Caines Head Trail is a 14 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length14.0 miElevation gain4,796 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyBackpackingCampingHikingSnowshoeingBeachForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

SAFETY NOTE: It is important to time your trip around the tides. The three mile stretch of beach between Tonsina Point and North Beach can be hiked only during a tide of +3 or lower. Leave the trail head at two hours before a +3 tide to avoid becoming stranded along the way.

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Daylight
Reviews (98)
Photos (151)
Recordings (77)
Completed (269)
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Cheryl Morse
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Hiking
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Garrett Packer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
HikingGreat!Muddy

This was a very beautiful and unique trail along the coastline. Unfortunately, due to low tide times, we were only able to do the first few miles and then turned back. As others have noted, it's important to find low tide times in order to complete the hike, and on some days, this will just not be possible so plan your Canes Head hike around the low tides. As far as difficulty goes, the first few miles that we were able to do were very easy. The trail was well established and easy to follow, there was little elevation, and the conditions were great in mid-October.

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Amy Schomburg
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
RunningGreat!
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Taylor Pace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely amazing trail. Could definitely be an incredibly difficult trail in bad conditions. Hiked up to the fort and down to south beach.

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Charity Lovelace
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Hiking

Fantastic

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Alexa Donahe
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Backpacking

Hiked to the Derby Cove Cabin that we had rented, dropped our bags, and continued on to see the old fort. Clouds cleared and we had stunning views from the fort, which was lovely until we ran into a disgruntled bear. Lots of berries, beautiful ocean views, and all around a great time.

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Dena Hamer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2020
Hiking

BEAUTIFUL hike. Would recommend hiking on a super sunny day not only for the amazing views of the mountains and glaciers across Resurrection Bay but for safety (you walk on the rocky beach and they can be slippery). I found the map on Alltrails to not be as accurate as usual (maybe its a high tide trail?). We had trouble navigating where we were exactly based on the map on here and the picture I took of the one at the trailhead. We found the trail again but spent a decent amount of time being confused of where we are. Set up camp on North Beach and the view was amazing.

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Mai Cee Moua
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HikingBugsFee

Love this trail! Definitely recommend it. Today was pretty darn hot. Muddy some parts of the way but very easy avoidable. Only hiked to Dovey Cove cause I had kids. Marked it as a three star; felt pretty easy for me. Could be a four if you are traveling with young ones.

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A Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Went with a friend during AM low tide. Tide was -2.x. We kind if missed the initial trail sign for derby trail but bc of the really low tide we were able to make it just fine taking the beach the whole way until north beach. The only down side to this is just the fact that there's lots of unsteady and wet rocks. But flat elevation. There was one point that we went up and over a rock. Nothing major though. On the way back we figured we could do the same. Pm low tide was +1.x. Unfortunately this meant we did more rock climbing. Nothing high... But the rocks were really wet and slick. If you go on a + low tide... Definitly recommend taking derby trail!! Lots of places too camp. Bear boxes available.

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Megan Junge
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HikingBridge outRocky

Did this trail two years ago with good friends. Beautiful trail partially in through the forrest, partially along the beach. Definitely check tide times but other than that it was an amazing trip! Never saw the water taxi, not quite sure what or where it was at. Couple cabins along the way, and even some great tent spots with platforms for you to camp on! Bring some form of fire/cookie gear! Al the wood in the nearby area was soaked! But beautiful trail none the less!

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Email Reader
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Hiking

14 clients with Tedi

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Evan Koehler
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Hiking

Great hike with low tide or without. Lost some orange tent poles and a ground tarp on the Caines head trail this weekend somewhere close to north beach and fort mcgilvray. If anyone has found them please let me know. 9079532393

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Elizabeth Rexford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 12, 2020
Hiking

Was looking forward to the overnight trip, but a bear wouldn’t leave us alone the earlier part of the trail. Glad my camping buddy was carrying .460 S&W, but a warning shot still didn’t keep the bear from advancing. Not bad for a 3rd date.

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Iggy C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 11, 2020
HikingRocky

Fantastic trail! Absolutely breathtaking scenery all around, really enjoyed the hike.

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Stephanie Horsfield
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BackpackingRocky
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Ryan Potts
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Hiking

I took the a water taxi to derby cove/north beach. then we walked to south beach without going to the fort. after we took the loop trail almost to the top of the alpine trail and then took the rest of the loop trail to north beach. alpine was slightly overgrown.

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Graciela Echeverria
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail. We didn’t go all the way. We just hiked one hour and we went through a beautiful forest, cross a couple of bridges and saw salmon. We ended up by the beach and then came back.

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Tom Conaway
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2019
Hiking

We only hiked to the second bridge across Tonsina creek then took the beach back to the first bridge. We saw salmon in late August under the bridge then a black bear on our way back!

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Elaina B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2019
Hiking

We kayaked 5 miles to the cove and started the hike there, so we did not have to worry about the tide. The kayaking was beautiful and enjoyable. There is a couple of pit toilets there but not much else. The fort was fun to explore and we made it to the other side of the fort to see spectacular views of resurrection bay. We ate many berries along the hike! Kayaked back to seward and called it a day after about 8 hours of activity! A great day.

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Aspen Anger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2019
Hiking

Loved this hike! Be aware of tide you might get stuck for a little bit waiting for the tide to go out. When I got back to my tent a black bear had ripped into it and was still around not bothered by the five people yelling at it to back off so we packed up and left that night we camped at Tosina point.

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Emily Gall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2019
Hiking

Backpacked this trail two summers ago, definitely recommend staying a night so you have time to go up and check out the old fort, then you can take a water taxi back out the next day or wait for low tide again. One of my favorite trails of all time. You have the ocean, you have mountains, and you have a piece of history to freely explore.

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Chelsea Kovalcsik
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Hiking

Hiked at +3.5 & +3.9, definitely doable but some super slippery rocks that forced us to walk around in the water. The Callisto Cabin is 10/10 - plenty of supplies, nice and warm at night, the outhouse was well maintained. I’d recommend rain boots of some sort, especially if you’re hiking above a -3. tide. Overall, amazing!

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Lisa Liu
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Hiking

We just did first part of the trail. Great fishing spot.

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Whitney Bartle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2019
BackpackingBugsRocky

Whew! This was as tough as it gets for having very little/no elevation gain. Gorgeous hike, but beware that you'll probably want some good boots for the rocks you're walking on. Overall super easy to find/hike until you reach the end of the rocky beach. We got in a pinch when I was convinced we weren't supposed to go inland to get to the campsite. Turns out, you do have to take the inland trail for a mile or so once you reach the end of the beach to get to the campsite. The platforms they have there are awesome for setting up a tent. Super handy! There are also bear boxes so don't worry about needing a bear bag or bear canister for food. The mosquitos were pretty bad, so mosquito nets would be helpful if you're really averse to them. Overall beautiful hike and a great time!

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Russell Zuckerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 19, 2019
Hiking

it's a nice and relatively easy hike down to the shore. look for the public use warming cabin...it's a cool little spot.

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c. maeve Kendall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2018
Hiking

MUST FOLLOW TIDE TABLES!!!!! Seriously. I’m the type that tries to follow the recommendation to leave a couple hours before low tide, but I’m not going to be crazy about it. That was a terrible mistake for this hike. If you hit the one edge at any time other than absolute low tide, be prepared to end up in the ocean. We nearly lost a pup to the crazy waves that we had to wade through up to our waists. You can try to climb and stay on the rocks, but they are so covered in slimy algae that it’s nearly impossible. All that said, I LOVE this hike and strongly suggest it. Just watch your timing!

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