Destination Alaska: Thompson Pass

See the awesome Valdez Mountains on this off-trail adventure to Point Odyssey and beyond.
Publish date:

Don’t be fooled by the short mileage. The routefinding, utter isolation, and potential for big weather—you’re only 18 miles from Prince William Sound and its frequent storms—up the ante here. But front-row views of the toothy, glacier-clad spires in the Valdez Mountains more than reward the effort. And thanks to the road access to Thompson Pass, set at 2,678 feet beneath the glacier-draped pyramid of Girls Mountain, you don’t have to claw through alder to reach the hiker heaven above treeline.

For a world-class dayhike, trek 5.7 miles round-trip from the pass, crossing pond-dotted tundra benches broken by short cliff bands. Follow the ridgeline east-northeast toward locally named Little Odyssey, the first large bump on the ridge. On the far side, cross the gully and scramble up class 2 rock bands to 4,539-foot Point Odyssey—with its 360-degree vistas. Multiday options: Find superb campsites on tundra shelves below the summit, or hike 10.5 miles (one-way) toward Marshall Pass.

The Way Drive 89 miles south of Glenallen on the Richardson Highway.

Popular Content