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Crow Pass Trail. Crow Pass Trail is a 26-mi-long backpacking trail that begins outside Girdwood and ends in Eagle River at the nature center. The trail is part of the Historic Iditarod Trail and is a truly great hike. The first 3 mi of this trail are the most strenuous, but after that the worst things hikers have to contend with are snow above the tree line and icy-cold river crossings. In Alaska during the summer it is wise to cross through rivers only in the morning in order to avoid the rising waters throughout the day as snow and glaciers melt under the many hours of sunshine.
In addition to offering splendid views, Crow Pass Trail winds around the front of the amazing Raven Glacier terminus. The glacier is ½ mi wide and more than 2 mi long, with many deep crevasses. You can camp anywhere along the trail, though it's important to know that camping anywhere near the glacier, even at the peak of summer, is a chilly endeavor. There is one cabin available along the trail at 3,500 feet. The cabin is above the tree line, just across from rich crystalline-blue Crystal Lake. It is almost always booked at least six months in advance. Contact forest headquarters. AK. www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach.
Resurrection Pass Trail. Resurrection Pass Trail, a 38-mi-long backpacking trail through the Chugach National Forest, draws hikers and backpackers for its colorful wildflowers in summer. There's also a chance to spot wildlife: moose, caribou, Dall sheep, mountain goats, black and brown bears, wolves, coyotes, and lynx all traverse the forest. Carry binoculars for the best wildlife-viewing opportunities.
The northern end of the trail starts south of the town of Hope, and follows an old mining trail through the Kenai Mountains to its end near Cooper Landing. The trail branches off at one point to the Devil's Pass trailhead along the Seward Highway. Besides cabins, the U.S. Forest Service has provided several "official" campsites along the trail, where you'll find a cleared patch of ground and a fire ring. You are free, however, to pitch your tent wherever you like. AK. www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach.
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