From time to time there are work opportunities in Alaska and I’ve gotten in the habit of adding on a day or two to explore the surroundings outside Anchorage. The options are numerous and often a choice between amazing and incredible.

Crow Pass

Camping at Crow Pass

This year was my first opportunity to visit Alaska in the summer so I made sure to pack my camping gear and stay and extra night. I settled a hike up to Crow Pass which didn’t disappoint.

Glaciers above Crow Pass

Exploring the Monarch Mine on the way up

Looking back down the valley from Crow Pass

The hike up to the pass is quite interesting as you rise out of the valley, there are ruins of the abandoned Monarch Mine. There are many daytrippers up to the pass but very few choose to spend the night. A lucky few can secure the cabin that sits a picturesque spot near the glacier fed, Crystal Lake.

Crow Peak views

Without a cabin booking, it is still possible to back-country camp and there are a few bear caches set up near the hut.

Camping at and exploring the pass is incredible but there time for more. I decided to head up Crow Peak which is not a straightforward endeavor. It ended up being quite a bit more arduous than getting up to the pass itself but rewarded spectacular views.

See cabin left of Crystal Lake

Harding Icefield

Incredible views over Harding Icefield
Start of hike – Exit Glacier

Another trip, I drove down to Seward and hiked up past Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield. If glaciers weren’t amazing enough, the source of the glaciers is absolutely outstanding and breathtaking.

Hiking through melted snowpack

The Harding Glacier route is within Kenai Fjords National Park and is quite a popular trail. The hike up to the icefield takes 3-4 hours and there are endless opportunities to explore from there.

Harding Icefield
Difficult to take in the majesty of Harding Icefield