Chugach Mountains, AK: Lost Lake

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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 22.9

Waypoints

PTA001

Location: 60.33987, -149.373367

Walk through camping area to Primrose trailhead

PTA002

Location: 60.334026, -149.378113

Cross creek on plank footbridge

PTA003

Location: 60.334148, -149.380875

Bear right @ junction with snow-machine trail

PTA004

Location: 60.332584, -149.385956

Meadow opens to left as trail begins to rise

PTA005

Location: 60.325977, -149.399628

Cross plank footbridge

PTA006

Location: 60.325779, -149.40181

Spur trail on right leads down to small waterfall, great spot for lunch

PTA007

Location: 60.321758, -149.402969

Beware of rocky patch on trail immediately after log footbridge

PTA008

Location: 60.308079, -149.408997

Log bridge crosses burbling creek

PTA009

Location: 60.309391, -149.411911

Break in trees offers clear view of mountains

PTA010

Location: 60.308933, -149.4133

Cabin marks site of active mining claim (private property) and beautiful lake view. Trail proceeds to Lost Lake

PTA011

Location: 60.27275, -149.424437

Lost Lake

PTA012

Location: 60.274217, -149.497833

Good secluded campsite west of Lost Lake

PTA013

Location: 60.256508, -149.425392

Go south on Lost Lake Trail

PTA014

Location: 60.166888, -149.404056

Lost Lake trailhead