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Glacier Lake Trail

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 2 ) Favorite

Trail

6.5 mile 10.4 kilometer loop
99% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 270' 82 m
Descent: -270' -82 m
High: 222' 68 m
Low: 13' 4 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 6% (4°)

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Trail shared by Ryan P

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A trail through old growth forest and open plain with a gradual climb to a glacial lake.

Ryan P

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Kachemak Bay State Park offers some great runs in a truly wild setting. The Glacier Lake Trail is an easy trail with a gradual climb that will give you some great views of the area and mountain glaciers.

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water, it can be warm on the open plain.

Runner Notes

This is the most popular trail in the park, and can be crowded during the peak of visitor season. Watch out for black bears, they are plentiful and need to have their space respected.

Description

Starting at the Glacier Spit Trailhead, you'll enter mixed old growth forest. The trail is well-maintained and marked. There's a gradual ascent until the trail opens up onto the gravel out wash plain of Grewingk glacier, where you'll run through low cottonwood/spruce vegetation. You'll pass a junction at about mile 1.2 that leads to the Tram Trail; stay on the Glacier Lake Trail at this point.

You'll pass the Saddle Trail junction at approximately mile 2. stay on the Glacier Lake Trail and meander through scattered boulders until you reach the large gravel beach on the Grewingk Glacier Lake. If you've packed a lunch, it's a great spot to relax and just enjoy the views.

Most people make this run a 4 hour half-day trip and end up at the Saddle Trailhead for a pickup, where you are safe from the day breeze. Follow the trail back to the Saddle Trail junction, and climb up about 500' through spruce forest. You'll head down a series of switchbacks to the platform in Halibut Cove where you'll meet your boat. Total mileage on this route is approximately 3.5 miles.

Flora & Fauna

Cottonwood, spruce, alder, various low shrubs such as silverberry and blueberry, various low elevation wildflowers, many black bears, some moose, red squirrels, variety of song birds and raptors. Good wildflowers in the spring.

History & Background

Trail starts at the oldest edge of the out wash plain, where Grewingk glacier sat about 10-15,000 yrs bp. As you run towards the lake, you'll notice less advanced forest on the plain and on the ridges surrounding. The glacier has retreated at least 3 miles in the last 35 yrs.

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Contacts

Land Manager: DNR Alaska

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1

in Halibut Cove

#1015

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Featured Run Rankings

#1

in Halibut Cove

#12

in Alaska

#1,015

Overall
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2,463 Since May 27, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Grewingk Light
May 27, 2015 near Fritz C…, AK
Grewingk Glacier
May 21, 2015 near Fritz C…, AK

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