Monday, August 25, 2014

Portage Pass Trail

This is an excellent hike if you want to see Portage Glacier without taking the cruise. Plus the scenery is just mind-blowingly gorgeous. It's on the Whittier side of the tunnel so be prepared to pay a toll and you may have to wait your turn to go through the one-lane tunnel. It's the first right as you come out of the tunnel, it's on a dirt road that goes over railroad tracks. You can find parking as you drive farther back in, a very helpful Whittier police officer told us that parking near the building (it's a utility building? Or something like that) is NOT allowed so drive a little farther back and you should find something.

The first part of the trail is somewhat steep and covered in loose rock so supportive shoes would be helpful. If you get tired stop and turn around and catch your breath while looking at the Prince William Sound. Once you get to the top it stops being so steep and you can keep following the trail straight to look at Portage Glacier or take the side trails to explore the kettle ponds. There's also berries to be snacked on at this time of year. This is our children's favorite part (of any late summer hike in Alaska, really). Most of the time we've hiked this it's been pretty breezy at the top and the mosquitos can be really thick, so pack accordingly.

For more information on Portage Pass trail click here.
For info on Alaska berries I recommend Alaska Wild Berry Guide & Cookbook or you can find more information here.
For more info on the Whittier tunnel schedule click here.

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