“A strenuous and popular trail that is easily accessible by car.”
Bears are common in this area, be aware and make noise as your travel.
Features: Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Some steep climbs and descents make for challenges, but the views and the rest of the trail are great.
Either end of the Savage Alpine Trail can be reached by personal vehicle or the complimentary Savage River Shuttle. The run is best going counterclockwise from the Savage River Campground, using the free shuttle to return (check current schedule with the NPS).
Starting from the parking lot by the Savage River Campground, cross the road and continue past marked signs for the trail. The trail begins with a nice level gravel path and then climbs via several switchbacks to more open ground. Once on top, continue across a ridge and then down a steep slope toward the Savage River below. On a clear day, Denali will be visible off in the distance as you run on top of the ridge. The only real difficulties to this trail are the steep switchbacks on the way up and the steep descent to Savage River. The trail is normally in good condition and easy to follow.
If you're looking for more running, the road back to the campground is just over two miles and makes for a nice loop. Otherwise, catch a lift back on the free shuttle (morning through early afternoon).