Best Alaska Hiking Trails Near Ports
Alaska hiking delivers amazing scenery, from mountain ridges layered as far as the eye can see to cascading waterfalls and canopies of lichen-covered trees. On your Alaska cruise, hit the trail to connect more deeply with the landscape. There are Alaska hiking tours, or you can take short hikes independently. These are the best hikes in Alaska near Alaska cruise ports and inside Denali National Park.
Best Hikes Near Juneau
Surrounded by nature, Juneau has a fair selection of easy to strenuous Alaska hiking trails.
Mt. Roberts Alpine Loop
Whether you’re a tenderfoot or an old pro, you’ll find your path on the well-marked Mount Roberts Alpine Loop. Getting to this trailhead is a thrilling adventure. Take the Mt. Roberts Tram 1,800 feet up and start this short hike at the nature center. Views of rolling valleys, the Glacier Bay Mountains and the Gastineau Channel reward every turn. Guided hiking tours with naturalists are available if you’re curious about the flora and fauna.
Photo Point Trail To Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier is about 12 miles from downtown Juneau and popular with visitors because it is easy to access on foot and so photogenic. Take paved Photo Point Trail for about 15 minutes to reach an overlook of this massive, rippled blue-and-black glacier spilling from between high peaks. Glacial landscapes and serene Tongass National Forest make it well-worth a guided hiking tour. Some shore excursions couple Mendenhall with Alaska wildlife viewing, such as whale watching.
During summer, lively Ketchikan bustles with fishing and tourist activities. There are plenty of trails to find some solitude or some friends. Amble bustling Creek Street’s shops, eateries and museums. It’s not a hike per se, but an action-packed stroll. The rivers teem with jumping salmon during certain parts of the year. To deepen your understanding of Alaska Native history on a hike, head to Totem Bight State Historical Park and wander trails through lush rainforest.
Deer Mountain Trail
If you’re looking for a more strenuous hike, Deer Mountain Trail starts in a residential area then rapidly ascends to trail switchbacks. The first overlook mesmerizes with views of islands and the Tongass Narrows. Wind through a rainforest to be treated to jaw-dropping views of Ketchikan Lake.
Skagway’s Chilkoot Trail
Trek in the path of prospectors who took the historic Chilkoot Trail to the Klondike during the Gold Rush. Work up a sweat, drink in the fresh air and the lovely scent of pine forest as you walk this world-renowned trail. Some Chilkoot Trail shore excursions offer a float down Taiya River. Gaze at snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers as the gentle current carries you along.
Denali National Park Hiking Trails
On our Alaska cruisetours, stay for up to three nights at Denali National Park and experience this unfenced wilderness on foot. Denali’s backcountry is rugged and there aren’t many trails. Guided hikes are recommended for the inexperienced. The best hikes in Denali National Park are Savage Alpine Trail, Horseshoe Lake Trail and Triple Lakes Trail. If you want to encounter incredible Denali wildlife, but aren’t ready to hike, the Tundra Wilderness Tour takes you deep into Denali by bus. It’s included on two to three-night stays at our McKinley Chalet Resort.
Alaska Hiking Safety Tips
- Always hike in groups and tell someone where you’re going
- Don’t veer off the trail
- Have a turn-around time, so you can make it back to the ship before departure
- Prepare for spotty cell phone service
- Be mindful of weather changes and wildlife
Planning a cruise to Alaska? View all our Alaska travel articles to find expert tips and recommendations.