While you'll reach some incredible views, keep in mind that this route is one of the steepest in the park! The Mt. Healy Trail
heads part of the way up Mount Healy, a small mountain which overlooks the park entrance. The views from the ridge are well worth the effort!
Start your hike from the parking area by the Denali Visitor Center on the Taiga Trail
. This trail is a fairly flat, easy gravel path that gives you a short warm-up before turning onto the Mt. Healy Trail
The Mt. Healy Trail
rises steadily through spruce forest at first, and the climbing here is steady but mild. Enjoy it while it lasts! About 1.5 miles into the hike, the trail reaches some benches with a nice overlook back the way you came. After the benches, the climb becomes steeper.
The next section has several switchbacks that will bring you above tree-line. There will be plenty of rocks and roots to navigate as well. Please do not short cut the switchbacks as this can lead to erosion problems, and the footing is less safe.
The official end of the trail is not the summit of Mount Healy, but an open spot with incredible views to the south. It is almost always windy here, so come prepared, as the stunning views will make it difficult to leave. You'll enjoy sweeping views in almost all directions, as the low tundra vegetation won't obstruct your view. Bring you camera, as you'll enjoy beautiful views of Denali, especially on a clear day! Hiking the ridges of Mount Healy beyond the trail is permitted, but it can be dangerous. Please use caution if you plan to hike toward the true summit, which is approximately another 1,500' higher.
Once you are done enjoying the stunning views, turn around and retrace your steps back to the start.
Spruce forests shade the lower portions of the trail. Wildflowers can be seen in season. There will be a possibility to see bears, moose, marmots, pika, and other wildlife along the way.