Portage Pass Trail

MODERATE 94 reviews
#3 of 24 trails in

Portage Pass Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whittier, 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.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1578 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
17 days ago

Gorgeous in winter!

24 days ago

This trail is amazing, the views are beyond words! Went today, a bit icey so coming down was challenging. Would recommend having snowshoes or grips, however if you’re careful good hiking boots will do the trick!!! Enjoy!

1 month ago

Went there on January, it was snowing a lot, it got pretty hard, but amazing hike

hiking
4 months ago

Yes, this is in my top 10 of all time favorites, words can't explain.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome easy hike with multiple stunning views of glaciers. Portage glacier is beautiful from all distances but getting up close was a treat!

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

up to the view which is nice. leave extra time if you want to poke down to the lake.

8 months ago

Amazing hike...up and down.. down and up... awesome views. loved it.

hiking
8 months ago

Our moving time was just under two hours, but with our stops for photos and viewing the glacier, it took us three hours. Definitely worth the effort. The first half mile is all up hill, but stick with it and it is worth the effort. Epic photo spots on a clear day.

hiking
8 months ago

Starts out really steep until you reach the pass. You then follow a winding rock path all the way down to Portage lake. The weather was misreable while we were there with a low cloud deck and drizzling the entire time. The hike was still worth it. Views of the glaciers, waterfalls, and wild flowers were amazing and the payoff of Portage glacier was well worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, wonderful arrival on the river (seems to be a bear water point). We did it under the rain, but it was worthy. Be aware of the tunnel to arrive on the start of the hike, you can only cross once per hour.

8 months ago

Amazing! Wish I had my knee braces though as there's a lot of up and down, with long descents.

9 months ago

I absolutely hated and loved this trail. It's uphill uphill uphill. But so rewarding! When you get to the "summit" you can finally catch your breathe and enjoy the view and beauty of the valley and the glacier! The trail is adorned with many beautiful wildflowers. I stopped often to enjoy looking at them. but can be narrow at points, so avoid highly trafficked times or days. We were lucky to only bump into a few people. So it kind of made it peaceful and tranquil. But I can imagine it can get busy too.
This glacier is much more impressive than Exit Glacier. It sits against a background of mountains and greenery and is simply inspiring. Remember to track your time and make it on time for the tunnel returns which are timed every hour on the hour. If you time it right, you'll get to spend some quiet time up there and make it back on time for the tunnel return without having this sit too long in line in your car.

9 months ago

Amazing views, easy hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail - the glacier is fantastic scenery. When the sun is out the view at the top of the pass is amazing.

hiking
10 months ago

Took me about 3 hours round trip, including time spent taking pictures / stopping to enjoy the views. Breathtaking. This hike made my trip to Alaska!

hiking
10 months ago

This is one of the best hikes I have done in Alaska. It is short, but very sweet. The views are incredible. There is still quite a bit of snow on the trail, but nothing to discourage the dauntless hiker.

10 months ago

This was a great hike with beautiful views all the way up. After cresting the top we were amazed by even more beauty Alaska has to offer! We only went up the pass and played around on top for a while exploring many paths. The snow kept us from wanting to continue to the lake as we weren't prepared for snow. We plan to go back later this season to make it all the way to the lake!

hiking
10 months ago

This hike was a wild experience. When we made it to the top we could see that the lake was fogged in but hiked down to it hoping it would lift and we could see where the glacier met the lake. On the way down we could see the top of the glacier and the other glaciers in the valley which was amazing. When we got down to the lake we could not see more than twenty feet in front of us but hung out for a while begging the fog to lift. As we were walking around the lake we started to feel a deep rumbling and heard a piece of the glacier fall off into the lake. Being from Montana with little experience around glaciers we had no idea whether a glacier induced tsunami was heading our way or what and headed for high ground haha. Luckily only small waves hit the beach but the experience is something we will never forget. Of course when we were about halfway to the top on our way out the fog began to lift haha. The scenery in and out is worth every step.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Very Beautiful. Easy hike for the Fit people out there. Still doable for the worst in shape people.

hiking
Friday, September 16, 2016

very beautiful. only the first maybe 1/2 mile to 3/4 miles is moderate. Otherwise amazing hike!

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

Went on a bright sunny day! Great views. Time it so you can hit the tunnel right at the 1/2s. Tunnel closes at 3/4s into the hour. Trailhead is immediately on the right after you exit tunnel parking area. Short hike offering wonderful views from the pass on down. Don't forget to stop on the way and look for beavers in the pond just down from the pass!

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Well worth the $13 tunnel fee. Mid way through, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view.

hiking
Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A very nice hike, with loads of berries. Lots of people on a weekend, bet it would be a lot quieter on a weekday.

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

This was a really nice trail. It was slightly strenuous the first part on the way up, but not too tough. There were a ton of flies, and if you stopped they swarmed you. There were quite a few people there, and many on the beach of the lake. The trail itself is mostly loose rock and gravel, it's easy to walk on, but we brought our dog and he ended up tearing off much of the skin on the bottom of his paw pads by the end. We had to carry him (50 pound lab) the last quarter of a mile back to the car because he couldn't walk. Although he does have sensitive paws, be cautious about your dog's paws on all the rock, especially if you let them get wet in the lake. We walked around the beach to try and get to the glacier, but the river was running too fast for us to wade across, not to mention it was mind numbingly cold. Overall, it was a beautiful hike and I'd do it again! (Without my dog though).

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

A great short hike than you can turn into a longer hike by following the shoreline towards the glacier. There are a lot of flies at the pass, but if you go early enough--we went up at around 10pm--you'll miss the bugs and be able to enjoy the view in peace. Coming back through will be a different story. Plus, there a more people later. I saw young kids on the trail, and dogs, and some elderly folk.

You can do a mile up to the pass, and the views make it worth it. Or another mile down to the lake. And then you can hike along the shore maybe a mile until you reach the river, and if you follow it up you'll come to an awesome waterfall coming off of Burns glacier. Quite the sight. So it can be a mini adventure for the whole family, or an all-day adventure for the more, well, adventurous.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Really awesome trail, what I loved most is that you can make it from 2 mile hike to 7 mile hike depending on your mood and level of preparation, there is variety of wildflower sand shrubs on the way

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Amazing! The first mile is steep but once you're at the top you get to view Whittier on one side and Portage Glacier on the other. Continue on the trail and you'll end up on the black sand beach of Portage Lake with the glacier right in front of you! It looks far but it only took me 3 hrs, round trip, at an easy pace. Definitely worth the extra mileage to go all the way to the lake. Pack a picnic, bring the kiddos and enjoy!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

We had great weather for this hike . Amazing view steep in the beginning

hiking
Friday, June 24, 2016

We were running short on time so we stopped at the smaller lake about halfway - it was still a fantastic view! That first mile is pretty steep, but the views of the glacier were incredible!

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