As a private excursion with no set itinerary, the Chugach National Forest guided hike lets guests choose their own Alaska adventure. The trip starts with a meetup with your hiking guide and a choice to be made: Head up to Crow Pass, over to Winner Creek, or down the way to Byron Glacier.
The Winner Creek trail is the easiest of these choices, but still a favorite amongst experienced hikers for its special scenery. The trail winds through an enchanting temperate rainforest. Hemlock trees tower overhead, their branches draped in moss. The forest floor is a bright green blanket of ferns, low bush blueberry, and delicate creeping flowers. You'll reach your turnaround point at the Winner Creek Hand Tram.
Go with a private guide for a personalized hiking adventure.
The hike to Byron Glacier offers an entirely different Alaskan landscape. It starts in cottonwoods and alders, gradually opening onto a rocky wash and Byron Glacier itself. Depending on the season there may even be glacial caves to carefully explore.
For those eager for a more strenuous trek, a hike up Crow Pass is well worth the effort. The trail climbs up along the side of a stunning mountain valley. You'll quickly climb above tree line into a high alpine landscape dotted with wildflowers, waterfalls, and even the occasional black bear.
The Chugach National Forest Private Hike has a minimum group size of four hikers. The total time for this trip is 3 to 5 hours depending on your hiking speed and trail. Each group has their choice of three trails depending on their interests, physical ability, and current area conditions. Your guide will help you choose between:
- Byron Glacier - A mellow trail that goes up the Byron Glacier Valley. Trailhead is about 30 minutes from Girdwood. 1+ mile one way.
- Winner Creek - Hike along a flat, rooty trail through a temperate rainforest to the Winner Creek Hand Tram. 1.5 miles one way.
- Crow Pass - The most strenuous hike, the trail climbs through a dramatic valley and up to the high alpine. 2+ miles one way.
What to Bring
Proper gear is critical for comfort and safety on this guided hike. Wear outdoor hiking clothes and sturdy hiking shoes. Bring rain gear and extra warm layers, hat, and gloves. Don't forget a camera and binoculars.
This is an easy to moderately strenuous activity depending on the trail. The guide will tailor the group's trail and pace so that all guests are comfortable. No experience is necessary.
Transfers & Meeting Points
Meeting points include Alyeska Resort, Girdwood Train Depot, or the tour operator office. Transportation is provided from these locations in Girdwood. The tour operator will reach out to your group prior to your hike to determine what time would work best for you to start this adventure. Pick-ups in Girdwood normally provided at 9 AM or 1:30 PM, but since this trip is private an alternate desired start time can often be accommodated.