ketchikan Accessible

An easily accessible hike, Deer Mountain Trail is just a short drive from the town of Ketchikan. The trailhead is located approximately 8 miles from downtown, allowing visitors to embark on a wilderness adventure without having to venture far from civilization. This accessibility makes it a popular choice for hikers of all skill levels, providing both locals and tourists with a convenient opportunity to experience the raw beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

Forests and Views

On Deer Mountain Trail, hikers are treated to a scenic journey through lush temperate rainforests and alpine meadows. The trail offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness the diverse flora and fauna that call the Tongass National Forest home. As hikers ascend the mountain, they are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, the Inside Passage, and the Pacific Ocean. Plus, the chance to spot wildlife such as bears, deer, and bald eagles adds an element of excitement to the trek.

Plus, the trail is well-maintained and features informative signposts that provide valuable insight into the area’s natural history. Whether visitors are seeking a peaceful nature walk or a challenging hike, Deer Mountain Trail has something to offer for everyone. With its proximity to Ketchikan and its stunning landscapes, this hike is truly a gem in the Alaskan wilderness.

Exit Glacier Trail

Not many hiking experiences can compare to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Exit Glacier Trail in Alaska. This iconic trail offers hikers a chance to witness the raw power of nature as they traverse through a landscape carved by ancient glaciers.

Easy Access Glacial Beauty

An easy to access trail, the Exit Glacier Trail provides hikers with breathtaking views of the rugged Alaskan terrain and the stunning Exit Glacier. The trail is perfect for hikers of all skill levels, making it a must-see destination for those who want to experience the grandeur of a receding glacier up close. The trail leads hikers to a viewpoint where they can witness the glacier in all its glory, a sight that is both humbling and exhilarating.

Interactive Nature Walks

To enhance the hiking experience, the Exit Glacier Trail offers interactive nature walks that provide insight into the geology, ecology, and history of the area. These guided walks are led by knowledgeable rangers who share fascinating information about the glacier, local wildlife, and the impact of climate change on the Alaskan landscape. Interactive exhibits along the trail further enrich the experience, allowing hikers to engage with the natural environment in a meaningful way.

Interactive nature walks educate and inspire hikers, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the importance of conservation. The experience of witnessing the power of the glacier and learning about the delicate balance of the ecosystem is both humbling and thought-provoking, leaving a lasting impact on those who partake in the adventure. It’s an opportunity for hikers to not only connect with nature but also gain a greater understanding of the environmental challenges facing Alaska’s wilderness.


Alaska is a treasure trove of natural beauty and the 10 best hikes listed in this guide are just a glimpse of what the state has to offer. From Denali National Park to the Kenai Peninsula, hikers of all levels will find a trail that suits their abilities and preferences. Whether it’s the stunning views, diverse wildlife, or the sense of adventure that draws you to the Last Frontier, there is no shortage of amazing hiking opportunities in Alaska.

For those seeking a truly immersive experience in the Alaskan wilderness, these hikes offer a chance to connect with nature and experience the untamed beauty of the state. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to explore the great outdoors, these hikes are sure to leave a lasting impression and inspire future adventures in Alaska. So, lace up your boots, pack your backpack, and answer the call of the wild by embarking on one of the best hikes in Alaska.


Q: What is ‘Answer the Call of the Wild – The 10 Best Hikes in Alaska’?

A: ‘Answer the Call of the Wild – The 10 Best Hikes in Alaska’ is a comprehensive guidebook that highlights the most breathtaking and rewarding hikes in Alaska, featuring detailed descriptions, trail maps, and important information for hikers of all levels.

Q: How were the hikes in the guidebook selected?

A: The hikes were selected based on their scenic beauty, accessibility, and overall hiking experience. Each hike offers something unique and showcases the diverse landscapes of Alaska.

Q: Are the hikes suitable for beginners?

A: While some hikes are more challenging and require experience, there are also plenty of options for beginners. The guidebook provides information on the difficulty level of each hike, allowing hikers to choose trails that match their skills and abilities.

Q: What essential information is included in the guidebook for each hike?

A: For each hike, the guidebook provides detailed trail descriptions, including distance, elevation gain, highlights, and notable features. Additionally, trail maps, recommended gear, and safety tips are included to ensure hikers are well-prepared.

Q: Are there any specific recommendations for hiking in Alaska?

A: Yes, the guidebook offers valuable recommendations for hiking in Alaska, including tips on wildlife encounters, weather conditions, and Leave No Trace principles. It also highlights the best times to visit and how to respect the natural environment.

Q: Can the guidebook be used for planning multi-day hiking trips in Alaska?

A: Absolutely. The guidebook features a selection of hikes that are suitable for multi-day trips, with information on camping options, permits, and additional resources for extended trekking adventures.

Q: Where can ‘Answer the Call of the Wild – The 10 Best Hikes in Alaska’ be purchased?

A: The guidebook is available for purchase online through various retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores. It’s also available in e-book format for digital access.


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