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Crow Pass

Length: 24 miles one way Time: 2 - 3 days Best season: July - September
Trail Image 1 Trail Image 2 Trail Image 3 Trail Image 4 Trail Image 5 Trail Image 6
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First trail image

View from an early portion of the trail. The waterfalls and mine ruins are just a little ways ahead from here.

Second trail image

The rocky chasm and the first main waterfall. My friend Dave here is pretending to push my friend Derrall off a cliff, heh heh.

Third trail image

Spectacular Raven glacier. This photo was taken around 11:00 pm - yet still enough light out to take a picture in late July!

Fourth trail image

The bridge which crosses raven creek. We set our camp up next to the steep, rocky gorge.

Fifth trail image

Here you can see where Raven valley meets up with the larger Eagle River valley, looking east. You can see Eagle Glacier on the left.

Sixth trail image

The Eagle River comes right from Eagle Glacier. Because of this, the water is freezing! Be careful, and don't say you weren't aware!

Trail description:

Considered to be one of the best chugach hikes, Crow pass traverses a route all the way from the outskirts of Girdwood, along Turnagain Arm, to a finishing point not far from the city of Eagle River. The first section of the hike is uphill with a generally modest inclination. Ruins of an old mine can be seen about a mile in, shortly before the trail makes it's way through a rocky gorge with several waterfalls. Be carefull; it can be steep here and there's plenty of loose rock. Afterwards, the trail will split left and right; either way can be taken as both trails merge again. A shallow pond known as Crystal Lake can be seen on the left once the high point is reached, followed by a spectacular view of Raven Glacier up ahead. From this point on the trail will head consistently downhill for the next several miles. A bridge is reached at one point which crosses another noteworthy waterfall. Raven valley eventually merges with the larger Eagle River valley; here you will need to ford the Eagle River (read below). After the river-crossing, the trail heads left and follows the valley west, which makes up most of the actual hike. The trail splits and re-joins a few times; the best rule is to stay to the right, which is higher up, as the trails on the left can be inaccessible due to water. There are some places which may require additional water crossing, on either route. Near the end of the trail, several wooden posts will let you know that you're almost finished. Eventually, the trail ends at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Difficulty:

Somewhat tough simply due to length. There is some elevation gain, although only over the first few miles. The river crossing presents the single most difficult obstacle. The water can be anywhere between 2 to 3 feet deep, and is extremely cold, due to its nearby source - a glacier. Do consider whether you, and those you are with, are up to the challenge before considering this hike.

Directions:

From Anchorage, head south on the New Seward Highway, past city limits, for about 45 minutes, until the city of Girdwood is reached. You should see a large gas station; turn left, and follow this road for about 2 miles. As soon as the road begins to curve right, look for Crow Creek Road on your left and turn. This should be a gravel road; after a while it will fork. Take the right fork (uphill) until a parking area is reached; the trail begins on the far side of this lot.

Additional Information:

It helps to arrange to be dropped off at the trailhead, rather then leaving a vehicle there to be picked up later. It's a long way back to Girdwood!