Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Tongass National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days ago

well maitained trail, saw several bikers using it as well. Trail ends a a river that does not offer much view of the galcier. Better veiw is just before the end of trail. There is way to get to the glacier, but we did not have time to make it to tgr glacier.

Great way to see the glacier. Lots of great spots for photos, views of the glacier and waterfall, and (sadly) lots of evidence of the glacier receding from the rocks on the road. Heavily trafficked to final viewing sandbar.

hiking
4 days ago

Did this hike 2 years ago, it was very easy:)

walking
5 days ago

Great trail for getting up close to Nugget Falls and the Mendenhall Glacier. Easy one mile stroll with a few easy up and downs. Probably doable with a stroller or wheelchair.

The trail is fairly easy to find once at the rocky outcropping where West Glacier appears to peter out. Just use some intuition and keep a keen eye for the tape. If no tape then reassess, as it was simply missed. Once past the outcropping it is very well marked up through the trees all the way to the summit. Best when dry from a few days of sun, as mud and slime would slow both ascent and descent and there are plenty of opportunities to hose up an ankle. My Fenix 5 put it at 4337 ft, and just under 12 miles out and back. Last 1000 ft of vert can be discouraging if mind is set on a walk in the park. Didn’t see any bears or sign of bears, and encountered 7 others in various groups above tree line in early July, so I’d say it is fairly well trafficked, at least in dry conditions. I am no Strider, but this is my favorite hike.

Amazing views. We went to the top which is for sure a difficult hike. It was fun and my wife and I did some trail running on the few flat parts but most of it is large steps, unsteady terrain and steep drop offs. I would not bring kids or older individuals not accustomed to hard hiking.

This trail is definitely easy, and very busy. It’s very popular with cruise shippers and such an easy walk to beautiful falls, it’s not hard to see why so many enjoy it. We went on a very rainy day last week and not many people were there, but the day before we hiked the glacier and could see the falls from the glacier and it was super busy in the nice weather.

If you are an avid hiker, like me, this is a moderate hike. There are many switchbacks that make this a very enjoyable mountain run. I did RT in about 2 hrs. Amazing view when the weather is nice!

walking
14 days ago

I went at 7 am before the tourist buses arrived and only saw a few other people. Breathtaking and peaceful. Easy walk. Hard to call this a hike. It’s a flat, mostly paved trail. You could take strollers or walkers. It’s easy.

Very nice trail, with many views of the lake, birds, squirrels, even large slugs! The huge trees are awesome! My brother showed us where to view spawning salmon during the month of August.

Great hike!! Around 4 hrs round trip. Trail is easy at beginning then gets harder around the end. Follow the ribbons!! At the end it gets very unstable on the rocks so would advise hiking boots. The view is worth it at the end

Easy hike! Took around an 1hr. Very nice views

hiking
24 days ago

This hike was awesome! Definitely gets more difficult towards the end as you get near the glacier. We stopped about 200 ft short of the glacier because the incline and loose rocks got a little sketchy. The trail head is easily accessible near the bathrooms (also nice) at the Mendenhall Lake Campsite (i.e. other side of the lake from the visitor center). The markers (yellow and pink ribbons) are INCREDIBLY helpful and located nearby most of the confusing spots - if you go in a direction, and don't see a market for a few minuets, you're probably going the wrong way. Also, when you see the climbing rope, it is only to get you from one rock to another - you are not intended to climb up it! Look for the little pink ribbon to your right and head that way instead. Awesome trail, would highly recommend it for people looking for a good workout.

EDIT: We did not loop when we came back. I got lost the last time with multiple unmarked trails, so this time I did a down and back. You can easily get lost if you don’t follow the ribbons. So I strongly advise you to do so, or go with someone very familiar with the trail.

Pretty easy/moderate the first couple miles. Once you hit the rock face with the tied rope (yes use that rope to climb up over) it’ll start to get more difficult weaving through the trail with more mud, brush, as well as incline and decline. Awesome view at the top! Pano worthy. Be sure to follow the ribbons to get to and from the glacier and bring a windbreaker because once we got over the rocks and began our decent (rocks are pretty loose) it was crazy windy. We found a cave on the other side of the little waterfall, but realized you have to go up and around it to get to the inside. So we went down towards the water instead and went on top of the glacier that way. I hiked this trail with Nike running shoes a few years ago which was doable, but I broke in my first pair of hiking boots today and I highly recommend hiking boots to keep your feet dry and less likely to acquire an ankle injury or slip. Also BRING BUG SPRAY!! Happy Hiking! (: ps. They have nice bathrooms at the parking lot.

Beautiful views. Go early to avoid crowds

walking
1 month ago

Nice hike to view a waterfall. Well maintained trail. Actually saw a family pushing a wheelchair on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

So there actually is no trail from west glacier. I looked for a while, followed my gps to where is should have been, there’s nothing. Maybe past tree line there’s a bit of one, but honestly you don’t need one then. Spent a good 2 hours pulling myself up the side of the mountain by alder bushes. Expect to be climbing on all fours if you hike this trail.

I would not recommend the trail unless you plan to use the cabin. It's not terribly interesting compared to many others in the area.

Easy hike. Breathtaking scenery!

Easy, Gorgeous after first big snow of the season!

Great views on the maintained trail. We hit a dead end. Not marked well for the loop. We then took the less-traveled and unmaintained trail to the ice caves. Much more strenuous hike! Trust the ribbons to guide you.

hiking
3 months ago

Uphill the whole way. Oof. Great views from the top, of course. Did round trip in 6-ish hours, including summiting, visiting shelter, eating lunch, and taking photos.

5 months ago

Hiked this trail in August 2017. Just being in Alaska with boots on the ground soaking it all in is enough for me. What an amazing place. Great hike!

Beautiful easy hike. Great views of Mendenhall Glacier. The waterfall is huge and you can get up close to it. There is also a nice visitor center at the head of the trail. I know this trail can be crazy busy. We hit it just right in the middle of September and hiked it before the cruise ship came into port. We saw maybe a total of ten people the whole time. Worth the hike, just plan around the cruise ship schedule so it's not to crowded.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a great hike! Make sure you bring good hiking boots because the paths get really rocky and there is some climbing involved. It was a rainy day, so the climbing was challenging because it got slippery in some areas. I'm from Florida, so this definetely felt like a hard hike for me! But well worth every ounce of effort becase the views were absolutely breathtaking.

On our way there, other visitors told us that a piece of the cave collapsed and we saw a chunk of the glacier fall into the water ourselves :( this hike is a must do!

walking
10 months ago

Easy trail with nice views of Nugget Falls and Mendenhall Glacier. Only downside is the large number of other people on the trail.

on Deer Mountain Trail

10 months ago

It's not easy.

Cool Trail

hiking
10 months ago

Challenging hike. Slightly more difficult than I anticipated but well worth it. Trail is pretty wet until you get above the tree line. Cold and windy on top -jacket, hat and gloves in case you're delayed up there is always a good idea. Easy to get turned around especially when coming down. Look closely for orange tape in the trees marking the way. If you feel lost you probably are.....climb back up and locate the marker tape to get back on track. My phone battery died for a few minutes so my track says 9.7 miles. I think that's a little short .....felt like 11 miles to me:) I walked up on a porcupine that was so big I thought it was a bear at first. My "Lyft" was waiting for me at the bottom right when I finished so life is good. Now I'm going to sleep!

Amazing hike!!

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