close
close

7 scenic hikes in Alaska that aren't in Denali

Summary

  • Get ready for a challenging hike with breathtaking views of Alaska's impressive landscapes and glaciers on the Flattop Mountain Trail.
  • Explore the tranquil Winner Creek Trail in the Chugach National Forest, perfect for hikers of all ages with beautiful waterfalls along the way.
  • Take on the challenging Lost Lake Trail and enjoy unforgettable views of the Alaskan wilderness any time of year in the cool town of Seward.


With its seemingly endless expanse of untouched, wild majesty, Alaska is a dream location for both adventure seekers and those who admire the beauty of nature. From the stunning national parks (especially Denali) to the remote Inside Passage to the state's most visited city, Anchorage, there are plenty of destinations to fall in love with in Alaska. This last frontier state is also home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the United States, making it a paradise for hikers, climbers and mountaineers.

Denali National Park is perhaps Alaska's most beautiful travel destination. Denali is home to a number of incredible hiking trails and tons of other things to do, from wildlife viewing to scenic drives. Still, there are a variety of options in the state for those seeking unique hiking experiences that go beyond the fun experiences and adventures that Denali offers.


From Alaska's most dangerous and exhilarating hikes to easy, family-friendly strolls, Alaska has a trail for every type. Yes, beyond Denali! Check out these scenic Alaska hikes outside Denali National Park that capture the charm of this wild, untouched state without the crowds of Denali.

Related

The 7 Best Hikes in Alaska

Lace up your boots and explore Alaska's breathtaking wilderness on unforgettable hikes. Discover breathtaking glaciers, alpine meadows and wildlife.

AllTrails Rating: 4.6

The Flattop Mountain Trail in Chugach State Park, one of the best state parks in Alaska, is a strenuous climb with beautiful views all the way up! The route starts at the Glen Alps car park and is moderately difficult until the second saddle. From there things get more difficult with a series of climbs to the summit.


The hike is worth it for the expansive views of the city, Cook Inlet, the Chugach and Alaska Ranges, and possibly Denali from the summit. Flattop Mountain is a popular destination for those looking to take a scenic day hike due to its proximity to Anchorage (it's only a half-hour drive away).

Length/type of hike

8.5 miles/round trip

Altitude gain

2,874 feet

Difficulty level

Hard

Time required to complete

6 to 7 hours

Fees for entering the forest area

Free, $5 for a day parking permit

Dog friendly

Yes, on a leash

AllTrails Rating: 4.6


The Winner Creek Trail (or Lower Winner Creek Trail) is located in the Chugach National Forest, home to the Alaska mountain range closest to Anchorage. It is a wonderful, easy 3-mile hike suitable for hikers of all ages.

Starting just behind the Alyeska Tram building, travel through a dense forest of hemlock and spruce and end at Crow Creek Road, which is just below Crow Creek Mine. Winner Creek forms a beautiful series of small waterfalls as it flows through a narrow crevice to reach the Winner Creek Gorge.

The trail is ideal for skiing and fat biking in winter. In summer, however, hikers can observe a variety of songbirds in the nearby forests along the route.


Length/type of hike

4.9 miles round trip

Height gain

813 feet

Difficulty level

Moderate

Time required to complete

2.5 to 4 hours

Fees for entry into the forest area

Free, leisure pass may be required

Dog friendly

Yes, on a leash

Related

8 things you can't find in Alaska

While the 49th state has the largest national park and the largest number of lakes, it also lacks many of the features common elsewhere.

5 Bonanza Mine Trail, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve

AllTrails Rating: 4.6

This challenging 8.3-mile round trip hike features breathtaking views and the remains of the Bonanza Mine bunker cabin. The hike begins in Kennicott Mill Town, a fascinating abandoned ghost town.

Nearly the entire route, especially above tree level, the trail offers breathtaking views of Mt. Blackburn, the Chugach Mountains, and Kennicott Glacier, making it one of the most scenic hikes in Alaska.


Start in the town of Kennicott Mill and head toward Root Glacier and Visitor Center. After half a mile, turn right and climb the slope. Turn left at the first switchback and follow the road uphill to Bonanza Mine in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Here one can see historical artifacts scattered across the landscape and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.

Length/type of hike

8.3 miles/round trip

Height gain

3,907 feet

Difficulty level

Hard

Time required to complete

7 to 8 hours

Fees for entering the forest area

Free

Dog friendly

Yes, on a leash

The buildings were not stabilized. Therefore, be careful when exploring the area and avoid entering the old buildings. In addition, since the artifacts are part of the country's historical heritage, please do not remove them from the site.


AllTrails Rating: 4.7

An oasis of blue ice, white snow and lush terrain, Exit Glacier in Alaska's Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the best places in the world to view glaciers in their full glory!

This easy 2.2 mile hike begins at the Exit Glacier Nature Center and follows the Glacier View Loop Trail through a cottonwood forest to Glacier View. Stop for a while to take in the panoramic views of Exit Glacier cascading down from the Harding Icefield. Then continue southwest on the Glacier Overlook Trail to Exit Glacier Overlook to experience the amazing power of the glacier up close.


Hiking length/type

2.2 miles/lap

Height gain

314 feet

Difficulty level

Simply

Time required to complete

1 to 2 hours

Fees for entering the forest area

Free

Dog friendly

NO

During the summer months when the road is open, there is not much parking at Exit Glacier, especially between 10:30am and 3:30pm, so it is better to take a shuttle or taxi, ride a bike, or carpool. The road remains closed during the winter and most of the spring.

Related

Explore Alaska's glaciers on the Dramatic Glacier Discovery Train

The Glacier Discovery Train is one of the best and most scenic day trips from Anchorage.

AllTrails Rating: 4.8


The Lost Lake Trail, located near Seward, one of Alaska's coolest small towns for a summer vacation, offers breathtaking views of the spruce forest, glaciers, and towering mountains. The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow; it starts at mile 5 of the Seward Highway and ends at Lost Lake. The pristine beauty and incredible views of Lost Lake make it absolutely worth hiking there.

Even in summer the hike is a challenge. However, snow and ice make it more difficult in winter. Nevertheless, the breathtaking landscape of the Alaskan wilderness is truly mesmerizing throughout the entire route, regardless of the season!

Length/type of hike

13.8 miles/one way 7 return

Height gain

2,526 feet

Difficulty level

Hard

Time required to complete

7 to 8 hours

Fees for entering the forest area

Free, leisure pass may be required

Dog friendly

Yes, on a leash


2 Chilkoot Pass Trail, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

AllTrails Rating: 4.8

The Chilkoot Pass Trail, a national historic trail from Dyea, Alaska, USA, to Bennett, British Columbia, Canada, is one of the most scenic hikes in the state and offers a wealth of fun experiences and breathtaking scenery.

This 33-mile (53-kilometer) hike is challenging, but the stunning views of alpine meadows, pristine lakes, the rugged Chilkoot Pass (which is often snow-capped even in summer), and temperate rainforests make it truly worthwhile.


Because this hike in the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a point-to-point hike, hikers can return after enjoying the scenery of Chilkoot Pass. However, if you want to fully appreciate the beauty of the entire 33-mile trail—and assuming you have the necessary permits to cross the border—completing the Chilkoot Trail, which chronicles the history of the Klondike Gush Rush, is well worth the effort .

Additionally, the train ride from Bennett to Skagway is another worthwhile experience!

Length/type of hike

31.2 miles/point to point

Height gain

6,128 feet

Difficulty level

Hard

Time required to complete

3 to 6 days

Fees for entering the forest area

Free

Dog friendly

Yes, on a leash

Currently on the U.S. side, only the first 4 miles of the Chilkoot Trail in Dyea are open for day use, allowing hikers to enjoy a 7-hour round trip in summer 2024.


AllTrails Rating: 4.9

The Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most dangerous hikes in Alaska, but the views are simply incredible and leave hikers in awe. The trail is located in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, one of the most breathtaking national parks in the United States. What makes the park so special is that the Kenjai Fjords in Alaska are home to beautiful fjords that are just as beautiful as those in Norway; Therefore, this hike is simply breathtaking!

This 8.5-mile scenic out-and-back trail takes hikers from the valley floor through beautiful meadows to a high point above the tree line. At the end of the trail, hikers are rewarded with incredible views of one of the largest existing ice fields in the United States.


Length/type of hike

8.6 miles/round trip

Altitude gain

3,198 feet

Difficulty level

Hard

Time required to complete

Approximately 7 to 8 hours

Fees for entering the forest area

Free

Dog friendly

NO

Hikers wishing to reach the ice field at the end of the trail may need to spend an additional 1-1.5 hours climbing up and down rugged slopes. Bears are a common sight along the Harding Icefield Trail. So be careful and vigilant at all times.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *