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greenBlue Savage River Loop Trail


1.7 mile 2.8 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 258' 79 m
Descent: -253' -77 m
High: 2,610' 796 m
Low: 2,539' 774 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Ike Waits

A scenic loop along the Savage River boasting plentiful wildlife!

Ike Waits

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids love searching for wildlife on this short, scenic trail by the river.


Meander along the Savage River Loop Trail for a wonderful experience alongside the brutally cold, but stunningly beautiful Savage River. Nestled between a set of towering canyon walls, this area is perfect for those wishing to experience some of the abundant Denali wildlife for which this area is so well known.

Starting at the Savage River Loop Trailhead Parking Area, follow the trail north along the river's edge. After a mile of hiking, cross the river on a sturdy wooden bridge to its western side before heading back downriver to the trail's end.

While this trail is relatively flat, what it lacks in strenuous hiking, it makes up for in fantastic wildlife-viewing opportunities.

On trail, periodically look to the hillside, as numerous collared pikas and hoary marmots have been known to dwell in their rocky outcrops. Furthermore, in the springtime Dall sheep (identified by their coarse white fur and sickle-shaped horns) can often be seen roaming the canyon with their young. Lastly, towards the end of the trail, be mindful of the shrubby vegetation nearby, as ptarmigan love to roost among the plants.

After reaching the trail's end, the easiest way back to the parking area is to follow the wide dirt road south to Park Road, turn left, and then left again on the access road to Savage River Loop Trailhead Parking Area.

This content was contributed by author Ike Waits. For a comprehensive hiking guide to Denali National Park and to see more by Ike, click here.

Flora & Fauna

Keep your eyes peeled for Dall sheep, ptarmigan, collared pikas, and hoary marmots along the trail.

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Jun 26, 2019
Vidyasagar Duvvuru
Jun 3, 2019
Jason Draper
May 31, 2019
Summer Chapman
Nice walking trail
Jun 24, 2018
Carrie Assar
Aug 10, 2017
Caitlin Chapman
Jun 29, 2017
Peter Gutzmer
With Andy. 2mi
Jun 21, 2017
David Braun

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


  4.4 from 5 votes
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in Alaska


43 Views Last Month
904 Since Oct 22, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



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