Don’t have 2 weeks of vacation, cash for a bush flight, or advanced skills for a remote expedition? Just an hour from Anchorage, The Talkeetnas are your answer. The range is full of pointy summits that call to mind the Wind Rivers or Sierra on steroids, plus endless soaring passes and a wealth of glaciers.
This 5-day, 21-mile sampler is an excellent intro to the route-finding and terrain challenges of Alaskan trekking, but it also offers numerous opportunities for more advanced hikers to explore utterly deserted backcountry. The route hits a little bit of everything by looping through the southwest corner of the Talkeetnas in the Hatcher Pass Management Area, land loosely administered by Alaska State Parks. While the trailheads can be bustling on weekends, you’ll quickly escape the crowds.