Gold Mint Trail and Reed Lakes Loop is a 20.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Palmer, Alaska that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October.

Length20.5 miElevation gain5,921 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed outOff trail
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This trail combines the Gold Mint hut trail, Bomber glacier, and Reed Lakes in a single loop-style. If starting at the Mint Hut trailhead, expect to get muddy and wet throughout the valley. The elevation really starts just before Mint Hut - expect it to be slow going from the valley floor, to the Hut, and onwards up the pass. When scrambling up the pass, be careful of the "path" as it is the most unstable rock; climbing just adjacent to the beaten path will provide much more stability. Once at the top of the pass, there are 2 static lines to help you descend to Penny-Royal Glacier (though these can get covered in snow). Follow the stream from Penny Royal Glacier, then cut west at the small lake (or continue all the way to Bomber hut). There is no trail up to Bomber glacier, but it's hard to miss - stick to the east as you hike up to the glacier, then cut across (SW) to the pass that will take you to reed lakes. Near the top of the pass, there are once again 2 static lines to help you get up. The path is then very steep and rocky (no trail) all the way down to upper reed lake. From there, the path is easy to follow and relatively dry; lots of boulder fields on the way out.

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Terry Yung
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddyNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleSnowWashed out
First to Review

Excellent trail with incredible views. I recommend starting at Reed Lakes and going clockwise, because the valley to Gold mint hut WILL be wet and muddy (there is no avoiding this, I promise). Be careful on the passes at Penny-Royal Glacier and Bomber Glacier. The static lines are helpful, but, due to high traffic, the rocks that you need to ascend are often very icy (crampons would be overkill, but I would recommend micro-spikes). Expect this trail to take 2 full days; 3 would be nicer (camp one night near Mint hut and 1 night at upper reed lake).