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Savage River Loop Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (7)

A scenic loop along the Savage River boasting plentiful wildlife!


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

90%

Runnable

2,610' 796 m

High

2,539' 774 m

Low

258' 79 m

Up

253' 77 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Tread lightly if you don't want to temporarily scare away the bounty of animals that inhabit this canyon.

Description

Meander along the Savage River Loop Trail for a wonderful experience alongside the brutally cold, but stunningly beautiful Savage River. Nestled between a set of towering canyon walls, this area is perfect for those wishing to experience some of the abundant Denali wildlife for which this area is so well known.

Starting at the Savage River Loop Trailhead Parking Area, follow the trail north along the river's edge. After a mile of running, cross the river on a sturdy wooden bridge to its western side before heading back downriver to the trail's end.

While this trail is relatively flat, what it lacks in strenuous running, it makes up for in fantastic wildlife-viewing opportunities.

On trail, periodically look to the hillside, as numerous collared pikas and hoary marmots have been known to dwell in their rocky outcrops. Furthermore, in the springtime Dall sheep (identified by their coarse white fur and sickle-shaped horns) can often be seen roaming the canyon with their young. Lastly, towards the end of the trail, be mindful of the shrubby vegetation nearby, as ptarmigan love to roost among the plants.

After reaching the trail's end, the easiest way back to the parking area is to follow the wide dirt road south to Park Road, turn left, and then left again on the access road to Savage River Loop Trailhead Parking Area.

This content was contributed by author Ike Waits. For a comprehensive running guide to Denali National Park and to see more by Ike, click here.

Flora & Fauna

Keep your eyes peeled for Dall sheep, ptarmigan, collared pikas, and hoary marmots along the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ike Waits

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 7 votes

#6942

Overall
  4.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
43%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#81

in Alaska

#6,942

Overall
2 Views Last Month
1,083 Since Oct 22, 2015
Intermediate

25%
0%
75%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Savage Canyon View
Oct 22, 2015 near Healy, AK
View from bridge crossing over Savage River, September 2015.
Jun 13, 2016 near Healy, AK
Half-way point of the trail crosses over the river.
Jun 13, 2016 near Healy, AK
First set of Savage Alpine Trail rocks greeting you from the parking lot
Sep 15, 2020 near Healy, AK
Grouse off the Savage Canyon Loop Trail
Sep 7, 2016 near Healy, AK
Savage Canyon.
Oct 22, 2015 near Healy, AK

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