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Thread: Crow Pass

  1. #1

    Default Crow Pass

    I just got to Alaska and would like to hike the Crow Pass trail. Does anyone have any recommendations, suggestions hints or tips. Best time of the year to do it? It looks like the snow is coming so I may have to hurry or wait until next summer.

  2. #2
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    Welcome. I did Crow Pass with my 10 year old son a few years ago. We went in early June and got rained on the whole time. We'd planned on taking 3 days but on the second day he had a "chicken nugget attack" and we had to finished it in two days. Best time is probably anytime the weather and snow lets you go.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Judging the snow level and potential for more I would say you missed the safe season. I recommend the "Walkabout guide to Chugach park" it is a little "walt witman"-ish but still full of great information.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The best time to do it is late June, in my opinion, but if you want to make a go of it you're not too late. There would only be a couple of inches of snow in the pass right now, so it wouldn't be a problem. A few folks did the pass last weekend and posted the results on the Alpacka forum, and it looked like it was a beautiful time of year to make the hike. Obviously daylight is shorter, so it would mean fewer hours of walking each day, but if you split it into two or three days you would be golden. Personally, I like to take three or four days so that I can spend a lot of time exploring the mountains in the area, but it can be done in a (long) day as well.

    Feel free to ask any specific questions, as I have done this hike around 20 times.

  5. #5

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    Hey guys my girl (22) wants to do crow creekt his summer
    and i really haven't taught her hiking but she will be with friends
    and i was just wondering what it is like what is minimal and
    average time to hike it ( i see mauler planned 3 days but took 2)
    is there water crossings is it a well marked trail is it a cliff hanger
    just any info you can give me si i can make sure she has what she needs
    and way thanks
    Larry

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Here are a few answers to your questions. If you have other questions, send 'em my way. I love this hike!

    -Minimal time is a day, but that misses the point if you want to experience the area. I think 3 days is perfect for most, but I like taking 4 days. Some would consider that overkill, but we spend two night at the same camp site (Thunder Gorge) so that we can spend an entire day exploring, climbing, and roasting marshmallows by the fire.

    -Yes, there is one major water crossing. You have to wade across Eagle River about 13 miles into the hike. It is a very wide crossing, but the water is only about mid-thigh deep on most people. (Actually knee deep, but it splashes up the thigh). The water is within view of the glacial source, so obviously it's cold. I've walked with 7 year olds across this, though, so it can be done by just about anyone. Just stay between the white posts on both sides of the river and you'll be fine. DO NOT try to cross right where the trail first hits the river. Someone died doing just that two years ago, as the water is deep and swift there. Walk the 3/4 miles upstream and do it correctly.

    -The trail is well marked. There is one place about 8 miles from the end that is a little hairy, as it goes up on some small ledges. There are ropes there, tough, so you should be fine.

  7. #7
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Crow Pass Crossing

    As I scanned the prior posts, the only additional item that I would like to add is that I strongly recommend starting at the Girdwood end and hiking toward the Eagle River end.
    By starting on the Girdwood side you will have a long gradual downhill section from the high alpine-tundra down to upper Eagle River (the river, not the community). Then the last half of the hike is mostly level from upper Eagle River (the river) and ending at the Eagle River (the community) visiters center.

    If you turn this trip around and start at the E.R. visiters center then the previously described downhill section becomes a longer uphill section.

    May is usually to early. June, July and August are great.

    This hike is everybodies favorite hike. It is a great conditioning hike. Do it in one day only with another killer hiking hero. I prefer two days with a friend or with my daughter. Some enjoy the more leisurely 3 day hike. I always hike with a bit of rage within, and I could not take four days, even on a favorite hike like this one.

    Hope it does not rain too much. Drink water at all the clear-water crossing on the girdwood half of the trail. At the upper Eagle River water crossing link arms and charge across the knee+- high water. The glacial water, rain or shine, is only about 35 or 36 degrees. Your feet and ankles will only hurt for a minute, and normal feeling will return in two minutes. If it is sunny and hot do the crossing of this glacial river early in the morning. If it is really hot, you know...74 degrees...then the water depth will increase in the afternoons and evenings. And do not cross anywhere except at the designated crossing point, marked by a white post on both sides of the river. Brian, in the post above, is absolutely correct that a hiker did drown by crossing at the wrong spot just last year. But it really is a sensational breather from city life here in Los Anchorage.

    Dennis
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  8. #8
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    I always hike with a bit of rage within, and I could not take four days, even on a favorite hike like this one.
    Dennis - You can hike with all the rage you want and still take four days, as long as a couple of those days are spent hiking up to Eagle Glacier, climbing Mt. Yukla, or busting brush up into the upper bowls above Thunder Gorge. Off the trail is where the real treasure lies up there.

  9. #9
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Crow Pass...

    Brian M, Yes, you are absolutely correct. It really is a great gateway trail to wilderness Alaska, right outside urban AK. Different strokes ( or stride, or pace, or passions, emotions, purpose, emotions) for different folks. I'm OK, Your OK. Really, really. See you on the trail...
    Dennis

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