This Trail content
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“A quick out and back with a great view of the Portage Glacier.”
— James Jackson
Features: Lake — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Great for trail running. Trail is well marked.
The trailhead is easy to find. Coming from the east end of the Whittier Tunnel, take the next available right. You'll see a USFS sign for the trailhead. There is a lot of available parking. The first mile is up an old cat-track. At the top is Portage Pass. There is a great vista of the Portage Glacier to the southeast. You can see other glaciers to the northeast and southeast. Someone was kind enough to build a bench up at the top so you can soak up all vistas. From Portage Pass it is another mile downhill to Portage Lake. There will be a sign that says Portage Lake. This is the end of the trail, but it was fun to wander around the lake edge. If you think you can make it Portage Glacier without getting wet, you can't. There is a good sized creek between the trails end to the glacier.
When you return, it is a mile up to the pass, and another mile back down to the trailhead. It is a good climb, but possible for a whole family.
Flora & Fauna
Saw signs of bear so be sure to take some Bear Spray. Mountain goats off in the distance.
Sitka spruce, hemlock, and heavy alder underbrush.