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Carter Lake Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Moose Pass, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.7 mi Elevation gain 1,105 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wildlife

Snow

Description
Waypoints (0)

It is a short but steep climb through spruce/hemlock forest to a wide subalpine valley of meadows surrounded by mountains. Snow can remain in this area until early June.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (71)
Photos (42)
Recordings (42)
Completed (128)
Rebecca Sparks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 23 2020
Hiking

Great trail, fort mile and a half is straight up and steep, Foliage is thick and beautiful. Lake was very cool.

View Rebecca's Recording
Danae Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
HikingBugsRocky

This was a great trail! We went 6/21. The creek crossings along the way were beautiful. The trail provided good stretches of shade on the way up. There are a few rocky patches that can be a little tricky. It is quite a climb, so not sure how well kids would do. We got a little turned around once the end of the trail drew near as it was unclear where to stop for us, but I am a self-proclaimed trail illiterate human. Beautiful spot to have lunch and take in the beauty Alaska has to offer.

Brittany San Martín
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 12 2020
HikingBugs
View Brittany's Recording
Mark Pattinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 10 2020
BackpackingRocky

Carter lake trail Seward Alaska. Very steep & rocky for the first mile. Nice lake at the top. Fished a little but didn’t catch anything. Couple nice camping spots up top with bear lockers

View Mark 's Recording
Holly Herring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

Great trail! We took 8 kids ( 12, 11, 10, 8, 7, 7, 5, 2.5) 4 dogs, 6 adults to the lake for a picnic, around 4 miles RT. Would love to go further someday! In the trees, open trail though. Opens to a gorgeous valley. Recommended for sure!

Crystal McKenney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020

The trail was great all the way to the lake. We had to hop over a few streams but it was doable without getting wet. I had two kids with me and they did fine.

Elizabeth Rexford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 13 2020
Hiking

The first 1.5-miles are a climb, but once up there it is absolutely beautiful & is a romantic walk. We camped in the woods near Carter Lake & made dinner... way better of an experience, even more so than the crows nest & captain cook on a Friday night! Highly recommended for an overnight backpacking trip or for a 3rd or a fourth date.

Cate Currier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 26 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Bring skis or snowshoes (preferably skis). Trail is dry until you get to the valley and then it’s waist deep snow that is very soft and breaks easy.

Alex B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
HikingSnow

Snowmobile use makes this trail easily accessible in the winter. Great short hike that gains elevation quick.

C. Moss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 30 2019
HikingMuddyWashed out

I did this trail after a few days of very heavy rain, so I expected mud and washouts. The first part of the trail is a series of steep switchbacks followed by some rock jumping creek crossings. After that it opens up into the valley and evens out. The hike in was foggy and the views were obscured but I did see a fog rainbow (fogbow?). I went on to Crescent Lake, worth it, short, do it. The fog lifted on my way back and I saw a couple small avalanches occurring up on the higher slopes. Overall, my best hike of the fall yet.

View C.'s Recording
Marc Quesenberry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 29 2019
Hiking

I agree with the previous recommendation to continue to Crescent Lake! Only about another mile. Saw lots of Fireweed (gone to seed but still really cool with the fall colors).

Jordan Joseph
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 27 2019
HikingBugsOver grownRocky
View Jordan's Recording
Lindsy Boyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 16 2019
HikingOver grown

Great trail! And very easy by Alaskan standards. The beginning is a bit of an uphill but once it levels out it pretty much stays that way. Carter lake is beautiful, but I would DEFINITELY recommend walking on to Crescent Lake. Way worth it! Only about an extra mile from lake to lake. The trail is overgrown in some parts, and there is cow parsnip everywhere. Would recommend wearing pants to avoid getting tainted by the parsnip. Happy trails!

Michael Shipman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 23 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

Nice hike up top a beautiful mountain meadow and lake.

Pankaj Kohli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 23 2019
HikingOver grown

lightly trafficked, some bugs but not enough to use head-net. steep at the beginning and beautiful valley towards the end. thick overgrown path. a small outlet to the lake was open. I was informed that a bigger way was open earlier. continues to crescent lake with easy 1-1.5mi hike

Trevor F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 03 2019

Short and steep to nice views from the valley. Wide cleared trail with many berries, blueberries,currents, salmon berries and more. Bikeable but not recommended, steep, some pretty rocky and muddy sections.

Gary Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 19 2018

The climb was steep but great exercise. Although a cloudy day the view at the lake was beautiful. Saw a group of 29 dall sheep high up on the ridge west of the lake. Wildflowers along the trail included lots and lots of goatsbeard and cow parsnip with some monkshead. Although it had rained a lot recently the trail was only slick in a few spots.

Deb Braun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 01 2017

Beautiful views, great payoff at the lake. Nice uphill. Wildflowers everywhere. Didn't see any bears, but heard rustlings off the trail.

Sierra Roses
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 25 2017

Beautiful!

Kyle Nickerson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 11 2017
Backpacking

It was like being in Glacier National Park without the people.

Mary Strasser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 10 2016
Hiking

Up and pretty easy. No views till lake. Was raining and couldn't see mts around us.

E Kaplan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Apr 22 2015
Hiking

This is a very nice trail. Just off the road with easy parking at the trailhead and a different world within five minutes of hiking. The presence of bears - whether or not seen - makes it s more pronounced hike.

Rich McKinstry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 23 2013
Hiking

Short and steep hike with switchbacks to help gain elevation quickly. Once at the lake it opens up and is more mellow if you continue on to Crescent Lake. this is a shorter hike to get to that lake than from Quartz Creek but it is much steeper. The trail can get muddy in a hurry and we had to puddle hop a few places because of a rainstorm while we were up there. Supposed to be good fishing at both lakes but I didnt bring my pole, perhaps next time...

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