Snowbird Mine and Glacier Pass Trail

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Palmer, Alaska

Snowbird Mine and Glacier Pass Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Palmer, Alaska that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.6 miElevation gain1689 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingForestViewsWildlifeSnow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (54)
Photos (112)
Recordings (42)
Completed (127)
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Steve Stine
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Cross-country skiing
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Alex S
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Walking

Final access road was closed and it added a good bit of mileage. Definitely recommend spikes for the last portion if there’s any snow. First half was pretty boring, would classify as easy.

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Patrick Geary
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Hiking
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Carolyn Schanbacher
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful views of the valley and once you reach the mine area it is very peaceful. Not much to the mine ruins - everything is collapsed. Blueberries everywhere. You can continue on to the glacier, which adds more mileage. Our pup struggled on the way back down - there is a small but steep section that doesn’t have much traction and it’s hard to slow down. We were fine because we had trekking poles.

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Joel Schanbacher
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Hiking

This hike was fantastic. The weather was perfect and almost everyone else was in the Reed Lakes Trail. We climbed the peak to the east of the end of the trail, which was challenging but totally worth it. Poles recommended, but not required unless you climb that peak at the end like we did.

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Matt Wicker
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Hiking

8.5 miles and about twice the stated elevation gain to get to the glacier. I would rate this one closer to difficult. Trekking poles are a must. There are lots of spots to filter drinking water. Absolutely beautiful trail.

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Jackie Fox
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HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

We had a good time. We’re from the East coast. It was steep and challenging. Also started to drizzle which made coming down really hard. We went past the mine at the top and found more foot trail, crossed over some snow and started up what I think was a steep boulder field. We found 3 orange post marked. When we got to the top of this side we had to turn around, too much fog and getting pretty wet. Couldn’t tell if there was more trail or orange markers it was all fog and rocks at this point. We think we saw an edge of the glacier thru the fog. 4 stars for no cell reception. J/k.

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Charlene Johnson
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HikingGreat!
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Jaida G
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Hiking

A little bit of bugs, really nice dry trail. Hiked up passed (past??) the trail end for another mile or 2 to find the glacier. So worth it!

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Rebecca Charles
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HikingRockySnow

The app does not show the entire route to Glacier Pass, overlooking Snowbird Glacier. I went all the way up to The Pass and had a fantastic hike! Totally worth the climb. There is still quite a bit of snow, on the way, but it's pretty solid. No postholing and didn't have to use my microspikes, although I did bring them. Highly recommend this hike!

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Melanie Foster Ford Baker
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Take left at Y in trail just before first at sign for Reed Lake trail and first bridge. Steep, rocky, some areas slippery on slope. Cool valley with abandoned mines. Lots of marmots today.

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907 Camy
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HikingRocky
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Catherine Jordan
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HikingOff trailRocky

Beautiful hike through 3 hanging valleys, across a boulder field, and lets out onto a glacier! I think it might have surpassed Reed Lakes as my favorite hike: 1) Less Crowded, for every 9 groups headed up Reed, 1 goes up Snowbird 2) Stunning Views, you get to traverse a glacier and the valleys and peaks beyond it are breathtaking 3) A Challenge, half the trail is over boulder field and rock slides, a much more fun and challenging endeavor than the regular dirt trails! The Trail: from where the Reed Lake sign post and trail veers right at the foot bridges, follow the trail that keeps straight and slightly left through the brush. It soon opens up to a steep climb to the first ruins of Snowbird Mine and the first hanging valley. The trail then evens out a bit among rocks, grass, and blueberry bushes, heading back at a slight incline to the second hanging valley. When you hit the next set of ruins at the opening of the second hanging valley, look for the trail that heads to the right into the old mine structures. It will pick through the old cables and collapsed wood before picking up the main trail back along the old creek bed headed toward the waterfall. As you approach the waterfall, the trail climbs left over loose rock and gravel. The trail can be tricky to follow but there is an orange trail marker at the top that if you work towards, you’ll find the trail again. Follow the trail across the top of the water fall and winding around the left side of a hill. After that, you’ll reach the boulder field, and the end of the maintained trail. The trail is usually blocked off with a small rock formation, and from here it’s mostly cairn hopping and tracking where other people have been. Immediately before the small rock formation at the end of the maintained path, take the trail going left down over the rocks. Follow rock cairns and you’ll end up in the dried ravine at the bottom of the valley. Follow this old creek bed as far as you can go, eventually it ends and you’ll see a dirt trail pick up from there that will take you up the rest of the way over rocks, loose gravel, and boulders until you get to the glacier. If you turn off into the boulder field before this, it’s ok! Keep an eye out for rock cairns, dirt trails, and paths where other people have been and you’ll find your way no problem! My Fitbit clocked in at just under 5 miles to Snowbird Glacier. Then maybe another 1 mile to cross the ice field and climb to the Snowbird Hut. This trail is an excellent alternative to the more crowded/tourist-popular trails of Hatcher Pass. If offers amazing views, a fun climb, and a trek across a glacier!

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Laura Wyatt
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Hiking

Lots of people headed out to reed lakes, but only a few people on the snowbird side. Didn’t go all the way as a thunder storm blew in and a rock slide decided to come our way... bummer, because we were nearly there.

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Sierra Palmer
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HikingOff trailRocky

the most breathtaking & amazing hike i’ve ever done. posted pictures of what the hike looked like! we hiked all the way to the glacier and to the hut. gotta be prepared for hiking up lots of rocks. other than that, it’s such a beautiful hike to do with your friends and family.

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Molly Matlock
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HikingOff trailRockySnow

Is there any hike in Alaska that isn’t breathtakingly gorgeous? This hike is no exception to the rule. But, some facts: Time: We hiked in for 4.5 hours and made it to the third hanging valley. Based on the mountain, the peak of the next hanging valley was the only thing stopping us from seeing the glacier, maybe 30-60 minutes more. But we had to turn around because of time constraints. It took 2 hours to hike out. When to go: Definitely a late season hike. When I went at the end of June, there were still some significant snow patches that covered portions of the trail. The trail: There is a kind of sketchy steep part after you leave the reed lakes trail. We found staying to the right was best. We had to do some bouldering because of snow. Other hikers we saw later just went up the snow. Walking through the valleys was gorgeous. The trail likes to fade in and out, especially the closer you get to the glacier. In general, stay as close to the river as you can. The trail will reappear eventually. (When the river splits, go with the left side).

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Charlene Johnson
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Hiking

There’s a much easier trail to access the beaver pond and trail portions behind the mine than scrambling up the rocks; look for a trail spur on the right a few hundred feet back from the mine. It’s muddier but gradual.

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beth hendrickson
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Hiking

Steep and slippery with snow. No switchbacks.

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alexander wright
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Hiking

It's a fun trail, beautiful views. perfect for the day hiker. it takes me about 3 hours to get to the glacier and another 1.5 to get down

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Gary Peterson
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Camping

Great backpacking spot, a little steep and rocky at parts, but a wonderful place to hike and camp.

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