Crow Pass Trail is located one hour drive south from Anchorage to Girdwood. The best period to perform this hike is between June to September. You will pass and find glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife, mine ruins, and berries. Indeed, doing it Winter is not recommended due to avalanches. However, the trail is relatively easily, excepted in few areas where you should be a little cautious. I would considered to be one of the best hikes in all of the Chugach Mountains that I have done. Crow Pass follows a portion of the original Iditarod Trail, including its highest point. End to end. Moreover, the best is that through that hike you will see so many different environments, starting from green vegetations and ending with lot of snow. Furthermore, in the middle you will discover the rest of some mine’s equipments. Near the top, there is the Crow Path Cabin. Nice and safety place too.
Adventure Map of Crow Pass Trailhead
Elevation Map of Crow Pass Trailhead
Details of the trail
Hiking Crow Pass Trailhead
Mining, mushing and mails describes the best the histoty of this Crow Pass trail. You will find the mine after 1.8miles. The next will be the Crow Pass Cabin after 3.5 miles and Crow Pass and the Glacier after 3.9 miles. Along the way you will see several waterfalls.
Thus, if you like to up to Eagle River, it is 23 miles away. This is a long one and will require a good preparation.
Equipments : we recommend to bring with you good shoes, water, foods, some additional clothes and poles . As we climb to the pass, the temperature is going down.
The starting point
When you arrive at the destination, you can find parking spots easily. There is as well few pinic tables for those we are hungry. The Vegetation is quite dense at the bottom of this Crow Pass Trailhead, but not enough to protect you from the sun. Wearing sun’s protection is important.
First, we start to climb. Very green at the bottom. A very practical and nice trail.
Looking backward, this is the valley. The nice mountains still cover of snow, photos took by the end of June.
We start to climb to the top. Then, the valley will be become narrower as we arrive closer to the top. For the first few miles, the vegetation is very present.
The First Snow
Suddenly, the vegetation stops, we come to another world, where we can touch and see the first snow.
We are not far away from the starting point, but this is the first passage where we need to be cautious. Surely, you can imagine even few weeks earlier it would have been more difficult to pass by the here.
Now the vegetation is over, we walk along a small trail. Lot of rocks. It seems that we are in another world. After that, we couldn’t imagine that we were in a different place few minutes ago.
Crow Pass Trailhead Mines
The mines were active from 1909 to 1938 and just after the turn of the 20th century, hundreds of prospectors heading for other parts of the state on the Iditarod Trail passed the Monarch’s undiscovered vein without knowing it.
After passing a number of rusted mining ruins of the Monarch Mine, you’ll be able to look directly up the rock-walled gorge of the falls. And also, depending on the wind, you may even feel the spray spewing out of the gorge. Then, as you climb the switchbacks, bordering the creek, turn around often for a deeper view into the massive columns of falling water. Moreover, you’ll even come across a short side trail that sidles down a very precipitous ledge to the corner of the gorge. Finally, there you can truly feel the spray and splash of the falling water as it rumbles down the rocky caves before you. (Ref : https://www.alaska.org/detail/crow-pass-trail )
Climbing to the pass
Looking backward, we have come a long way. Nevertheless, we are almost at the pass.
Now, we are at the top. And so, we are going to continue to go the Eagle River and Raven Glacier. At this point, we are very closed.
The crow pass cabin
A large piece of water cover by ice. Further, you can see the cabin pointed out. Indeed, this is a nice place to book if you like to stay overnight. But, you must check if it is available before you decide to stay. This a very spectacular area. So, here you’ll find surprisingly large Crystal Lake, the major source for the falls below.
Heading to the glacier
The crow pass
We are at the Crow Pass, 3500 feet. Quite a journey. Well, this is a good place to take a rest and enjoy the views!
This is the end of our day trip. We can see the glacier. From this point you can go on if you like. However, going much further than this point, is a multiple days trip.
Surely, Crow Pass Trailhead is one of the best one day hike I ever done in Alaska!
Location: 61.02827548285346, -149.11628711662328