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Crow Pass Hike


Glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and mining ruins add some spice to the hike to Crow Pass, as if it needed any. The pass is the highest point on the historic Iditarod Trail and one of the finest day hikes in South-central Alaska. Arctic ground squirrels, marmots, and mountain goats inhabit the high country near Crow Pass, and bears, moose, and Dall sheep are frequently spotted too, especially on the Eagle River side of the pass.

This is a fantastic Hike!

The trail is relatively snow-free by late June, though the Crystal Lake basin south of the pass and some of the gullies north of the pass may hold snow well into the summer. An alpine pass, mountain glaciers, mining and Iditarod Trail history, wildlife, and access to off-trail wilderness rambles; one of South-central Alaska’s classic alpine traverses.


  • Knowledgeable and fun naturalist hiking guides
  • Deli Lunch, granola bars/snacks and bottled waters
  • Round trip transportation to trail head
  • Park entrance fees
  • Bear Protection
  • Ecology, glaciology and natural history discussions
  • Trekking poles and extra attire, if needed

Full Day Hike

Season: June 15 - Sept 16, 2019 Ages: 9-70


Departs: Girdwood

Group Size

Min 2 People - Max 40 People Ratio: 10/1

Activity Level

Previous Hiking Recommended Strenuous
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  • Mileage: Up to 6 miles round trip (strenuous, steep, exceptional vistas).
  • Elevation Gain: up to 4,200 feet total.


    This is a strenuous activity. Previous hiking experience suggested. To maximize your enjoyment on this hike, we recommend you can hike up to 10 miles of flat terrain or can run 5 miles or participate regularly in other sustained high intensity physical and cardio sports or activities. Your cardio and fitness levels will be challenged on this hike!


    • Ages: 9-70.  
    • This trip is great for families and groups.
    • This trip operates in all weather conditions.
    • Each trip is custom tailored to the group’s desire and fitness levels.
    • Trips start and finish at the tramway circle at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood.
    • Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit & water.
    • Custom departure times and private buyouts are available
    • Advanced reservations of at least 1 month are recommended
    • All guests are required to fill out our online Hiking Application and Waiver in advance.
    • After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system to make any changes up to 14 days in advance of your trip (with no fees or drama!)
    • Availability is limited so book your trip today!


    Cotton clothes are not recommended. Wear comfortable warm synthetic clothes dressing in layers (long sleeved shirt, long pants, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap) hiking boots or trail shoes with a rugged sole. Bring a small backpack, camera and binoculars. For questions about what to bring and wear read our Be Prepared Document


    Gratuities for your awesome guide!


    Trips start and finish at the tramway circle at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska at trip meeting time.

    Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska: 1000 Arlberg Ave 


    Yup. Girdwood is home to North Americas Northern-most Temperate Coastal Rainforest

    While the glaciers collect over 1000" of snow per winter, down in the valley floor we see Rufus Hummingbirds, mosses, ferns and hundreds of species of lichens.

    Do you know how a lichen is formed? "Freddy Fungus met Alice Algae- they took a lichen to each other- and got married. Ever since then, their relationship has been on the rocks....!"


    Girdwood is a small ski town in winter and a mecca for adventure and nature loving tourists to Alaska in the summer. It is home to the Alyeska Ski Resort and hotel, which has the longest double black diamond ski runs in North America. The northern most latitude of North America's Temperate Coastal Rainforest stops in Girdwood. Songbirds and rufous hummingbirds migrate worldwide to mate and fledge their young in the abundant Hemlock and Sitka Spruce forests of Girdwood. In Fall, blueberries, salmonberries, wild raspberries and numerous species of mushrooms can be found valley wide. The Alyeska Hotel hosts the Fiddlehead Fern festival, Blueberry Festival and Fungus Fair among other festivals and musicians every summer.

    Annually, Fourth of July weekend, brings the decades old Forest Fair. It's is a 3 day festival that hosts musicians, yummy food, and local artists with handmade art, crafts, clothing, jewelry and pottery. The kiddos have their own art booth where they can make art and crafts. Also, local Girdwood and Alaskan kids have the opportunity to have booths to sell their handmade treats and crafts. This is such a popular event that includes a parade and fun run.

    Girdwood was founded during the Gold Rush era of the late 1800's. It was originally called Glacier City due to all the hanging glaciers you can see capping all the surrounding mountains. It is a glacier carved valley surrounded by mountains ranging in size from 4,000 - 7,000 feet. The mouth of the valley abuts the Turnagain Arm which leads to the Pacific Ocean. We can see Beluga Whales in the Turnagain Arm surfing the BoreTide. This town is truly picturesque.

    Salmon run up Glacier Creek in summer. As a result, you can see black and brown bears in town fishing or foraging for berries.


    Hiking, Ice and Rock Climbing, Glacier Hiking, Sea Kayaking, Helicopter Tours, Mountain Biking, Camping, Gold Panning, Nature Photography, Birding, Berry Picking, Mushroom Foraging, Fishing, Paragliding, Rafting, Wildlife Viewing and Whale Watching are all accessible activities in and near Girdwood.


    Due to high demand and limited space available we recommend reservations be made several months in advance. Bookings made 1 week in advance of departure date may be cancelled and fully refunded if we cannot accommodate.

    Is it worth it?

    Yes... Trips include naturalist hiking guides, max 10:1 ratio (hiker to guide) and interpretive natural history and ecology discussions. A catered deli lunch, snack and water is provided. Guests visiting the Crow Pass come away with better respect and knowledge about the flora and fauna, Historical Iditarod trail, gold mining history, temperate coastal mountain rainforest and the history of Girdwood, not to mention some great photographs. Hey and you might even get lucky and find gold in them hills!

    If you have questions about the physical requirements of this trip, please read our Essential Eligibility Criteria on our FAQ's page, email or call us and we would be happy to talk with you and determine if this trip matches your abilities.