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Chugach Mountains, AK: Lost Lake

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 14.2 miles


Bring plenty of supplies to this alpine plateau in the Chugach Mountains--you'll want to extend your stay.

This thru-hike requires no arduous bushwhacking, delivers you quickly to spectacular alpine terrain, has a simple shuttle, and serves as a gateway to big-mountain exploring. The easy-to-follow Primrose Trail, just off the Seward Highway south of Kenai Lake, climbs through thick pine forest and emerges onto rocky ridgelines with views of looming 5,710-foot Mt. Ascension and the massive Snow River Valley to the east.

Continue to Lost Lake, at mile six, and cast for rainbows from open tundra at 1,920 feet elevation. Your basecamp: a pond 1.5 miles west of the lake, which has the best solitude, up-close vistas of the glaciers on Mt. Ascension, and days’ worth of tundra hikes through the alpine valleys of Martin, Primrose, Ship, and Boulder Creeks. Tip: Hike this route from the north for the best views, but start from the southern Lost Lake trailhead in bad weather, to avoid rain-laden headwinds off of the gulf.  -Steve Howe

MORE INFO: Alaska DNR; dnr.alaska.gov/parks

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