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Colony Glacier Moraine Route

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

6.9 mile 11.2 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 353' 108 m
Descent: -352' -107 m
High: 352' 107 m
Low: 199' 61 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 26% (14°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Matt Freeman

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A fun place to hike between the Knik and Colony Glaciers. The views are amazing.

Matt Freeman

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Summer and dry weather only. The landing surface is highly cohesive clay, and when it gets wet... it gets slippery and sticky.

Overview

A remote and beautiful hike with rewarding views.

Need to Know

There are no established or marked trails in this area. Access is strictly by airplane. Stay off the "Mud Strip" if it's wet.

Description

Start at the "Mud Strip" and hike west through the wildflowers growing through the hard surface clay soil in the spring. The hike begins with a sea of dandelions, then sweet-peas (strong, sweet aroma), then fireweed. Usually, when the fireweed is in bloom, there is an explosion of grasshoppers. If the seagulls are there, the grasshoppers are in great numbers.

At about 1.5 miles, you'll notice prominent large rocks resting on the tallest part of the moraine. This is a good place to take a shortcut through the low brush and alders to the top of the moraine. Continue along the hard-packed clay toward the outflow from Lake George.

Once at the river, head upstream and stay close to the bank. There you'll find holes in the alder and eventually reach an open area with twisted vine and a short landing strip. Pass the landing strip, and continue onto where the level part of the gravel bar ends, at about 3.1 miles. There is a view of the Lake George outflow joining another river.

To the left, find the clearing in the alders with a path that climbs to the top of the moraine. Here is where you reverse direction, and get your first view of Colony Glacier and Lake George, usually filled with ice.

There are several walls of alders on the return. Generally, stay on the top of the moraine and look for surveyor tape, cut brush, or other human activity to find the trail through the several walls of alder. "Mud Strip" will be visible from the top of the moraine. Look for stacks of rocks and a path that leads through the alders to complete the loop.

Flora & Fauna

Birds, brown and black bears, moose, and sheep on distant mountains.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, History & Background

Contacts

Land Manager: DNR Alaska

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1410

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Featured Hike Rankings

#27

in Alaska

#1,410

Overall
23 Views Last Month
240 Since Jul 4, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

A view of Lake George and Colony Glacier while on top of the moraine.
Jul 6, 2018 near Butte, AK
Lake George outlet, right after breaking out of the alder tunnel.
Jul 6, 2018 near Butte, AK

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