Near Point and Wolverine Peak

Anchorage, Alaska

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Locals and outsiders alike sometimes remark of Anchorage that it is “only twenty minutes from Alaska.” Some intend this as an insult to Alaska’s metropolis, while others say it with pride. In either case, mountains like Near Point and Wolverine Peak illustrate the point. Sitting right in Anchorage’s backyard, they prove that one need not stray far from downtown to find true wilderness. Both mountains, reached from Prospect Heights Trailhead, make fine day outings. Near Point, its lower slopes dotted with houses, is a good first peak for young hikers. Wolverine, much higher, rises gently from a large valley and forms a natural amphitheater of sorts. People climb it year-round, in summer sun and winter twilight. The mountain is arguably at its best in autumn, when blazing fireweed and ripe berries paint the slopes in a riot of color. Termination dust (an Alaskan term for winter’s first snowfall, at which time the brief, manic construction season terminates) arrives soon thereafter, bringing a different mood to the mountain.
50 Hikes in Alaska's Chugach State Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

50 Hikes in Alaska's Chugach State Park

by Shane Shepherd & Owen Wozniak (The Mountaineers Books)

Locals and outsiders alike sometimes remark of Anchorage that it is “only twenty minutes from Alaska.” Some intend this as an insult to Alaska’s metropolis, while others say it with pride. In either case, mountains like Near Point and Wolverine Peak illustrate the point. Sitting right in Anchorage’s backyard, they prove that one need not stray far from downtown to find true wilderness. Both mountains, reached from Prospect Heights Trailhead, make fine day outings.

Near Point, its lower slopes dotted with houses, is a good first peak for young hikers. Wolverine, much higher, rises gently from a large valley and forms a natural amphitheater of sorts. People climb it year-round, in summer sun and winter twilight. The mountain is arguably at its best in autumn, when blazing fireweed and ripe berries paint the slopes in a riot of color. Termination dust (an Alaskan term for winter’s first snowfall, at which time the brief, manic construction season terminates) arrives soon thereafter, bringing a different mood to the mountain.

©  Shane Shepherd & Owen Wozniak/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Anchorage
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Season: Best in the summer months
Local Contacts: Chugach State Park
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage A-7, Anchorage A-8
Driving Directions: Directions to Near Point and Wolverine Peak

Recent Trail Reviews

7/29/2006
0

I LOVE this hike to Wolverine Peak. Have done it twice and the second time just reconfirmed that this is my favorite hike in the Anchorage Bowl even though my second time it was fogged in at the top and about 39F. Trail guides say this is a moderate trail, but I consider it an easy to moderate trail. Trail is very easy to follow and pretty wide most of the way. The elevation is the only thing that might be moderate, but the grade is not too bad. I find it very reasonable when considered against other hikes like Bird Ridge or even Flat Top. First time took me and my husband 2 hours to summit and second time took 2.5 hours with slower friends to summit. Great views of downtown Anchorage and the Alaska range. Have seen moose and sheep on this hike. I highly recommend it! Near Point is also a pretty good hike, but my preference is definitely Wolverine. When you are about 2.5 to 3 miles into the Near Point hike, I recommend taking what looks like an animal trail to the right that heads directly up to the summit as the other route (going straight) can lead to lots of mud and brush. Both are good routes, though. Also recommend hiking over the backside of Near Point down to the river. You can hike all the way to Long Lake this way. Near Point is a much more brushy hike, which I did not like very much.



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May 2018