Portage Pass Professional Review and Guide
"On a good day, the first part of this hike offers the greatest reward for effort expended of any hike in this book. In less than a mile, after a relatively easy climb that gains about 700 feet of elevation, the trail reaches a breathtaking view of Portage Glacier and the black, glacier-laden peaks that rise above it. With somewhat more effort you can reach the shore of Portage Lake, some 600 feet below, and enjoy what is most likely a private view of this fast disappearing glacier.
The strategic location of Portage Pass, between Turnagain Arm and ice-free Passage Canal, gave it an historic role. Hundreds of years ago Alaska Natives and Russians used it as a trading route, crossing the pass on Portage Glacier. Following the discovery of gold in the Turnagain Arm area in the early 1890s, Alaska’s first gold rush began. When Cook Inlet was clogged with ice flows, ships dropped prospectors at Passage Canal."