Explore the most popular trails near Seward with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Seward, Alaska Map
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backpacking
12 days ago

Loved this trail. Hiked it a couple years ago on 4th of July weekend. A bit steep and slippery for the first mile or so but flattened out some after that for the majority of the hike. It alternates between a couple steeper climbs and slow steady climbs at the summit and the slopes down to the lake. The summit of the trail is the high point in a valley with amazing peaks surrounding the entire lake. The views to the north were cloudy as there was a rainstorm that way but to the south, it was clear and blue and amazing. You could see all the way out to the ocean in Seward. It was quite crowded as it was a holiday weekend but very few people were camped. Most go up and down or up Lost Lake and take Primrose Trail down. I went up and down Lost Lake. I had a blast hiking the trail. Definitely take food, water, and an emergency shelter but you don’t really need that much gear. A trekking pole was useful but not necessary. I looked like a fool hiking with my full pack. I was testing gear for my thru hike of the PCT. Good trail to do it on. Long enough to get a good days work out of it but short enough that you could come right down if you needed to leave or had gear failure. I started up at noon and got to the lake around 7. Hiked a leisurely pace and stopped a lot to take pictures.

hiking
2 months ago

I did the Summer trail up and back, even though it's winter, because they say that one is a little bit shorter, sounds good to me, was going to come back the winter trail but I couldn't see anything with all the snow on the ground and didn't want to get lost like I did last year on another trail, so I played it safe an went back on the same one. Plus there wasn't another soul who did the trail that day even though it was a Saturday except for some people who did the Summer trail up and looked like they went to the cabin. So, you start out this trail in the beautiful green mossy forest right by a stream the whole way, with a water fall here and there. Looks like people like to walk their bikes up and ride them back down because there were a bunch of tire marks in there. Doesn't seem like it would be worth it to me but to each their own. Before too long, the trees mostly go away and you're walking along kind of a brownsih muddy hill side, although there are two clumps of trees as you go that would make great campsites, even better if they weren't so close to the trail though. Once you're done with that 2 miles or so, you're in kind of a valley area that is somewhat steep as you get closer and closer to the lost lake. This part is probably the prettiest when it isn't extremely cloudy, cold and foggy with very deep snow like it was for me, deep snow without any foot prints or anything. You'll eventually get to the lost lake , looks really really big and probably has some good fishing in there too. If it weren't around 15 degrees up there with super deep snow I might have walked all the way over to it, but I just got to where I could see it and then turned back on account of the conditions, my legs were killing me from walking through that deep snow. Luckily I was able to follow my footprints back, to see some kind of a canine animal or something had also used my footprints to make their walking less strenuous, there were these paw prints all over mine. Never did find him. So, this trail is probably great in the Summer time when you can see all the beautiful mountains all around you and if they aren't covered by fog like they were for me. Plus, it would be great to camp around that lake and explore some of the water falls and maybe even mountain peaks around the lake. Also, word on the street is that the cabin around there is very nice with a heater and everything. Supposedly you can also just keep on continuing right on past Lost Lake and end up back at the road, like 15 miles north of where your car is parked.

hiking
2 months ago

Starts out real easy, on pretty much a road that a jeep could do without a problem. You'll pass by a few really amazing areas where it might be fun to camp just to listen to the ocean all night long on a cliff bluff underneath some of those big tall beautiful green mossy trees. Then you'll gently descend down some switchbacks as you get closer to the beach, cross over a big bridge and pass on through the camping area. Since it is the winter, I helped myself to a little bit of chopped wood and warmed myself in the fire, well that is, after I returned from walking along the beach. I made a mistake as I timed it so that I would be walking through right as the tide was the lowest, but I'm so slow that it was maybe 45 minutes after the lowest point. So what you should do is try to hit it as the tide is NOT at it's lowest but maybe halfway there, then it will be getting better as you go. So as it was, I was scared about getting trapped like a rat on the other side, and it was already scary in some points with the treacherous smooth slippery icy rocks, it was like the land was trying to push me into the cold icy ocean at certain points. So I made it about 2 miles along the beach before turning back around, my only friend being a harbor seal who was following me along the coast, probably waiting for me to get swept into the ocean so that he could have an easy meal. The million long thin grey rocks are a pain in the butt to walk on top off too. But anyway, it was beautiful because it was snowing the whole time, a little cloudy but still had nice views, plus on the way back I found a big angry noisy ferret in the tree. Someone told me it was a marten when they saw the picture. Anyway, maybe I'll do the entire trail and update this review, but since I did most of it, that's enough for a review. Pretty easy trail, blahblahblah about the tides, and you can even have yourself a nice little rest at the camp area with a bench. Plus they're building a really nice cabin so maybe you can do that too, but I'm sure that people will always have it rented once it's available because people just love cabins.

hiking
2 months ago

I went up and down the race trail. It was brutal, only a mile and a half or so , but the incline is so steep that I was literally doing that exercise called "mountain climbers" all the way up. It requires a huge effort just to get 50 feet, and required a rest for me at least in that many feet. Of course, you're not supposed to go up that way anyway, but it was dark when I started so I missed the signage. Anyway, once you're up at the peak (finally) it's really an amazing view. Mountains everywhere, the city of Seward, the ocean with little rocky islands in it, mountain goats, lots of waterfalls going down the mountains, all of this is yours to enjoy. Another thing that is great is that there is absolutely no challenge once you're on the top, except for maybe balancing as you enjoy trotting along the ridge, and short little squabbles up rocks. You can go as far as you want along the ridge until you're really close to the very tall peak of Marathon about 1000 feet up higher, looks like you might need climbing gear for that, I dunno, it looks very imposing either way. So my recommendations are to go up the easier way (there is great signage that tells you everything) or else it will take you like 2 and a half hours. I don't care if the record is like 25 minutes up, unless you're a world class athlete I promise that it will take much much longer.

backpacking
3 months ago

Probably one of my favorites. I loved the views once you were past the tree line. You can see glaciers in every direction. Had great weather. Camped near the lake and did lots of hiking around the area. Marmots everywhere, tons of blueberries as well. Loved this trail, would highly recommend

hiking
3 months ago

Taz Tally's hiking book said this was one of his favorite trails in the Peninsula and I'd have to agree with him! Sadly, I didn't make it to Lost Lake, but rather did the loop of the summer and winter trail. I went up the Summer trail and came back the Winter trail. The summer trail is amazing and offers lush, shady, hiking among mossy trees and rocks and creeks. It gently inclines but nothing strenuous at all. You top out above the trees and follow the contour of a mountain high above the river, with towering mountains just on the other side of that river. Wonderful views! The contour rises up to the ridge line of that mountain where the views open up to a grassy meadow dotted with short-ish spruce trees. There is a sign here where the trail splits. Going left will take you to Lost Lake and going right will take you to Dale Clemens cabin. The signage here is very misleading. It does not indicate what trail is the Winter trail, nor does it give mileages to the lake or the cabin. Turns out, it's about three more miles to the lake from there. We had wanted to take the Winter trail back, but also wanted to see the cabin first. We didn't know that the cabin is actually located on the Winter trail. From that sign, we turned right to find the cabin, not knowing we were on the Winter trail. We assumed the cabin was not far from the sign, but I'd say it's about 2 miles down the Winter trail before you reach it. Very misleading. We were debating whether to turn around and get on the Winter trail since we weren't finding the cabin, when we met a trail runner who told us that we were on the Winter trail and that the cabin was still ahead of us. Regardless, from that sign, the Winter trail traverses the ridge of the mountain through a grassy meadow with stunning views of the glacier-topped mountain range opposite you. The trail to the cabin is beautiful as it's mostly along this ridge. The cabin itself is below the ridge and offers a great view of Resurrection bay and Seward. Renovations were being done on the cabin when we were there, it was a beautiful log cabin on stilts with an outhouse nearby. From the cabin, the Winter trail becomes clearly unmaintained falling steeply down the mountain with no switchbacks. For some reason it followed the stream channel, making the trail horrendously muddy. If I hadn't had waterproof hiking boots, my socks/feet would have gotten freezing mud on them. Very slick too, so do bring your hiking poles. In reality, we shouldn't have taken the Winter trail back, but rather should have hiked to the cabin, turned around and taken the Summer trail back. But besides the terrible slick mud, it was an amazing hike!

mountain biking
3 months ago

I bikes this trail for the first time on 9/17 and it was by far the most challenging and technical trail I've done yet.

The trail was too steep and rocky to bike so I had to push my bike up half of the trail. Coming down there are numerous large steep drops on the trail. The vast majority of the trail is speckled with large wet and muddy rocks and roots; which are more akin to small logs. I had a ton of fun zipping down this trail and since it was my first time on it I'm shocked I did not crash.

If you are an inexperienced rider please wear a helmet and use extreme caution, or you will crash going downhill.

hiking
4 months ago

My wife and I hiked this trail on Sept 9. Seward had been getting a lot of rain the previous 3 weeks but we had a sunny day and the trail was very muddy.
Starts out moderately steep, gets easy for a while and then gets back to moderately steep at the end. The Mt Marathon Bowl was just beautiful in it's fall colors. WE saw 2 moose and 6 black bears which included a sow with 3 cubs from this spring.

A great hike but super muddy! Didn't make it to the peak due to a black Bear coming down the hill. I decided to go down as well

hiking
4 months ago

Beginning of the Trail is pretty average, but once you get up above the treeline the views are amazing. At the beginning of the trail you can choose the winter trail or summer trail.

Winter Trail climbs quickly to the ridge line, and offers amazing views of Resurrection Bay. It is extremely muddy. Not difficult except for mud.

Summer trail climbs slowly to the top, seemed better maintained, and was easier.

They join up about 3.5 miles in, so you can do one going up and the other coming back.

Took the hikers trail up. Jeep Trail was an easy walk up to the tree line. Bench trail was slightly overgrown, but easy to navigate. Very muddy due to rain, decided to turn around near the top of the Bench Trail as the rain began to pick up and the path steepened. Even with the rain, I still had great view of the bay, would love to go back when it's a little drier!

Fabulous end to an evening exploring in Seward. We happened upon the trailhead at about 9p after an active day and a few drinks, decided to go for it without really knowing what we were doing. It took us a couple hours to get to the top and we were completely unprepared for a hike amd for climbimg rock faces in the beginning, haha. Got lost on the way down which made this take about 4 hours for us. The view was amazing, and this is on my list to do again

Beautiful views. Lots of off trail scouting.

Flies and mosquitos on the trail can be pretty rough, so I would bring insect repellent. All in all, great trail with incredible views of multiple glaciers and several lakes.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, took the hikers trail up and the runners trail down. Took about 2 hours to reach the summit and maybe about 30-40 minutes down. There are several herd paths along the hikers trail but it seems as if all trails lead up the mountain. There are AMAZING views as soon you get above the tree line almost all the way to the summit. There is large rock near the edge of the mountain with a marker on it and further up the trail is a small cairn. Either way, if you make it this far, you have reached the summit. The runners down is fast and hard on the knees. Once you reach the cliff section it is a bit steep but nothing crazy. The bugs were crazy so bring spray and keep moving.

hiking
5 months ago

Hard! Whether you take the runner's trail or the longer hiker's trail, at some point, the trail gets very hard. When you get to the scree, it will seem like you are taking one step back for each one forward. But, this hike is so worth the effort. I took the longer hiker's trail which traversed below the summit, then turned back to the summit while my niece took the harder runner's trail. We were both rewarded with incredible views of Resurrection Bay, the town of Seward and surrounding mountains and glaciers. At one point there was a small aircraft circling overhead as we ascended. The trail starts out in the heavy forested canopy before opening up to incredible views below. Make noise on the trail because there are bear here. It's hard to believe that the runners have completed the Mt. Marathon race in less than 1 hour. It took us about 4 hours and we were moving along nicely. I suggest layered clothing, water and bug dope.

I'd give it 5 stars, but DAMN the flies were bad. I did Primrose Trailhead to Lost Lake Trailhead point to point, instead of there and back from Primrose. The trail, the views, the lake(s), astonishingly vivid--beyond-real beautiful. The flies on the second sunny day in a rainy summer? Maddening in a real sense of the word.

Plenty of traffic--most hikers overnight near Lost Lake, there were a dozen or so mountain bikers (how do they even?), and a few who did my trip. Good thing, because my ride fell through, and I was able to hitch a lift from the trailhead back to Primrose campground. Thanks guys!!

hiking
6 months ago

This is a wonderful mellow trail with some elevation gain. Currently, 7/15/17, the trail leads comfortably to the lake (~3mi). At the lake, the trail continues but is very bushy and raw. Enjoy!!

Phenomenal views. Kinda hard to trail run all the way to the top on account of the elevation gain...but one can hurry. Beautiful clear morning with gorgeous unparalleled views. Only fell twice on the way back down and I took the hiking trail. A little rough in places and grown over. Totally Alaska. Don't miss it.

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. We got lucky with the tide, but make sure you check it. We ran into people that had to spend the night without gear because they got stuck. Also, the way back on the rocks can be kind of brutal, but it's work it. You can cut a good chunk of the beach walking out, and risk of getting stuck, if you do a kayak tour.

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