Alaska Hiking Trails
This site is designed to provide quick, organized access to informative Alaska hiking websites. Private hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Alaska hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
- Anchorage Area/ Southcentral Alaska Alright, this is it, the ultimate online hiking resource for this region. Unbelievable...well organized, descriptive, all the details, directions, and tons of photos. This is a must click. Outstanding site by Bill Davidson. In his own words, If you are a visitor coming to the Anchorage area, my hope is that this site will be a useful reference in helping you decide where to hike, backpack, bike or even snowshoe and cross country ski. I have tried to cross reference the hikes in many different and unusual ways so that even if you wind up here on a business trip in February with only an afternoon free, this site can still be of some help. Check it out.
- Bus 142/Christopher McCandless/Into the Wild see "Stampede Trail" link below.
- Chilkoot Pass details, brief narrative, great photos on the N2Backpacking.com website. This site offers a subscription service, the type of thing we don't usually link to, BUT it offers so much outstanding "free" information on so many hiking trails that it's definitely a must-click. Well-done hiking and backpacking site by Steve Goodrich.
- Denali National Park hiking & exploring in Zone 31-32; details, brief narrative, great photos on the N2Backpacking.com website. (see more on N2Backpacking under Chilkoot Pass above).
- General emphasis on hiking, backpacking, ecotourism. Nice site by Ron Clauson; good place to begin your research.
- General AKTrailhead.com is a relatively new site, perhaps a dozen or so trails, but well worth a visit: Each of the listings has very informative notes, directions, trail description, and some excellent photos. A "must-click" site in the making by Dan Freckleton.
- Juneau Area nice introductory/guide-type site by Diane Pearson. Includes snippets for dozens of the key local hikes. Hikes range from the Mendenhall River Trail (Juneau's signature hike), Perseverence/Granite Creek Trail, up to overnight mountain sieges. Outstanding photos.
- Juneau Area "Trail Mix" laundry list of key hikes on the Trail Mix website. Trail Mix is an organization in Juneau for hikers and whatnot. Looks like a worthwhile group. Dig through the site; good stuff here.
- Kenai Fjords National Park Here's a hike on Harding Icefield and Exit Glacier, steep and hazardous, but more beautiful than you can imagine. Awesome climb! Great photos and description on NaturalBornHikers.com.
Mt. McKinley Climb well-written, thorough narrative by Ken Kersten of a 2004 ascent using a guide service.
- Mt. Rapinsky Author Christine Beveridge recalls a hike on Southeast Alaska's highest peak as she winds through the Inside Passage. This travelogue doesn't tell you anything about the hike, but it sure makes some great reading. On the FarFlungMagazine.com site.
- Stampede Trail This webpage by Erik Halfacre is the "go-to" site if you want to hike to Bus 142 of Into The Wild Christopher McCandless fame. This site provides a good reality-check for this grueling hike. Lots of information, recommendations, and links to more stuff. If you haven't read Into the Wild, it's definitely worth doing so. Good as the movie is, like they always say, the book is better. Written by Jon Krakauer, one of the great ice climbers of the 20th century, who has a knack for describing "life on the edge" to us mere mortals. Anyway, if you know the story, and you want to check out Alexander Supertramp's bus, you'd do well to click Erik Halfacre's link first.
- Tongass National Forest main hiking page for Tongass on the USFS website. Click around, lots of info and trail descriptions in here.
- Worthington Glacier State Recreation Area Hike on Worthington Glacier, route follows a knife-edge ridge along the side of the glacier up to the snowfield. Terrific photos and description on NaturalBornHikers.com.
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park This is a site by TrekAlaska.com, a commercial guide operation run by Greg Fensterman. We don't normally link to these type sites, however, this is an excellent source of information on this underpublicized and out-of-the-way NP. Photos, maps, trip descriptions; good site. If you are shopping for a guide, this one should be on your list.
George turned to Sam, with his gold in his hand...
If you recognized that line from Johnny Horton's North to Alaska, give yourself seven points. And if you did, you'll surely agree that no other tune comes close to capturing the spirit of Alaska. Big, full of riches, stunningly beautiful, lonely as hell. You go to Alaska to find beauty and escape from people, and you find the beauty so overwhelming that you discover a deep need to share it with the very same people you ran away from.
As far as books go, none do the job as well as the late Johnny Horton's tune; it's just too big for one writer to tame. You have to pick it apart a little at a time. The only one I've reviewed is DENALI: Guidebook to Hiking, Photography, and Camping in Denali National Park, Alaska by Ike Waits. It covers just about everything the slacker needs. This link on Amazon will save you a couple of bucks, and if you find a used copy listed, grab it if it's under $9. But I doubt you will...Waits' effort is a great souvenir of Denali, so not too many people are willing to part with it.
-- Rick Bolger
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