Crow Pass Trail to Crystal Lake and Barnes Mountain

HARD 88 reviews
#8 of 42 trails in

Crow Pass Trail to Crystal Lake and Barnes Mountain is a 6.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Girdwood, Alaska that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,958 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

Alaska Division of Tourism, P.O. Box 110801 , Juneau, AK, 99811-0801, Phone: 907-465-2010

hiking
13 days ago

Nice hike! Love the rushing water!

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike! I loved it, not to challenging! Definitely recommend! Also can pick wild raspberries!

hiking
16 days ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Would love to come back with more time and hike through to Eagle Pass, but this segment of the trail was a great taste. Views at the top of the pass are off the charts. Agree with hikers who note the different between taking the right vs the left at the split - the right trail is longer but switch backs provide an easier climb. Left trail steeper and probably would be difficult in inclement weather given some narrow passages and slippery rocks. We took the right up and the left down, worked out fine.

hiking
18 days ago

We hiked to Raven glacier. It was 8 miles round trip. Take the detour to the mine and amazing waterfall. I ranked the hike as a 4 because it was very wet. Requires hiking through waterfalls and wet mossy areas. Also, fog covered the glacier so we only saw the base. For pics and more info visit my blog https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/04/a-day-hike-to-crow-pass/

1 month ago

It was a little wet, but worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve taken thus far. The views are incredible from start to finish. Highly recommend to anyone to go the extra 20min to see the glacier. No signs of bears just a few goats. If you’re there mid-August pay close attention to the giant raspberries in the bottom half of the trail, delicious!

The best of the best.

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular hike, with amazing views :) When it came to the fork in the trail we went right, which was a good decision for us. It is a bit longer but not as steep of climb! Then on the way back down we came the other way which was nice cause we were cold and wanted to get down faster. Overall it took us 3.5 hours which included a decent break when we ate lunch :) Trails are kept nicely and other than the first short section, the trail is nice and open so no chance of running into bears.

hiking
1 month ago

August 1, 2018
Foggy but beautiful! 3 or 4 amazing waterfalls and the cabin is super cool as well. Next time I’m for sure going to check out the glacier on the right. No bear sightings and no bear poop

hiking
1 month ago

July 27. Awesome hike. When you reach the fork in the trail, I would recommend going right towards Crow Pass for better views.

On this trail you see several waterfalls, the lake at the top, and don’t miss the glacier shortly past the lake. We also saw a black bear in the valley. Great hike.

hiking
2 months ago

July 17. Excellent hike. Really one of my favorite of all time. Appreciate the writer who explained the upper and lower trails. When we got to the split, we went to the right which takes you on the trail higher up the hill. Much of the trail is made of flat rocks which I’m not used to hiking on but got used to it. Nice flat ridge for quite a while. The valley views were amazing. The cloudy weather made every view different. Crossed two waterfalls. Reached the cabin and lake. Very pretty. Hiked down on the lower trail. A little steep at the beginning but then is evens out. Waterfalls and great valley and mountain views. Exceptional hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail. I’m a beginner and found this to be super hard with all the incline but I pushed through it anyways. Highly recommend! Didn’t see any wildlife but the trails were in great shape.

hiking
2 months ago

Not the best weather today but still very pretty. Hiked up to the lake and back down. The trail is very straight forward until the split and either way means crossing some snow melt run off which could mean wet feet if not creative enough. Windy but absolutely beautiful views all the way up.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail and incredible views. It was crowded due to the holiday weekend but it didn’t detract from the experience. When the trail splits, the one to the right is an easier climb (less steep) but a bit longer. The glacier is another 0.3-0.5 miles past the cabin. Saw a goat on the far side of the river as we returned. Bring plenty of water, it was very warm the entire time we hiked. Still had snow at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on our last full day in Alaska (Saturday June 30th). Arrived at the parking lot around 10 and it was full with a very loud group of maybe 30 teenage church group kids. That alone almost made me leave as the last thing I wanted to deal with was listening to them all the way up. Luckily we made off on the trail quickly before them and I think they took the lower path while we went for the upper.

The hike up was super foggy. Like 100ft visibility at best. We didn’t see the cabin from the path or anything more than a few feet out. But once we hit the crest coming over to raven glacier the sky opened up. It was pretty amazing and stopped us in our tracks. We proceeded to hike out to a great viewing point to have our lunch. We didn’t see another person for quite some time and even when we did they were hundreds of feet away from us, so it was still very peaceful.

We explored the area for maybe and hour or a little more before heading back down. On the return the fog had lifted quite a bit and it was like an entirely new trail. We now saw the lake, the cabin, the gorge below. None of this was visible on the way up and it was really cool to see all this “new” terrain appear. I hope to return someday to do the entire path to eagle river.

hiking
2 months ago

DO THIS HIKE! One of my favorite hikes I've done in Alaska and that's saying a lot. There's just something really special about this one. This took me about 3 hours round trip. I'm a more experienced hiker but also couldn't stop taking pictures. There was snow (06/28/18) once you get to the top but very doable in hiking boots.
This upper trail/lower trail thing was way less clear than I had anticipated so I thought I would clear some things up. Nothing is labeled upper/lower. There is a sign for the mines to go straight or Crow Pass (I think) to the right. I went right/up because I expected a label. I realized what had happened on the way back and many people apparently knew what I didn't by going on the lower one. You just follow the mine trail and continue straight when it veers to the mines. But honestly... I would do it the way that I did it again. Also, Crow Pass doesn't actually even start until after the cabin when you're at the top- just in case that was confusing as well.

3 months ago

Hiked up to glacier and it was great. We went the lower trail(stay left) and came back down via the upper trail. Make sure you come prepared with the right gear(rain and cold weather) and bring a can of bear spray. We saw one black bear across the river and Dall sheep. Still a lot of snow up by the cabin and on the upper trail. I’d recommend trekking poles if traversing the upper trail.
Great hike!

3 months ago

I did this in mid June, no snow shoes. Started out in shorts, bundled up before reaching the glacier, as the temperature dropped about 30°. Extremely windy and cold at the top, rainy at the bottom. I took the high trail and it was very steep and quite terrifying; easy to slip on the rocks or snow patches. Next time I will take the lower trail. Coming back was much easier, saw the gold mine ruins.

3 months ago

Still a lot of snow. Lower path was difficult to find at times, but looked to be the easier route. Was able to make it to the hut and back. Great hike!

For the thru hikers, the pass is a snow field and probably won't be easily traversable for another month without snow shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

Had to turn around at mile 1 due to snow and our unpreparedness to hike in those conditions. The trail offered beautiful views and we saw many mountain goats in the distance. We were the only ones on the trail which made it so peaceful. Wish we could have hiked the whole thing because the pictures look beautiful.

hiking
11 months ago

Got up to crystal lake and crows pass cabin. Snowing and windy. Used crampons. Still beautiful scenery and will be back in the summertime

backpacking
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

After spending a year and a half hiking AK this was the most beautiful hike I've found.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It was super foggy and raining all the way up and down , but it was worth it ! Lake is super wee and so lovely , we could hardly see the glacier but again , not bad at all ! Go for it

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

There are two ways to get up this trail. If you are feeling good and in good shape you can go left and take the steep way up which is a lot faster. Otherwise you can go right at the top and take the zig zags across. There were a lot of rocks at the top. It was pretty overcast and rainy when I went so it was a bit slippery. There are two small streams you have to cross before reaching the lake. There are a lot of rocks though so you don't have to worry about getting your feet too wet if you're not wearing waterproof shoes. There's a beautiful clear blue lake at the top. Overall this is a great hike. I would highly recommend wearing the right hiking boots if you plan on doing this trail.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Great trail, with some awesome viewpoints. Not that hard to do. Water falls, wild goats.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It was pretty foggy, and still was an awesome trail. Highly recommend to keep going a bit after the crow pass sing, there is a great viewpoint on the glacier about 10-15 min walk from there.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

7 July 17 - great trail. Great views. Turn around point is pretty much at the cabin by crystal lake. Bring bug spray.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Great Trail, lake is beautiful and wonderful waterfalls.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Great trail have done it twice now!

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