Alaska, often referred to as the “Last Frontier,” is a land of breathtaking landscapes, untamed wilderness, and unparalleled natural beauty. Here, outdoor enthusiasts can experience some of the most remarkable hiking trails in the world. So, where are some of the best places to hike in Alaska?
In this blog, we will explore some of the best places to hike in Alaska, allowing you to immerse yourself in the wild beauty of this extraordinary state. Alaska’s landscapes make it a dream destination for hikers, from rugged mountain terrains and vast glaciers to lush forests and lakes.
At Alaska Trail Guides, we love sharing the great outdoors with travelers from all over the world. Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker or are looking for something different to enjoy on your vacation, take a look at our biking tours of Anchorage to discover our beautiful city.
If you’d like to talk to one of our local experts about joining us on a bike tour of the city, just get in touch. We’ll show you where the city meets the wilderness in Anchorage by bike, where breweries, bears, moose, and more await!
But, for now, we’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour of some of our favorite hiking spots around the state, with a few local gems in Anchorage. Keep scrolling to find your next adventure!
Walk in the Amazing Tongass National Forest, Juneau, Alaska
As the nation’s largest national forest, Tongass offers an abundance of hiking trails immersed in lush rainforests and coastal panoramas. The Perseverance Trail near Juneau is a well-known trek, leading from downtown Juneau to a breathtaking canyon.
A former rail line used by gold miners, you will climb into a dramatic valley. Cut on one side by a canyon and immersed in the wilderness you will come across old mine shafts, picturesque waterfalls and stunning views of the Gastineau Channel.
This intermediate hike is about three miles long and one of many that you can enjoy in Tongass National Forest. There are over 700 miles worth of hiking trails!
For a combination of landscapes with awesome panoramas, try the Nugget Falls Trail. The trail is 0.8 miles long and only takes less than two hours to complete. You’ll be rewarded with the thundering waterfall, views of the Mendenhall Glacier, and a large sandy beach.
Tongass National Forest is also home to black and brown bears, which are best seen from several viewing spots including Fish Creek, Dog Salmon Creek, and Margaret Creek.
Visit the Beautiful Kodiak Island, Alaska
Kodiak Island presents a remarkable opportunity to hike amidst a rich array of wildlife and pristine landscapes. Kodiak is the largest island in Alaska and the second-largest island in the US, at 3,670 square miles, giving hikers over 100 miles to explore.
Hop on the ferry in Homer or fly from Anchorage to get here for plenty of hiking trails and outdoor activities. There are several intermediate and difficult hikes in Fort Abercrombie State Park, which reward intrepid hikers with beautiful ocean views and tide pools.
The Abercrombie Mountain Trail is a challenging hike that rewards adventurers with breathtaking views of the island and the surrounding ocean. While exploring the island, you might even have the chance to spot Kodiak Brown Bears, bald eagles, and other native wildlife.
Kodiak Island also has several gentler walks to enjoy, such as Mill Bay Beach Park. Eager bird watchers can see an array of feathered friends as they walk along the sand and spot surfers.
Hike in the Otherworldly Katmai National Park, Alaska
For those seeking a truly unique hiking experience, Katmai National Park offers the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of brown bears fishing for salmon.
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is an otherworldly hike that takes you through a vast volcanic landscape, a remnant of the massive 1912 eruption of Novarupta. This scenic, remote destination offers hikers plenty of hiking trails to choose from.
It’s a less expensive destination to get to than others in Alaska and you can travel here from Anchorage to King Salmon, then onwards to Brooks Camp. Then take the Katmailand bus, which leaves once a day. This trip requires a little forward planning to ensure your spot for prime bear viewing season in July.
The Brooks Falls Trail is 1.2 miles long and very accessible. As the most popular trail in Katmai, you’ll walk through the boreal forest where you can see brown bears. At the trail end, there are two raised platforms overlooking the Brooks River. Great for seeing these creatures chasing salmon in season!
Venture to the Vast Chugach State Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Chugach State Park is the third-largest state park in the US. Adjacent to Anchorage, this destination is a convenient spot for hikers looking to explore Alaska’s wilderness just a short drive away from the city.
The park features a wide variety of trails catering to different abilities and preferences. Flattop Mountain Trail is a popular choice, providing stunning panoramic views of Anchorage, the Cook Inlet, and surrounding mountain ranges.
For a more challenging endeavor, the Crow Pass Trail takes hikers on a historical route through rugged and remote landscapes and glaciers. As one of the best hikes in the park, Crow Pass is a moderate 21-mile hike, which many hikers complete over two days. If you don’t want to do the whole thing, the first four miles offer beautiful landscape views.
If you’d prefer to experience Chugach State Park on two wheels, take a look at our Chugach Mountain Biking Tour. Over a four-hour tour, our guides will show you the park’s wonders, including views of Anchorage, the Alaska Range, Denali, Cook Inlet, and the Chugach Mountains.
Trek to the Spectacular Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska is a captivating region known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and outdoor adventures. It offers picturesque coastal vistas, abundant fishing opportunities, and hiking trails that lead to pristine lakes, glaciers, and alpine meadows.
The Lost Lake Trail is a scenic and moderately challenging hike through lush forests, meadows, and alpine terrain. The trail leads to the pristine Lost Lake, surrounded by rugged mountains, and showcases Alaska’s wilderness beauty in a 14-mile loop option.
If you want to drive to your hike, take a trip to Kenai Fjords National Park’s Exit Glacier. Just 10-15 minutes outside Seward, this spot offers a network of well-walked trails with views of craggy dense blue ice. Glacier View Loop is an accessible one-mile trail to get you started.
That brings us to the end of our list of some of the best places to hike in Alaska. Which locations caught your eye? Don’t forget, there are plenty more where that came from! If you’d like to discover even more great hiking spots, check out our blog: 5 National Parks You Must Explore Near Anchorage.
We’ve also rounded up the best 10 trails and hikes in Anchorage for you to peruse, too. So, if you’re ready to start exploring Alaska, we hope to see you soon! Your hiking or biking journey awaits, just get in touch with us to book your next adventure.