Raven Glacier at Crow Pass
The Crow Pass Trail is widely considered to be one of the best hikes in Chugach State Park, as well as one of Alaska’s foremost backpacking experiences. Following the Iditarod National Historic Trail route, the trail crosses a variety of terrains and offers diverse and scenic sights along the way, including glaciers, waterfalls, wild owers, wildlife, gorges, sapphire tarns, and stunning alpine scenery. You don’t want to miss this one!
If you’re not up for hiking the whole trail, the four-mile hike from Crow Creek Trailhead to Crow Pass is a great alpine hike with a magni cent payoff. The trail from the Eagle River Nature Center to Glacier Lake, a half-mile east of the Eagle River ford site, offers stunning valley views and is an easy, non-technical hike. The first recorded crossing of Crow Pass was in 1898 by geologist Walter Mendenhall and his assistant Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly for
the U.S. Army geological survey. For many years the trail saw heavy use as part of the historic Iditarod Trail, a winter dogsledding route from Seward to Knik and to the Iditarod gold fields. However, avalanches at Crow Pass were dangerous and prospectors were quick to favor the longer, but less severe Indian Pass route made by the Alaska Road Commission in 1908. After the Alaska Railroad was completed in 1923, both routes were largely abandoned.
In 1896 prospectors struck gold in Crow Creek, which became the most productive placer gold stream in Southcentral Alaska. Monarch Mine operated from 1906 to 1948 on upper Crow Creek and was one of the most productive load gold mining ventures on the Turnagain Arm. Rusted remnants from the mining camp can still be seen off a fork of the trail about 1.25 miles from the Crow Creek Trailhead.
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