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What to expect

Alaska has 525 trails including medium, easy, and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Mendenhall Refuge Trail and the one with the least climb is the Bold Peak via East Fork Eklutna River Trail. The longest trail is Resurrection Pass Trail at 57.1 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 3 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Eklutna Historical Park Loop a t 264 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Sturgill's Landing Trail, Skarland and T-Field to Smith Lake Loop Trail, Totem Bight Historical State Park Loop, Big Bay Walk, and Point Gustavus Trail.

Guide to hiking in Alaska

Be prepared for hiking in Alaska with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Alaska

What is the climate like for hiking in Alaska?

Alaska's dramatic weather varies seasonally and regionally. Winter (October to April) is long and cold, making most trails inaccessible due to heavy snowfall and icy conditions, unless you're up for snowshoeing or winter trekking.
Spring (May to June) offers longer daylight hours, cooler temperatures, and less crowded trails but watch for lingering snow on higher grounds. Summer (June to August) sees warmer temperatures and is the best time for hiking, though mosquitoes can be bothersome.
Fall (September to October) is short with colder temperatures setting in quickly, but autumn foliage can make for beautiful scenery. Before setting out, always check trail conditions and weather forecasts at

Do I need a permit to hike in Alaska?

In Alaska, hiking often doesn't require permits, but backcountry camping in national parks may. For Denali National Park, for instance, free permits are required and obtained at the park's visitor center. Always verify with specific park services for rules (

Is wild camping allowed in Alaska?

Wild camping in Alaska's vast wilderness is generally allowed, particularly in national forests. However, specific rules apply within national parks, and a backcountry permit might be required. Bear safety is crucial. Check the National Park Service website ( for location-specific regulations.

Are there mountain rescue services in Alaska?

In case of emergency while hiking in Alaska, dial 911. The Alaska State Troopers coordinate search and rescue operations in collaboration with various volunteer organizations. Always share your hiking plan with someone and carry necessary survival and communication gear. Check for more information.

Are there dangerous plants in Alaska?

Alaska's flora varies with its diverse climates. Coastal rainforests, boreal forests, and arctic tundra each host unique plants. In summer, hikers will enjoy wildflowers in high meadows. Be aware of plants like poison ivy or devil's club. Visit for more details on local flora.

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Alaska?

Hiking in Alaska brings encounters with a variety of wildlife, from moose and bears to bald eagles. In summer, mosquitoes can be prevalent. Carrying bear spray and making noise can deter unwanted animal encounters. For detailed wildlife information and safety, visit