Harbor Mountain and Gavan Hill

Sitka, Alaska

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1 Review
5 out of 5
A thru-hike traversing open ridgeline above Sitka Sound, with views of the surrounding wild peaks of Tongass National Forest. The Harbor Mountain–Gavan Hill hike traverses the open ridgeline above Sitka, skirting the watershed of Cascade Creek and leading to great sea, island, and peak views, including a close look at Baranof Island’s wild, icy summit range. Other highlights are a side trip to climb the first peak of Harbor Mountain, a fine wildflower slope on the south side of the mountain, and stretches of alpine heather around the head of Cascade Creek. Eagles ride thermals above the heights, and deer wander the high country in summer.

Harbor Mountain and Gavan Hill Professional Review and Guide

"A thru-hike traversing open ridgeline above Sitka Sound, with
views of the surrounding wild peaks of Tongass National Forest. The Harbor Mountain–Gavan Hill hike traverses the open ridgeline above Sitka, skirting the watershed of Cascade Creek and leading to great sea, island, and peak views, including a close look at Baranof Island’s wild, icy summit range.

Other highlights are a side trip to climb the first peak of Harbor Mountain, a fine wildflower slope on the south side of the mountain, and stretches of alpine heather around the head of Cascade Creek. Eagles ride thermals above the heights, and deer wander the high country in summer."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Sitka
Distance: 6.3
Trail Type: Point-to-Point
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Mid-June through September
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Tongass National Forest, Sitka Ranger District, 204 Siginaka Way, Sitka, AK 99835; (907) 747-6671; www.fs.usda.gov/tongass/
Local Maps: USGS Sitka A-4 (SW) and A-5 (SE) (trail not shown)
Driving Directions: Directions to Harbor Mountain and Gavan Hill

Recent Trail Reviews

9/28/2011
0

Such a beautiful experience! We hiked this trail from downtown Sitka to Harbor Mountain on a rainy day and even got a thunderstorm with lightning and hail on the traverse bit. However that was one spectacular hike and the trails were beautifully groomed. The Sitka trail people put a lot of thought and effort in tracing a path with a maximum of "wow factor" and a minimum of vertigo exposure despite the fact that it's a traverse on flat-ish ridges. I'm usually very afraid of heights and thanked the trail crew every step of the way on the traverse. I loved the shelter about mid-way and given we were in a storm with strong gusts of wind and rain lashing at us, it served its purpose well. Past Gavan Hill to Harbor Mountain, we were surprised that the trail climbed so much as we were supposed to end up at a parking lot. I expected to go downhill a lot but that wasn't the impression. And yet we did end up at a parking lot. I liked that once you're above the tree line, you stay up there almost to the end and really embrace the cirque of mountains over the ocean and the islands. On a clear day it must be amazing. Once we reached the Harbor Mountain trailhead, we hiked down to the road to find a bus and that was a long tedious 6 miles. Best plan to park a car there to get you back in town.



Activity Feed

May 2018