I’ve been to my fair share of beautiful hiking spots around the world. From Nepal, to Hawaii, to Italy, and other incredibly scenic locations, it can be hard to pick only one hike that stands above the rest as my favorite.
Until a couple months ago, that is.
In May, 2021, I had the opportunity to visit the great state of Alaska – a place that had been on my bucket list for a long time. The combination of mountains and water is something that has always enraptured me, and there’s no better way to experience this than by hiking through the fjords around the southern part of the state.
If you drive north of Anchorage for about an hour, you’ll find yourself entering Hatcher Pass, a mountainous region with an endless amount of hiking trails. I stopped by Marmot Mountain, taking the hour and a half long trail up to the summit. At the peak, you’re only about 4,000 feet above sea level, but looking out around you makes it feel like you’re on top of the world. There’s nothing better than just sitting up there surrounded by vast, untamed wilderness, watching paragliders catch some drafts and glide through the air.
The hike itself isn’t very difficult, and there’s very little vegetation. When you’re at the summit, or anywhere along the way before then, you can still easily see your car in the parking lot when you turn around to look. The only thing you really need to be wary of is all the loose rock and gravel that make up the majority of the trail. If you visit before June, there will likely be patches of snow that you have to work around as well. If a little mud doesn’t scare you off, the sights from the top are well worth the trek.
The trail does continue along the ridgeline toward other, higher mountains. I decided to turn around at the first summit because the ridge was covered in snow (it was mid-May), and the sun would be setting soon. However, if you have the time, and the trail is in good condition when you arrive, I strongly recommend continuing on to the next peak.
Hiking up Marmot Mountain isn’t for everyone, and those who enjoy lush vegetation will be sorely disappointed. But if you’re a mountain lover like I am, and want to experience the essence of Alaska, I can’t recommend this hike strongly enough.