Where are you (park, forest, etc.)- Chugach State Park
Nearest town (s)- About a twenty minute drive to the trailhead from downtown Anchorage, AK
How long is this hike- Mid- full day hike with the possibility of camping in a few very unique and special spots, but overnight would not be needed
Miles- From Rabbit Lake round trip is probably about 14-15 miles
From Falls Creek 9 miles roundtrip
On your personal toughness scale: From both trail heads I would give this about an 8 with the route from Falls Creek being a tad bit easier.
Sitting at 5,005ft the peak is nestled back at Rabbit and Mchugh lake. From some spots in the city you can spot it and it may look a lot bigger than it sounds but most people tend to forget that Anchorage sits 100ft above sea level so there is still a lot of elevation gain on this peak. Depending on which route you take it has its ups and downs. If you decide to drive down the Seward highway to Falls Creek trail head things go up quick. You will gain a lot of elevation within the first couple miles but it will even out back into the valley before the approach to the peak. I have done this route and it is nice getting a lot of the elevation out of the way first.
Now on this last climb I started at the Rabbit Lake trailhead. From the gate to the lake is 5 miles and from there you will see the massive twin peaks ahead of you. From here is where it will get interesting and you will test your ability. There is not a trail from here up like on the falls creek approach, so you have to find what is easiest and where you have the least chance of falling to your death. From the lake I hiked about another mile down to upper Mchugh lake and found and area where I could shoot up to the ridge. Now this is no easy task because you're looking at about close to a thousand feet of elevation in probably about a half mile so it gets very steep. One loose foot hold and it will be a long fall down. From here you will follow the ridge all the way up to the peak, but with that said- watch your foot steps. On the ridge there are big drops on either side. The climb up to the peak is not to bad, quite a bit of scrambling but nothing technical. Once you are standing on top it makes everything worth it and you can really soak it in.
Now for the route down-
This part is interesting, if you took the Falls Creek route you are set, just follow the trail you came up. Probably the best route back to Rabbit Lake is to hike down the north side of the peak into windy gap and try to find an area of scree that makes it easy, but moving along the rocks down to this area can be interesting. Once you make the trek down its an easy 5-6 miles back to the parking lot to live and see another day.
How cool was it? On a scale of how awesome it is I would say anywhere from 8-10. It definitely is a trek back but once again please know what youre doing, dont be that guy that needs to get lifted off the mountain.
So who is the author? Zach Miley. Mr. Miley is a good friend to FNO. Father Nature Outdoors has a number of athletic and ambitious supporters, but its fair to say Zach is one to set the bar in these qualities. So if Zach tells you something is sketchy I think its fair to heed his advice. With that said we look forward to more hikes from Zach. Living in Anchorage he has access to some of the coolest hikes in the country.
Trail Tuesdays is a new weekly segment of Father Nature Outdoors. We realized that we have friends and colleagues all across the country so why not take advantage of their knowledge, and hear some fun stories in the process. If you would like to contribute to Trail Tuesdays yourself just go to the “Contact Us” page and let us know. In return we will reward you with a free FNO microfiber headband. We get to hear some awesome stories and in return we’re rewarding you just to go get some fresh air! That’s a win-win in our book...