Hicks Creek–Chitna Pass

Sutton, Alaska

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The Talkeetna Mountains, which invite endless wandering, are a fascinating wilderness of peaks, tundra, alpine valleys, and clear mountain streams, most of it far from civilization. The trip over Chitna Pass is nearly circular and includes unmaintained trails. Using the trails as access and topographic maps as a guide, many other trips are possible, limited primarily by time and food supply. According to old-timers, prospectors traveled parts of this trail in the early 1900s. The route took them from Knik (which was accessible by boat from Seattle in the summer) and Chickaloon, up Boulder Creek, over Chitna Pass, and along Caribou Creek to Alfred Creek. Their destinations were gold prospects and mines on Alfred and Albert Creeks. Today, many of these routes are all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails, still used by miners and by hunters in the fall. The route described here starts on an ATV trail known as the Hicks Creek Trail or Pinochle Creek Trail and ends on an ATV trail known as the Purinton Creek Trail, connecting these with routes over Chitna Pass.

Hicks Creek–Chitna Pass Professional Review and Guide

"The Talkeetna Mountains, which invite endless wandering, are a fascinating wilderness of peaks, tundra, alpine valleys, and clear mountain streams, most of it far from civilization. The trip over Chitna Pass is nearly circular and includes unmaintained trails. Using the trails as access and topographic maps as a guide, many other trips are possible, limited primarily by time and food supply. According to old-timers, prospectors traveled parts of this trail in the early 1900s. The route took them from Knik (which was accessible by boat from Seattle in the summer) and Chickaloon, up Boulder Creek, over Chitna Pass, and along Caribou Creek to Alfred Creek. Their destinations were gold prospects and mines on Alfred and Albert Creeks.

Today, many of these routes are all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails, still used by miners and by hunters in the fall. The route described here starts on an ATV trail known as the Hicks Creek Trail or Pinochle Creek Trail and ends on an ATV trail known as the Purinton Creek Trail, connecting these with routes over Chitna Pass."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Sutton
Distance: 42
Elevation Gain: 4,400 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Duration: 4-5 days
Season: late June-Aug
Local Contacts: Alaska Division of Mining, Land, & Water and U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage D2, D3, D4
Driving Directions: Directions to Hicks Creek–Chitna Pass

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May 2018