Winner Creek Trail

Girdwood, Alaska

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If you’d like a break from the hill climbs and high tundra typical of Chugach State Park, head to the Winner Creek Trail. Here, in the perpetual twilight of the boreal rain forest, a gentle trail winds through hulking, moss-coated spruce trees on the way to Winner Creek Gorge—a dramatic, churning cauldron of glacial meltwater. Though at times muddy and slippery, the trail is suitable for hikers of all abilities. Start your hike directly behind the Alyeska Prince Hotel, where a National Forest sign marks the trailhead (the hike actually lies within Chugach National Forest, not Chugach State Park). A short gravel trail leads into the woods. This well-maintained path meanders through the dense forest, crossing muddy stretches on boardwalks. Watch out for wet rocks and boards, which can be very slippery.

Winner Creek Trail Professional Review and Guide

"If you’d like a break from the hill climbs and high tundra typical of Chugach State Park, head to the Winner Creek Trail. Here, in the perpetual twilight of the boreal rain forest, a gentle trail winds through hulking, moss-coated spruce trees on the way to Winner Creek Gorge—a dramatic, churning cauldron of glacial meltwater. Though at times muddy and slippery, the trail is suitable for hikers of all abilities.

Start your hike directly behind the Alyeska Prince Hotel, where a National Forest sign marks the trailhead (the hike
actually lies within Chugach National Forest, not Chugach State Park). A short gravel trail leads into the woods. This well-maintained path meanders through the dense forest, crossing muddy stretches on boardwalks. Watch out for wet rocks and boards, which can be very slippery."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Girdwood
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Best in the summer months
Local Contacts: Chugach State Park
Local Maps: USGS Seward D-6
Driving Directions: Directions to Winner Creek Trail

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May 2018