Skyline Traverse Summit

HARD 20 reviews
#2 of 6 trails in

Skyline Traverse Summit is a 12.7 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Cooper Landing, Alaska that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

12.7 miles
5,045 feet
Point to Point

dogs on leash




nature trips

trail running




1 hour ago

Excellent but tough!!

25 days ago

I love Skyline as it’s simply a wonderful workout trail with great views—and the traverse just adds to both. Super gorgeous and a great trek for sure. Looking at the ridgeline from Skyline, it is deceiving, looking easy and mostly rolling ups and downs. There is significant ups and downs that can’t be seen from that angle, but you’ll discover them for certain as you go.

The views start out amazing and only improve as you progress. Make sure as you head down the last Ridge to look for the little obscure marker telling you to turn down for the upper Fuller Lake trail. Turn too soon, you’ll discovery sheet cliff walls that are unseen from the top on the lake side of the mountain and have to back track—turn too late and your miss the trail, and discover the fun of endless bushwhacking through y’all grass and alders with marshlands mixed in. As you head down that last Ridge, as the trail starts to disappear, just keep an eye where you place your feet and you will come upon a stainless eye-bolt screwed into the ground with a lite green metal tag telling you to turn there—do so and you’ll hit the upper lake trail just before the trees and it then zigs and zags along the tree line in the tall grass.

Great hike, but plan your exit for a shuttle back to the other lot. I wasn’t able to secure a ride, so had to add the 5.1 miles at the end of the day walking the ditch back to the Skyline lot for my truck.

4 months ago

This is a great trail with quite a bit of a mountaintop experience, With some side Hilling just up above skyline as you head north east. Personally I recommend you go up to Skyline and come down Fuller on the other end. Skyline is very steep and the idea of coming down skyline after completing a long hike is very scary. It’s possible to walk down to the end of the finger South of fuller lake and intersect with the horse trail that leads down to upper fuller lake. But it’s also a challenge to bushwhack down through the trees and try to come onto the trail closer to the lake. It’s not easy but it can be done.

Most of the trail is exposed to the elements and it can get pretty cold, even on an otherwise hot and clear day. Also, there is no water available anywhere on the trail other than the beginning and the end. Please take plenty of water.

I consider this a hard trail. If you can’t make it up Skyline fairly easily, I wouldn’t even consider doing this transition. With all the “peak walking” you fo along the way, your TOTAL elevation gain will be over 5000 feet. That’s a whole heap of ups and downs.

9 months ago

This is a great point-to-point trail, it is not typically done as an out & back. On the far end of the Skyline Traverse, it hooks up with Fuller Lakes Trail and ends up following that to the Fuller Lakes Trailhead. Note that this is an extension, and ultimately a totally different hike and experience than the simpler Skyline up and down. I think a new page needs to be added, and this one needs to be updated to represent the full length of the Skyline Traverse, and to differentiate between two very different hikes.

11 months ago

Amazing trail! STEEP. The trail head will say 2 mile round trip. I'm not so sure that's accurate. Ever step is worth the views at the top though. Brin bug spray or nets if you have them. Also some good binoculars would be great.

trail running
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 13, 2017. We hitchhiked from the Fuller Lakes trailhead to the Skyline trail. We fast hiked the route over to the peak above Fuller Lakes. The route is obvious and easy ridge hiking when the viability is good. Our error came in seeing the Fuller lakes directly below when we reached to last peak and thinking the best way was straight down the mossy tundra. Turns out there is a cliff band above the lakes and we had to head back up and sidehill a long way to the north before finding a decent decent. By decent, I mean alder bashing. We ended coming out on the north end of the upper lake and hiking out. Took us just over 6 hours including all our detours. Before going, make sure you know the best route off the mountain above Fuller Lakes. I am not sure there is an actual trail, but there must be a better way than we found.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This is an exquisitely taxing route if done in full.
Be in phenomenal shape with great knees, or don't go past the 3-1/2mile mark of the last peak of the main ridge.
The trail is infuriatingly hard to follow down from there to continue.
That's the first issue.
Then, once the final peak is reached, as you're going down the backside of the mountain, at about the 6-1/2 mile mark, there is a little anchor loop in the ground, that says "trail to Fuller Lake, start down now."
There is no trail from there, really. There is some flagging on a few shrubs that is hard to see, especially between them, and you have to go down a nearly 45 degree slope until you meet up with an also infuriatingly hard trail head, occasionally marked with more flagging in hard to see places.
Once on that trail it's rather overgrown, but usually followable. I had the benefit of coming behind a group, who were nice enough to beat the path a bit for me.
It's a long trek to the last lake of Fuller, but once there its easy walking.

Would i do this trail again in full?
Probably not.
Was it worth doing this once?
Yeah, but really only for bragging rights.

I advise only going so far as to the last peak of the main ridge and then going back. Thats still a 7 or so mile trek, and more worthwhile.
But hey, not everyone else has a body that wants to give out on them.
Don't be silly, bring poles.

I would definitely climb the first peaks again, those were great.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Great hike and is pretty hard!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beautiful views even on a cloudy day. connects to a ridge to walk along. loved this hike. hiking poles are very useful, especially going down

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Super Rando, montée très raide des le départ!! Une vue impressionnante sur les sommets, lacs et même avec un peu de chance le denali!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Did this trail last summer and it was absolutely amazing! The views were to die for! I was so sore the next day, but worth the work.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hiked this trail with a group of friends, absolutely amazing once you reach the top. It was a difficult hike, but the views from the top were absolutely stunning.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Completed my goal of reaching the top! On the way back down I talked with another hiker and I realized the "top" I reached was just to the left of the top with the box. It was heavy snow at the top so I lost the trail. Anyway, I ate my lunch at the top and it was so worth the trek. 3hrs up 1 hr down. I was worn out but in a good way. Beautiful day. Oh, I followed a ram once I broke out above the tree line, that was a treat! Go see the sights from this spot, totally worth it.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Did half the trail to the top and back. Starting across the road from the parking lot the trail is steep but well marked. You will gain altitude quickly, level out for a short period above the tree line then another steep ascent to the top. Estimating nearly 2700 vertical feet. Plan about 4 hrs for average ability, bring plenty of water and anticipate 20 degree change in temp. Great hike and well the effort to the top.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Great! Always a good hike.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Completed the Skyline Ridge Traverse yesterday, August 24, 2014, with a friend. We are young women of normal health who have regular moderate activity. We embraced the mystery of the Mystery Hills and left with a way-too-scaled-out topographic chart, a compass, a GPS which died halfway and sneakers instead of real hiking footwear. It was a rainy morning, so we took our time and reached the Fuller Lakes Trailhead at 10:30am. One black bear spotted on the WSW hillside. Past Upper Fuller Lake, we found that someone had placed some orange and then pink trail blazes. There is one bright pink rock that is a good visual for someone coming down from the ridge trying to find the trail to Fuller Lakes. We cut up the mountainside and found it to be mossy and intriguing and we took our time reaching the ridge. The trail blazes stopped appearing. The wind was steady and pushy; we trudged forth with very wet sneakered feet and prepared to mount the first peak. The wind was out of the SW and sent sharp raindrops into our faces. At this time, the GPS showed we had averaged a pace of about 2.2 mph. We only got slower from there. Even in the cloudy rain, the views we were granted were great and worth the wet feet. The moss and lichen was soft footing and the mystery hills unfolded around us as the weather moved in an out. Since we didn't, in fact, know how long this hike was to be, we had a number of false ideas about when we might reach the Skyline Trail to descend. After a grand total of 3 major climbs (which does not include the lesser climbs) we found some more pink trail blazes and then 2 young men signing in the "I was here" book in the orange ammo box at the top of the Skyline hike. This was at 7:00pm. We also signed the book and had a slippery trip down to the lot which we reached at 8:30pm. We never sped up and probably moved at 1.9 mph. We took many snack breaks and even took time to prepare hot coffee on a rainy ridge. The GPS died probably at somewhere near to halfway and told us we had gone almost 7.8 miles in over 5 hours. As a best guess, I'd say we walked 13 miles. I will do this hike again with fully charged GPS batteries and, even though the mystery of the hike is refreshing, I'll report back a real mileage when I can.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The information is misleading because it is not 18 miles one way, but 9 miles, and there is no way you are going to do the whole traverse in 4 hours. This trail connects the Skyline Trail (which takes about 4 hours up and down) and the Fuller Lakes Trail (which is 3 miles and probably 4 hours round trip). The other five miles are on the traverse, which is a ridge walk from one trail to the other. Most people go from Fuller Lakes to Skyline because the trail down to Fuller Lakes is difficult (read: almost impossible) to find from the ridge. Fuller Lakes and Skyline are well marked trails; the traverse is NOT a well marked trail, but fades in and out and you will want to vary your route depending on the weather. The wind gusts get extreme on the traverse. We did this trip with our boys (ages 11 and 13) and took 3 days to do it (starting late the first day). It is a challenging backpacking experience and involves lots of steep ups and steep downs. We did it in October, which was probably a mistake, but whenever you do it, be prepared for high winds and rain. And by high winds, I mean "lay your tent down" winds. An accurate map and compass are highly recommended if going from Skyline to Fuller Lakes.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This is a tough hike even for someone in shape...constant climb to the top and on top of that you need to bring all different kinds of layers.... On my hike I measured a 30 degree drop from just below the treeline to the first peak...also the wind at the top is numbing and there aren't many places to hide from advice is to keep moving to stay warm...all this aside...climbing this by myself was a highly rewarding experience

Monday, July 04, 2011

This was a very challenging hike for us, it felt like we did Skyline four times during the day. The "trail" is straight up one mountain and then straight down. It appears to be the mountain sheep you are following. The view from the top is awesome. We were there for the fall colors, and tons of blueberries, though I probably won't make it my annual berry picking trip! Start early if not hiking during the long daylight season. We got to Fuller Lake as the sun was setting (long story,longer shortcut) and hiked out in the dark.(not recommended)

1 month ago