Portage Pass Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#4 of 30 trails in

Portage Pass Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whittier, AK that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.

5.5 miles 1715 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

2 months ago

Very Beautiful. Easy hike for the Fit people out there. Still doable for the worst in shape people.

hiking
2 months ago

very beautiful. only the first maybe 1/2 mile to 3/4 miles is moderate. Otherwise amazing hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Went on a bright sunny day! Great views. Time it so you can hit the tunnel right at the 1/2s. Tunnel closes at 3/4s into the hour. Trailhead is immediately on the right after you exit tunnel parking area. Short hike offering wonderful views from the pass on down. Don't forget to stop on the way and look for beavers in the pond just down from the pass!

hiking
3 months ago

Well worth the $13 tunnel fee. Mid way through, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view.

hiking
4 months ago

A very nice hike, with loads of berries. Lots of people on a weekend, bet it would be a lot quieter on a weekday.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This was a really nice trail. It was slightly strenuous the first part on the way up, but not too tough. There were a ton of flies, and if you stopped they swarmed you. There were quite a few people there, and many on the beach of the lake. The trail itself is mostly loose rock and gravel, it's easy to walk on, but we brought our dog and he ended up tearing off much of the skin on the bottom of his paw pads by the end. We had to carry him (50 pound lab) the last quarter of a mile back to the car because he couldn't walk. Although he does have sensitive paws, be cautious about your dog's paws on all the rock, especially if you let them get wet in the lake. We walked around the beach to try and get to the glacier, but the river was running too fast for us to wade across, not to mention it was mind numbingly cold. Overall, it was a beautiful hike and I'd do it again! (Without my dog though).

hiking
4 months ago

A great short hike than you can turn into a longer hike by following the shoreline towards the glacier. There are a lot of flies at the pass, but if you go early enough--we went up at around 10pm--you'll miss the bugs and be able to enjoy the view in peace. Coming back through will be a different story. Plus, there a more people later. I saw young kids on the trail, and dogs, and some elderly folk.

You can do a mile up to the pass, and the views make it worth it. Or another mile down to the lake. And then you can hike along the shore maybe a mile until you reach the river, and if you follow it up you'll come to an awesome waterfall coming off of Burns glacier. Quite the sight. So it can be a mini adventure for the whole family, or an all-day adventure for the more, well, adventurous.

5 months ago

5 months ago

Really awesome trail, what I loved most is that you can make it from 2 mile hike to 7 mile hike depending on your mood and level of preparation, there is variety of wildflower sand shrubs on the way

5 months ago

Amazing! The first mile is steep but once you're at the top you get to view Whittier on one side and Portage Glacier on the other. Continue on the trail and you'll end up on the black sand beach of Portage Lake with the glacier right in front of you! It looks far but it only took me 3 hrs, round trip, at an easy pace. Definitely worth the extra mileage to go all the way to the lake. Pack a picnic, bring the kiddos and enjoy!

5 months ago

We had great weather for this hike . Amazing view steep in the beginning

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

We were running short on time so we stopped at the smaller lake about halfway - it was still a fantastic view! That first mile is pretty steep, but the views of the glacier were incredible!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

The first part of the hike is pretty steep you are climbing more than 800 feet in elevation in a mile it's not easy! But the view from the pass completely worth it! Hiking to the lake is mostly downhill, remember you'll have to climb back up that coming back up to the pass which is like climbing the first part all over again. There is a lot of loose gravel and when heading back to the trailhead coming down makes for a nice slow descent since your trying hard to not slide and fall on your face and the Bugs were all over us on the way back which was annoying so bring bug spray! But again all worth it, This is a must do hike!!

10 months ago

1 year ago

Amazing hike!!!!

1 year ago

It was a little rough at first going up, but the views are worth it! Beautiful. I would highly recommend this to anyone- especially people just visiting.

trail running
1 year ago

I love this trail! Taking the tunnel to get to Whittier, then the views from the top are outstanding! We chose the boulder creek route down to the lake, which added time but was fun and added to the experience. Highly recommend this one.