Perhaps Steve Howe of Backpacker Magazine described the Talkeetnas best. In his May 2003 article he said, “Once we dry out, I’ll be grateful for this more intimate encounter with the surprising Talkeetnas. I’d expected rounded talus peaks, but these summits are awesomely steep, and the tundra travel is as rugged as anywhere I’ve seen. Separated from the Chugach by the Matanuska Valley and Glenn Highway, the Talkeetnas have their own distinct flavor, a blend of sawtoothed pinnacles, milky creeks, and rock-hard glaciers, spiced with strong overtones of remoteness and solitude. We’ll hike out in the morning, but a glance at my map shows another hundred miles of higher, snowier mountains to the north. By the time Joe hands me a steaming mug, I’ve already resolved to return with a tent and full food bag”.
This 20 mile backpacking & hiking adventure will give you a savory taste of this rugged range. From the sublime beauty of the Lane Glacier valley to the granite peaks above Fairangel Creek, our 4-day tour of the Talkeentas offers the full spectrum of Alaska backpacking challenges. Some of our hiking will be done off-trail and will include glaciers, rugged mountain scenery, and remote splendor. This trip offers a fantastic introduction to Alaska backpacking!
This morning you’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our shop in Anchorage. You’ll then load into our passenger van and will begin the drive north to the Talkeetna Mountains. Your route will take you from Anchorage along the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains and into Alaska’s breadbasket – the Matanuska/ Susitna Valleys. From rural farmlands along the highway to the foothills of the Alaska Range, this drive will introduce you to Alaska’s real character. By noon we’ll be hoisting packs for the beginning of our 4 days and 3 nights in Alaska’s oft overlooked Talkeetna Mountains. Today’s route will take us up the Archangel trail and then up into the alpine tundra above at the headwaters of the Little Susitna River. Tonight, we’ll camp next to a small creek beneath the route up to the Lane Glacier.
After a hearty breakfast and hot drink, we’ll begin the day with the ascent toward the Lane Glacier or one of the adjacent valleys. Today’s hike will take us approximately 3 miles with elevation gain of approximately 2000’. We’ll return to camp by late afternoon and will spend the evening enjoying the Alaska evening daylight and a gourmet meal.
Today, we’ll shoulder daypacks and head down the valley toward Fairangel Creek. This hike has a great mix of on and off trail options and our campsite sits beneath huge granite walls with neck-wrenching vertical relief. Rugged terrain shaped by the retreating glaciers common to Alaska’s remote mountain ranges characterize the upper reaches of this stunning valley.
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll break camp and prepare for our exit from the valley. But before we head bak to the trailhead, we’ll take a day hike into the headwaters valley of Fairangel Creek. This stunning alpine valley is dotted with beautiful small lakes and towering alpine splendor. In all the day will include 1200’ of elevation gain & loss and 4 miles of hiking. We’ll return to the van by 5pm and will be back in Anchorage no later than 8pm. Please schedule all homebound flights for after 10pm.
- All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
- Toilet supplies including TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
- Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
- Water treatment options
- Trekking poles
- Roundtrip transportation from Anchorage to the trailhead
- Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 guest to guide ratio
- All meals & snacks from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
- Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
Alaska Factor: The Real Deal
While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip. The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary. Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.” Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.
As the only Coeliac in the group, I had to have separate food and I can only say that I was absolutely delighted with the food throughout, it was much much better than I expected, tasty, filling, nutritious and plenty of it. Bryan did a great job, and any other Coeliacs you have along should be really happy and comfortable. To put this in context I cant remember being away from home for over a week and not getting ill at least in some way – so it is really remarkable. I was very very impressed.
Thank you for such a thoughtful, exciting, and expertly guided trip. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done and it will remain with me always.
GREAT! It was everything we were hoping for as our first trip to Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife, adventure, wilderness etc. We’re also fortunate to have picked Alaska Alpine Adventures as our guide service.
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Have questions about this trip? We’ve got answers.
Hatcher Pass State Park is located approximately 60 miles North of Anchorage.
Access to Hatcher Pass State Park is by foot, car, or small aircraft.
Absolutely, our trips are all inclusive from Anchorage.
We will meet at our Anchorage facility on the morning of Day 1 for an orientation and gear check. We'll then begin the shuttle by van to Hatcher Pass - a drive that typically takes 1.5 hours.
In general, yes. The state park system is home to grizzly and black bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and seasonal populations of migratory birds.
For additional information, please reach out to us.