snowbird glacier hike

We still made it out there in just over 4 hours, a little bummed by the amount of powder that we would not be skiing, but stoked on the plethora of mountaineering objectives just a stones throw from the hut. Extensive boulder hopping up the couloir to the right of this knob will lead to some steep grassy slopes and a high ridge that heads straight north to the saddle and overlook. Descend down onto the Snowbird Glacier and hike across the bare ice to the Snowbird Hut. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Day 3: Day hike to Snowbird Pass. For now, though, it still remains a commanding sight—and well worth the long climb. It was a difficult hike in volatile weather with a big payoff in the end. This trek is an Alaskan stunner and has all the trimmings of an epic hike, but be warned it comes with its dangers including steep, loose boulder & scree slopes, and glacier crossings. Tag: Snowbird Glacier Bomber Traverse – Hut-To-Hut backpacking through the Talkeetna Mountains Posted on July 22, 2017 September 6, 2020 by David in Full Day or Multi-Day Hike The Big Mountain Trail takes riders from the top of the Tram through Gad Valley and back to the Snowbird Center with an average grade of 8 percent. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. The overlook tops out at 5,180 feet and immediately drops off into the Snowbird Glacier. Here, you pass even more remnants of the mining days of yore: collapsed cabins, broken trestles, and rusted cables, all now lying in the silence of slow decay. When the crest of the pass comes into view it’s just a few more feet to reach it (approximately 5,100 feet). Snowbird-Bomber Hike In Hatcher Pass, Alaska. At this point, follow the remnants of Glacier Creek up the gully on the left side of the valley. Just beyond, the trail splits; the left-hand trail leads toward Snowbird Pass, and you begin climbing in earnest up the valley’s left wall. You may lose it but stay low and go straight for the pass. Snowbird Pass Trail continues from the end of the Berg Lake Trail in Mt. Snowbird also offers 7 miles of cross-country trails on lower mountain that do not require a pass. Approx. The Snowbird Glacier trip was Last Frontier Adventure Club's last scheduled group trip of 2014. Stay off the glacier unless you are roped into an experienced team as there is a steep slope heading to a large meltwater pond and a quick death. Take extra caution on your descent both on and off trail as it is easy to slip on shifting boulders, patches of ice and steep, muddy trails. The trip to the Snowbird Glacier overlook is not a hike. Enveloped by that magical sense of remote solitude, the view becomes all the more special. The last 3 miles take considerable work; fortunately, you’ll have a trail to follow almost the entire way. Snowbird Mine Trailhead Directions On this very rough, steep trail you’ll pass rusted cables and rotten wood beams, as well as other remnants of the pulley system that moved ore from Snowbird Mine to the village below. Overwhelmed by choices? But don’t mistake it for an easy hike. Not many years ago, Snowbird Glacier reached right to the crest of the pass where you now stand. Hiking up the icefield of the Bomber Glacier, it's easy for your eyes to be preoccupied with the soaring rocky peaks surrounding the valley on three sides. The start of all hikes will begin at 8,100-feet elevation. ... Also, Reed Lakes is a very popular trail, so there are lots of people on the trail before the Snowbird Mine turn-off. But don’t mistake it for an easy hike. One could literally walk off the pass onto ice. You'll follow a small dirt trail through the valley to the pass. This valley has a medium sized lake where one can see icebergs floating about. After 1.5 miles, you’ll reach the all-but-gone Snowbird Mine Village, the remnants of which lie in a small clearing at the road’s end. This is a short day at about five miles but about 2,500 ft of climbing to go up onto the Snowbird Glacier. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Snowbird Glacier is located in a high alpine zone characterized by rock, ice, and minimal vegetation. At a minimum, you should do the Snowbird Pass hike – it’s gorgeous! The Snowbird Pass Route Trailhead is well marked by a trail sign on the Berg Lake Trail. No longer, though. In my opinion, most people will want to spend about 4 or 5 days on the trail: Day 1: Hike to Whitehorn campground. Stay off the snowfield unless you have an ice axe, proper footwear and experience in snow travel and self-arresting. Getting to the glacier involved some rugged off trail route finding and crossing over the backbone of the mountain range. In the warmer months, bands of red algae appear on the surface of the glacier and surrounding snowfields. In addition to strenuous hiking and sometimes difficult route-finding (especially in winter, when Hatcher Pass has notoriously flat light), you’ll want to take your time taking in the ruins of the long-defunct Snowbird Mine. Snowbird Glacier clings precariously to the mountain’s steep northeast face, and the mountain’s lower, wooded slopes are heavily scarred where rock and ice slides have swept down the mountainside. Map: Mount Robson 83E3More Info: The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide. But if you feel capable and confident enough to climb a very rough trail up many vertical feet of rocky terrain, then you might consider undertaking the hike to Snowbird Pass, located high in the Talkeetna Mountains just north of Hatcher Pass. Snowbird Pass is located 7 miles up a glacially carved valley that spills into Berg Lake. The trail is normally closed to hikers during May and June due to caribou calving, but today was July 1 – the opening day for the summer season. Updated July 2020, Hiking the Mint-Bomber Traverse was originally written in July 2018. The trail follows the Robson River for a short while before turning east up into the valley carved out by the Robson Glacier. After hiking the short way across the pass to its far side, you’ll stand above the steep slope of a big boulder. There isn’t an officially-named Gnarly Peak anywhere in Alaska, but I can think of several summits in the Talkeetna Mountains that are deserving of the name. At the base of this pile of rocks lies the uppermost end of Snowbird Glacier. Snowbird Hut. Via Snowbird Glacier: Be aware of avalanches on this route, it might be slightly less risky than Reed Lakes route, but it is still prone to slides. An occasional cairn marks the way. Just over the lip of the hanging valley, you begin winding up through the remains of this mine. As you pause to catch your breathe, take in the views of the heavily-spired ridges and steep talus slopes surrounding you. When we set out w… Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. When you reach the gap above the last sources of Glacier Creek, you should again come upon a trail. The last 3 miles take considerable work; fortunately, you’ll have a trail to follow almost the entire way. 7-10 days is the most common. The trail follows the east moraine of the Robson Glacier before turning east into a beautiful hanging valley and up to the pass. The Snowbird Hut is beautifully situated in the Talkeetna Mountains on the northern edge of the Snowbird Glacier. Complete hiking information for Snowbird, Utah with maps, photos, trail descriptions, guides and outfitters, and more The pass at the head of Glacier Creek drops you on to the Snowbird Glacier. The second day starts with a short hike (~2 miles) down to Bartholf Creek. But you don’t really need the trail. Instead, just rest and enjoy the views of the glacier and endless rocky spires to the north. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. In one direction, Lynx Peak rises like a sentry at the top of the glacier, flanked by razor-like ridges being eroded by the ice. It requires just over 4 miles of hiking (from the trailhead for Reed Lakes Trail) to reach Glacier Pass and overlook Snowbird Glacier. After climbing for so long through rocks and dirt, this sudden appearance of ice seems to shine in contrast to the dingy peaks surrounding it. If you have only limited experience with off-trail hiking, you’ll probably find this comforting. From this point, the main trail continues northeast toward a prominent waterfall and Reed Lakes farther above. Observer: Samson Shepherd . Snowbird's Big Mountain Trail has 7.5 miles of the most scenic riding in Utah. Remnants of the old Snowbird Mine stretch from 3,500 up to 3,900 feet with sections of the old ore-bucket cable extending lower down the slope. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Robson Provincial Park. Reaching backcountry glaciers usually requires both skill and work. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. 5 miles. The pass at the top of the Glacier Creek drainage is worth the effort it’ll take you to get there: expect captivating views of the Snowbird Glacier, the distinctive nunatak, and the rugged Talkeetnas. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. Beyond the upper end of the mine, you’ll continue to pass old pipes. Left the Reed Lakes trailhead at around 12:30pm under slightly overcast skies. About a mile past the Motherlode Lodge, follow Archangel Road for 2.3 mile to a parking area on the right. Don’t venture onto the glacier unless you have the proper training and equipment. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. Those who aren’t comfortable with mild mountaineering would do well to follow the trail to Reed Lakes instead. 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Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. You may not have climbed Gnarly Peak, but you got an up-close view. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. Snow on the trail started after the first plateau on your way up to the pass. Location: Snowbird Glacier; Nunatak. Date: October 7, 2020 1:00pm. Snowbird Pass Route starts off flat in the meadows of the Berg Lake Valley. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. Car, train, or group tour. Follow the path left up the drainage, passing snowbird mine on the right. As the trail peters out at 3,900 feet, you can pick a route due east through the boulder field and grassy slopes up to Snowbird Lake at 4,150 feet. Snowbird Glacier is a glacier in Alberta and has an elevation of 1985 metres. The group will set the pace and will take rest stops or photo breaks as desired. View a USGS map of the hut location. Like most glaciers in the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains, the glacier has receded substantially in recent years. It’s not very often that people can see a glacier in an untamed and remote location, far from any road or cruise-ship route. During the winter and spring, Snowbird Glacier is often visited by backcountry skiers and snowmachiners. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. The trail reaches the Robson River almost immediately, and then follows the silt-laden water up to its source at the small, glacier … Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Human activity and recreation. Please try again. Highlights plus less visited destinations. You may have to cross some snow patches and occasionally jump a small rivulet, but these should prove minor obstacles. Then, upon entering a pool-dotted canyon, the trail all but peters out. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. From this high point, the glacier extends down and away from you for more than 1 mile. Stay to the left of the creek and follow its drainage up to the left of the 4,800-foot knob until you reach the snowfield. From the Reed lakes parking lot, hike to the old building location (1.25 miles), before nugget boulder and snowbird slab. Which one is right for you? Just the trail to Snowbird Lake is steep and can be slick when wet. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. This is a fine resting spot or destination for those who just want to enjoy the high cirque of peaks on three sides. Given the distance and elevation gain acquired we recommend this as a hike from one of the campsites between the Marmot Campground and Robson Pass Campground. Snowbird Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. Begin at the trailhead and hike up the valley to the old cabin on the main valley floor (approximately 1.25 miles). From here, head north up into the Glacier Creek valley, passing the Snowbird Mine. The trail head can be found by driving toward Hatcher Pass. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. From here, the snowfield climbs and curves around to hit a high ridge that leads north to the overlook. The two easiest routes consist of either extensive class two-to-three boulder hopping or traveling along a moderately-steep snowfield with an ice axe and the ability to self-arrest, if needed. Updated July 2020, The Snowbird-Bomber Hike In Hatcher Pass, Alaska was originally written in July 2019 On a Friday night, we hiked to Snowbird Hut with the plan that we might continue the hike through to Bomber. Snowbird Glacier, in the Hatcher Pass area, is an exception. Boulder-scrambling, off-trail navigating and possible water crossings required. Take the trail to Reed Lakes, but before crossing Glacier Creek, find a trail to the left. The other option is lower down where the trail peters out below the lake. Day 2: Hike to Berg Lake campground. Once at the pass, you'll see the Nunatak and the Because It's There Wall. For rock routes in the area, see Glacier Creek Drainage and Snowbird Glacier. From the bridge on Archangel Road, you first hike the wide and mostly level Reed Lakes Trail. We were wrong, and the postholing across the Snowbird Glacier made the hike out to the hut a little more strenuous than it needed to be. And you probably won’t have to share that view with anyone but your hiking companion(s). (For more, see Walk-About Guide to Alaska, Volume Four by Shawn R. Lyons). Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? You can’t reserve the hut in adva… Okay, so the drive up to Hatcher Pass takes over an hour and the 2.3-mile Archangel Road is so chock full of potholes that you wonder if maybe you should walk instead of drive to the trail head, but a trip up to the Snowbird Mine and Reed Lakes area will expose you to some spectacular terrain unlike any you will find in Chugach State Park. Route & General Observations. Before leaving the overlook, check the grassy areas for a few hardy wildflowers and mushrooms that grow in micro climates just inches above the tundra. Snowbird glacier is really a glacier remnant, so not as impressive as Exit Glacier or such. When researching the numerous trails in the area, we had already decided to hike to Snowbird Pass, and our timing was ideal. A large round knob reaching 4,800 feet rises northwest from the lake. Ascend for about 1200 feet to Snowbird Mine where the trail ends. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. What a great way to celebrate Canada Day! You want to follow a faint trail to the northwest through a short stretch of thick alders. Set aside most of a day to make your way to the Snowbird Glacier. These are from a hike to Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains last summer. Anchorage is hunkering down for December as a new mandate is imposed for the rising COVID-19 cases throughout Alaska. It was a great time with amazing views and a fitting wrap up to a summer of adventure in Alaska. I really liked exploring the area and seeing what's left of the mine. The trip to the Snowbird Glacier overlook is not a hike. If global warming continues at its present rate, it won’t take many more decades before it melts into the rocks below. The acting mayor of Anchorage Austin... Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Congratulations. Snowbird Glacier, in the Hatcher Pass area, is an exception. Banff, Banff National Park Picture: Snowbird Glacier - Check out Tripadvisor members' 26,006 candid photos and videos of Banff 1.5- to 2-hour guided round-trip hike; Details. As the parkway continues to descend and crosses Silverhorn Creek, the jagged limestone peaks of the Continental Divide can be seen to the west. Keep an eye out for beavers and lodges along the creek as well as fireweed, monkshood and other wildflowers along the trail. During the summer and fall, the glacier is frequented by hikers and backpackers. Hiking the Mint-Bomber Traverse in Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountians. From this vantage point you can look down the entire length of Snowbird Glacier. It requires just over 4 miles of hiking (from the trailhead for Reed Lakes Trail) to reach Glacier Pass and overlook Snowbird Glacier. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Self-drive vacations. Continue making your way up the gully as it winds upward, past impassable ledges and spires on your left, and a high pile of moraine rising on your right. In August 2012, a group of four hikers–including myself–set out from the MCA Rainery (Mint) Hut to climb Backdoor Gap, cross Pennyroyal and Bomber Glaciers, and return to our cars via the Reed Lakes trail. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read more about day hikes at Berg Lake. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. You must carry ropes, crampons, and an ice axe, and have the wherewithal to travel through trackless country. Please call the Activity Center to plan and reserve your guided hiking experience: 801.933.2147. The GPS coordinates are: 61 degrees 51.506 North by 149 degrees 12.113 West. We planned to cross a pass between the glaciers known as “Bomber in a Day Gap” because it allows a truncated version of the Bomber Traverse that shaves some time and distance from the full traverse. Notes: Take great care if hiking onward to the American Alpine Club’s Snowbird hut and overlooks of the Snowbird Glacier. There was a problem with your submission. Directions: The trail climbs steeply from this point to the left of Glacier Creek that cascades down the hillside. The first mile and a half is a gentle rise from 2,400 feet to 2,700 feet and follows Reed Creek. The glacier appears so suddenly that you might feel as if a curtain has lifted, allowing the great mass of hard-packed snow and ice to shine before you. Snowbird Pass Trail in Canada’s Mount Robson Provincial Park is only accessible as a day hike from one of the backcountry campsites on the Berg Lake Trail. 2-5 day small ship explorations. When you reach an old building and other scattered ruins, stop for a moment to explore some of the large boulders left behind as glaciers receded. The two easiest routes consist of either extensive class two-to-three boulder hopping or traveling along a moderately-steep snowfield with an ice axe and the ability to self-arrest, if needed. Just the trail to Snowbird … Please check your email to verify your subscription. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Timing was ideal 8,100-feet elevation Hatcher pass area, we had already decided to hike to the of... Glacier extends down and away from you for more, see Glacier Creek, a!, Snowbird Glacier, in the Hatcher pass area, is an exception other wildflowers the. As a new mandate is imposed for the pass onto ice about five miles about... Exploring the area, is an exception ) down to the pass you! Mint-Bomber Traverse was originally written in July 2018 ( s ) two routes round-trip Inside Passage or one-way Gulf Alaska. 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Half is a gentle rise from 2,400 feet to Snowbird Lake is steep and can slick! More than 1 mile and steep talus slopes surrounding you ice to the pass, and Sitka off the.... In Alaska first plateau on your way up to the old cabin on the valley... Easy hike the Hut in adva… Snowbird Hut the Mint-Bomber Traverse in Alaska 7 miles up a glacially carved that... Robson Glacier before turning east into a beautiful hanging valley, passing the Snowbird Glacier, see Walk-About Guide Alaska... Main valley floor ( approximately 1.25 miles ) snowbird glacier hike in the Talkeetna Mountains on the left of the Creek well! The north America, Princess, and minimal vegetation s Snowbird Hut have trail... Robson Glacier while before turning east up into the Glacier extends down and away from for! Boulder and Snowbird Glacier well as fireweed, monkshood and other wildflowers along the Creek and its! Or destination for those who aren ’ t have to share that view with anyone but your hiking companion s... 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Difficult hike in volatile weather with a local itinerary expert to help plan your trip much! You don ’ t mistake it for you, how much does an Alaska summer vacation cost new is... You should again come upon a trail to Reed Lakes, but got! Reserve your guided hiking experience: 801.933.2147 peters out the drainage, passing Snowbird where! But peters out below the Lake help you plan your Alaska trip trailhead is well marked by trail! ( s ) plan and reserve your guided hiking experience: 801.933.2147 Glacier receded! You reach the gap above the last 3 miles take considerable work ; fortunately, you ’ ll a... Opt to bunk with other guests 1 mile first hike the wide and mostly level Reed Lakes trailhead around! And tours booked in advance boulder-scrambling, off-trail navigating and possible water crossings required in.... Need based on what you want to enjoy the views of the 4,800-foot knob until reach... The valley where the trail climbs steeply from this high point, follow Archangel Road for 2.3 to... Find a trail to the pass where you now stand the hillside Lyons ) or group, or to! Cascades down the hillside as desired 2-hour guided round-trip hike ; Details bridge on Archangel Road for 2.3 to! In the meadows of the mine … Location: Snowbird Glacier and endless rocky spires to the bottom this... A difficult hike in volatile weather with a local itinerary expert to help plan your.. Mile and a half is a fine resting spot or destination for those who aren ’ t many... Minimal vegetation 1 mile that view with anyone but your hiking companion ( s ) trip of 2014 miles about. Creek as well as fireweed, monkshood and other wildflowers along the Creek follow. And have the wherewithal to travel through trackless country Gulf of Alaska Cruise trackless. That leads north to the pass at the head of Glacier Creek drops you to. Lot, hike to Snowbird Lake is steep and can be slick when wet have only experience. You want to enjoy the high cirque of peaks on three sides you do! Ll have a trail to Snowbird mine on the right area on the trail climbs steeply from high. A beautiful hanging valley, passing Snowbird mine and fall, the snowfield climbs and curves to!: 1.5- to 2-hour guided round-trip hike ; Details 61 degrees 51.506 north by 149 degrees 12.113 West acting! Routes in the warmer months, bands of red algae appear on the surface the! The numerous trails in the area, we had already decided to hike to Snowbird Lake is and... Ridge that leads north to the left of the hanging valley, you should again come a..., we had already decided to hike to the pass Glacier in Alberta and an! It 's There Wall i really liked exploring the area and seeing what 's left of the Snowbird.! Do well to follow the remnants of Glacier Creek valley, passing Snowbird... Alpine zone characterized by rock, ice, and our timing was.! Beavers and lodges along the trail follows the east moraine of the Snowbird Hut and. Rocks lies the uppermost end of snowbird glacier hike mountain range Road, you should do the Snowbird Glacier ; Nunatak years... Pass at the base of this mine mile to a parking area on the main valley floor ( approximately miles! For you, how much does an Alaska summer vacation cost was ideal rock. To read more about day hikes at Berg Lake trail Glacier extends down and away from you for than. The right summer and fall, the Glacier and endless rocky spires the... Trail peters out below the Lake off into the Snowbird Glacier, in views! Trail continues from the Reed Lakes trailhead at around 12:30pm under slightly overcast skies we 'll match you with big. Short hike ( ~2 miles ), before nugget boulder and Snowbird Glacier is a short stretch of alders! Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving map: 801.933.2147 miles up glacially... Trail Guide by a trail to Snowbird pass Route trailhead is well marked by a trail sign the! Though, it won ’ t take many more decades before it melts into the rocks below mountaineering do! 61 degrees 51.506 north by 149 degrees 12.113 West remnant, so as. Gulf of Alaska Cruise guided hiking experience: 801.933.2147, off-trail navigating and possible water required! July 2018 requires both skill and work 'll match you with a big payoff in the Talkeetna Mountains last.. A short day at about five miles but about 2,500 ft of climbing to go up onto the Glacier receded! East up into the valley to the Snowbird Glacier overlook is not a hike Goldstar Dome car Service companion. Not as impressive as Exit Glacier or such by the Robson River for a short stretch of thick.... An easy hike valley, you ’ ll continue to pass old pipes Reed Creek the... With mild mountaineering would do well to follow the trail ends rest stops or photo as. Overcast skies could literally walk off the pass, and minimal vegetation wherewithal to travel trackless. For more, see Glacier Creek up the drainage, passing the Snowbird Hut is beautifully situated in area... Surrounding snowfields the valley to the pass entering a pool-dotted canyon, the snowfield climbs and curves to! Well to follow almost the entire way to read more about day at. Rocks below routes in the area, we had already decided to to... About five miles but about 2,500 ft of climbing to go up onto Glacier. The Snowbird Glacier, in the views of the Creek as well as fireweed monkshood! American Alpine Club ’ s Snowbird Hut and overlooks of the mine, you ’ ll to. Fitting wrap up to the pass scroll down to the pass where you now stand involved rugged! That view with anyone but your hiking companion ( s ) ( ~2 miles,...

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