Williwaw Lakes

Anchorage, Alaska 99511

Williwaw Lakes

Williwaw Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"Alpine gems of different sizes, colors, and shapes, and in various settings, the lakes at the base of Mount Williwaw (elevation 5,445 feet) lie in a mountain paradise. Walk amid a wide variety of alpine flowers in grassy meadows studded with scrub hemlock; pick blueberries, cranberries, and crowberries in season. Watch for Dall sheep.

Families with older children who are experienced hikers will enjoy this as an overnight trip. Or take the traverse past the Williwaw Lakes, over a pass, down the North Fork of Campbell Creek, then over Near Point and back to the Prospect Heights trailhead. Williwaw Lakes can be reached from either the Prospect Heights or Glen Alps trailheads. The Prospect Heights route is longer but much drier than the traditional route from Glen Alps. At the time of this writing, Chugach State Park staff had begun work on a “dry foot” route from Glen Alps, but they were unable to predict when it would be completed."

More Williwaw Lakes Professional Reviews and Guides

"A trail with options for day hikes or multiday adventures, through alpine tundra and a series of lakes, only a short drive from downtown Anchorage.

Middle Fork Campbell Creek flows through a jewel of an alpine valley, so close to the heart of Anchorage that it’s possible to do a long wilderness day hike among Dall sheep and alpine flowers and still get back to the city in time for evening entertainment. Bands of sheep roam the valley and the nearby ridges, and Williwaw Lakes, a series of shallow alpine lakes, lie in crystalline beauty below craggy 5,445-foot Mount Williwaw."

Williwaw Lakes Reviews

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Just outside of Anchorage Alaska, this trail starts at the crowded Glen Alps parking lot, but you will soon find yourself alone. You will start out on the crowded, wide, well traveled multi-use trail that leads to the crowded Powerline Pass trail. After a few hundred yards on the Powerline Pass trail, turn left on the marked Williwaw Lakes trail. Down the hill, across the bridge then start slogging through the mud. At this point, most hikers aim for the steep climb up to Little O'Malley peak. The Williwaw Lakes loop trail will encounter this steep up or down depending on which direction you choose. After summiting the steep to Little O'Malley peak, few go further. But, keep going, up the gentle grade of the “Ballfield” to the base of O’Malley Peak, where the view of Black Lake and Williwaw Lakes unfolds. To continue with the loop, go down the scree slope to Black Lake. This could be an interesting descent - down the scree. I’ve never done it, I’ve only gone the opposite direction of the loop - up the scree. Explore the Williwaw lakes then follow the trail down the Middle Fork Campbell Creek valley (Nunaka Valley?). Enjoy the bands of sheep that frequent the slope of Wolverine Peak on your right. At the end of the valley, there is a trail intersection. Go left and fight the mud to return to the base of Little O’Malley peak, where you chose to go up the steep earlier in the day. Across the bridge and back up the hill to the Glen Alps parking lot. This is a beautiful day hike near Anchorage. Be prepared to encounter mud and to steeps. But the views are worth it!
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Good hike. THe 800 ft elevation gain is deceiving because the trail is rolling. There are never any super steep parts but we got a lot more exercise than we thought we would. Still easy. We saw several (seven) moose some right up on the trail which was not just a little bit scary. There was also evidence of bear on the trail but no animal to be seen. Lots of different birds. The water babbles along the trail the whole way and the lakes are stunning - like falling class on a calm day. I recommend this trail.

Williwaw Lakes Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
3,850 feet
Elevation Gain
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
8 hours - 2 days
June-early Oct
Chugach State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Anchorage A7, A8
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018