50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK
This 39-mile Alaska hike offers big scenery without a bush plane.
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(39 miles, 3-4 days)
Grizzlies do it. Moose and wolves do it. Backpackers? Only occasionally. That is, travel the Resurrection Pass Trail. Ironic, because in a state buzzing with bush planes, the RPT is easy-access and much longer than a dayhike. Bonus: Eight cabins dot the trail, making hut-to-hut itineraries possible ($5/night; recreation.gov). Alaska newbies, this is the trail for you.
An hour south of Anchorage, seven of its 39 miles cruise above the trees on either side of the pass, with snowy peaks all around. The hike is a long, gradual rise from near sea level to the 2,600-foot pass and then a long, easy descent. Simple is good. Creeks line the trail for much of the way, and cabins are situated within earshot of tumbling water, or beside trout-filled lakes. (907) 743-9500; fs.fed.us/r10/chugach
The way North trailhead: four miles south of Hope on Resurrection Creek Rd. South trailhead: mile 53.2 on Sterling Highway in Tablerock State Park.
Shuttle DIY, or hire a cab. ($250/two hikers, Soldotna Cab, 907-262-4200)
Season The trail is snow-free from mid-June through September.
Map Trails Illustrated Kenai NWR/Chugach National Forest ($12, natgeomaps.com)