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blue Triple Lakes Trail


8.9 mile 14.4 kilometer point to point
90% Runnable


Ascent: 1,404' 428 m
Descent: -1,255' -382 m
High: 2,796' 852 m
Low: 1,662' 507 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Ike Waits

A steady climb through dense boreal forests to a set of secluded lakes with superb camping spots.

Ike Waits

Features Lake · Views · Wildlife


Looking for a secluded backpacking spot located just a few miles from the visitor center and George Parks Highway? Hop on the Triple Lakes Trail to experience pure seclusion in the form of three pristine mountain lakes. Nestled between dense boreal forests, Triple Lakes further treats visitors with fantastic views of Denali and the Alaska Range.

Starting at the junction with the McKinley Station Trail, follow the trail south as it meanders through dense boreal forests for about a mile before reaching the foot of a long, strenuous climb. Begin the climb, being sure to take breaks every once in a while to sip some water and appreciate your progress.

After a few miles of climbing, the trail crests a ridgeline, following the ridge top along undulating terrain before dropping sharply to the first of three beautiful backcountry lakes.

Triple Lakes offers visitors the relatively unique opportunity to enjoy a truly backcountry Denali National Park experience just a few miles from civilization. However, while you're only a few miles away, you'll feel like you're the only person in all of Alaska. If an overnight is in your future, be sure to scan the lakes for the numerous wonderful campsites located near their shores.

While you may feel like the only being in this wonderful valley, occasional moose tracks in the soft lakeshore may suggest otherwise. If you're not already wired to bring your camera on adventures in Denali by now, this is the perfect opportunity to start.

After enjoying the lakes' serene shores, follow the trail either back to the visitor center, or continue south through a narrow notch at the ridge's southern end to a parking area off George Parks Highway.

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

Moose have been known to frequent this area, so be alert.

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Sep 10, 2016

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