Savage Alpine Trail is a 6.6 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Denali National Park, Alaska that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 6.6 km Elevation Gain: 431 m Route Type: Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The more strenuous Savage Alpine Trail runs more than four miles, and connects the Savage River area with Savage River Campground. Use the Savage River Shuttle to travel back to your starting point if you need to pick up a car, or use it to return to the park entrance if you have no vehicle; or, you can walk about two miles along the park road.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 days ago

More moderate than hard In fact easy for me

rocky
snow
25 days ago

We couldn't access the trail from the trailhead listed here due to bears in the area. We ended up parking at Savage River and hiking up that way. Extremely steep and still a decent amount of snow, but beautiful at the top! We traveled about 2 miles and turned around to head back to the car to avoid bears near the campground trail head. (5/10/2020)

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Absolutely breathtaking at the highest point. My buddy and I went off trail multiple times to see some extra cool sights. It’s very windy at the top, so bring warm clothes around April-May time frame. There is a bus that will take you back to your vehicle however it is currently not in service due to covid (as of 5/1/2020). After finishing the hike, my buddy and I walked about 3.25 miles on the closed highway to get back to his vehicle. Still well worth the view at the top.

hiking
no shade
rocky
snow
4 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail each time I went on it! It’s got a pretty steep climb to get to the top but the views make it worth it. It gets a little dicey when there is snow on the trail, so (after a bit of a rough incident) I avoid it until the snow is pretty much gone. I’ve seen people go up with their young kids so it’s doable, however I don’t think my 5 & 6 year old would make it, so use your judgement there. Not terribly buggy in the summer in my experience and sometimes you get an awesome view of wildlife down in the valley.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

We went on this trail on Sept. 21 and had snow. Some parts of the trail are hard to find in snow, so I would avoid this trail with much more than a dusting of snow. The trailhead that starts away from the river (end at the river) is what we took and didn’t think this was a “hard” hike but can see if you come from the river side to the park entrance side, I’d say it would fall into the hard category. Just stairs up (they were down for us) to the ridge and then pretty moderate. No wildlife for us on this hike which was a bit disappointing, but nice hike anyway.

hiking
8 months ago

West to east direction. steep start. pay attention to the loose rocks. once you drop into the ravine, take time in the trees. really enjoyed it.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, we parked at the end of this trail by the Savage River Cabin and walked the road to the start at Savage River. The first mile was basically up, the trail was nice and had almost stairs. The views across the top of the ridge were amazing. The rest of the hike was a nice steady down hill through some brush and then a well kept path through some tress. Overall it was beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice day hike.... Unfortunately for some reason my GPS did not track the whole way and cut some corners.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
8 months ago

off trail bouldering highly recommend!

hiking
9 months ago

it's a moderate trail. nice views of denali from top.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice trail. From Savage River it’s a brutal climb, but the right spot to start the trip. Easier to go downhill on a gentler slope than a major steep one. Great views of the valley floor. Bring plenty snacks and drinks to enjoy on your many breaks!

hiking
9 months ago

The rocks are fun to climb on, kids loved it! The ridge walk is so beautiful. A little strenuous but doable.

hiking
9 months ago

Denali is a place where you should really get off the trail and hike in the backcountry, but this is a great option if you don't have the time to take the transit bus further into the park, or if you're hesitant to venture off into the backcountry. I'd recommended hiking it from the Savage River Side. The climb up the rocky steps to the first ridge is steeper than from the Mountain Vista/Savage Campground side, but the quicker payoff is worth it. Once up there, the ridgewalking is nice and easy with some great views. We were able to glimpse the very top of Denali when the clouds agreed to part. The initial climb is steep, but doable for people of a reasonable fitness level.

hiking
9 months ago

It was wonderful trail - wow! Absolutely stunning views! We decided to park a car on mile 12 at parking lot and took bus to mile 14 and started hike with clime in. Steep hike - you gaining 1440f elevation almost in no time but rewording part was the summit on top. You can see all around and feel like you on top of the world even it just for a minute, even it not so high. After summit you starting go down with views in your face all the way till you reach down ! Clime stats at 2120 F and top point of hike is 4560f . We meet on way- (saw) mountain goat, chip monks, rabbit , some birds and squirrels! it is absolutely phenomenal views and hike. It was hot, cold, windy and all in one place. If you can go do it.

recorded Savage Alpine Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike

hiking
over grown
9 months ago

Great views. Trail was wet and a little muddy. A few spots that are overgrown and would recommend rain pants if you are going after a rain storm. The upper portion of the trail reminded me of the Scottish Highlands. Great trail and I would probably rate it as more moderate.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. I went during early August and the weather was perfect , not hot, not cold. Didn’t see much wildlife, just rabbits, but no bears. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
snow
10 months ago

Amazing experience pretty hard trail and awesome view

hiking
10 months ago

Very steep ascent from the rivers side for the first mile. Gets pretty windy but the views are splendid.

hiking
10 months ago

Gorgeous intro to Denali. Took it up to the summit and raced back down. Well worth the the quick elevation climb in mile 1.

hiking
10 months ago

Steep hike starting from the savage river side. If you want a bit less of an incline start at the mountain vista trailhead and head up that way. The trail thins a bit in the rock field but it easy enough to find again. Beautiful hike on clear days with stunning views of Denali!

hiking
no shade
rocky
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Date of hike 06/29/19. Hikers aged 49, 51, and 74 Total hike time, including shuttle ride back = 5 hours A bit of slight disappointment in that the weather forecast was for sunny skies and we’d hope to escape the smoke in Fairbanks for the day, but alas there was some smoke from forest fires and haze from the high temps in at least the mid-80’s. Did not get to see Mt Denali, so we plan to come again in the fall on a clear day, hopefully. We hiked from the Mountain Vista Rest Area to Savage River mainly because the sun would be more behind us for photo taking. This direction is easier, but if you want a harder, more difficult work out, start from the Savage River side for an initial near vertical climb with short switch backs. Happened to catch the Savage River Shuttle bus back to the the parking lot which was needed as the temperatures made it feel like an oven. Very enjoyable with grand views for photos. Had a steady steam of hikers during our trip, but nothing to get bent out of shape over. Enjoy your hike and the views!

hiking
11 months ago

We did this hike with a family ranging from intermediate to first time hikers. While it was challenging for all of us it was fun and well worth it. The view at the top is worthy of at least 20 minute break to take it all in. Be careful on the decline down to the river and bring layers! Definitely does get windy up top.

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