Trail Run Project Logo

McHugh Peak - South Flank Trail

Difficult
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Route to McHuch with the most gain through the 2016 wildfire area


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.5

Miles

13.7

KM

65%

Runnable

4,221' 1,287 m

High

172' 52 m

Low

4,143' 1,263 m

Up

4,142' 1,262 m

Down

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

118%

Max Grade (50°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views

Parking at the McHugh Creek Trailhead requires a $5 fee or an Alaska State Parks pass. Park in the lower lot outside the gate if you intend to be there past 9pm. They do close the gate every night.

Overview

McHugh Peak is #103 on the 120 State Park Peaks and the south flank route is the longest, most difficult route with 4,400' of gain. The peak is known for its finger-like rock formation at the summit that is very distinctive in photos but is somewhat difficult to discern from a distance.

Description

The beginning of the trail switchbacks up through coastal forest before it traverses east along the south slopes that were ravaged by wildfires in 2016. While the normal route up to the southwest ridge is being redefined through the wildfire zone, you want to traverse east until you reach the opening of the first bowl. There, if you start heading directly upwards, you'll come across a well-defined singletrack that climbs steeply up the tundra to the rocky ridge. Once on the ridgeline, you are rewarded with views into the Anchorage bowl, as well as the Turnagain Arm view you had on the journey up.

Continue northeast along the ridge for nearly two miles until you see the finger rock formation. An easy scramble up the formation is required to reach the true summit.

This trail has a black diamond rating due to some route finding in the wildfire zone, steep grade and minor scrambling at the summit.

Other routes up to McHugh Peak include the north ridge from Bear Valley and east ridge from Rabbit Lake (requires logistics). The northwest ridge is not recommended due to access concerns.

Contacts

Shared By:

Abe H

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#6

in Anchorage

#1528

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#6

in Anchorage

#33

in Alaska

#1,528

Overall
29 Views Last Month
762 Since Jan 26, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%

Photos

View of Rabbit Lake and the Suicides McHugh ridge
Jan 26, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK
Summit of McHugh Peak. Chugach State Park, Chugach Mountains, Alaska
Feb 2, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK
Summit photo on top of the finger-like rock formation.
Feb 1, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 93 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none