Crow Pass is a one way trip through the Alaskan Chugach Mountains from Girdwood to Eagle River following the historic Iditarod supply route. The route is 21 miles with the 2,100 ft. of elevation gain coming entirely in the first few miles. Perhaps most importantly, there is a significant river crossing of Eagle River about 13 miles into the hike. The river is a glacial river and will be extremely cold---estimated 33 degrees. Depth varies from knees to waist. Most hikers will carry an extra set of shoes for this portion of the trip. Day-Hikers will not have the advantage of crossing the river at the preferable early morning hours before the glacial melt swells the river later in the day. As you would expect, warm days will cause the river crossing to be deeper.
The hike will include traversing small snowy sections of glaciers and moose, caribou, dall sheep, and of course bears are prevalent. Bear spray is almost mandatory on this hike. We took 11 hours to complete the hike. An annual race is held where the winners finish in less than 3 hours. The trailhead is a 40 minute drive from Anchorage and the finishing trailhead is about 30 minutes from Downtown Anchorage.
River Crossing Video
[/video]Crow Pass Trail Guide
Finally here is a link to my photo album of the hike and a few pictures:Crow Pass Album
Anyone remember the scene in Jurassic Park where the group is travelling across a big open meadow with very tall grass and the velociraptors start picking them off one by one? Our group of five recalled that scene as we intermittently cried out, "Hey Bear!"
Never dreamed I would be able to swim during a Crow Pass Hike. The weather was wonderful! (and this water was cold!)
The day after our hike a bear killed a moose on the trail. They closed the trail for two weeks due to the bear setting up his food cache right off trail.