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Bonanza Peak

Very Difficult
 5.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A gorgeous summit run with panoramic views of the Wrangell and Eastern Chugach Mountains.


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Map Key

9.6

Miles

15.5

KM

55%

Runnable

6,780' 2,066 m

High

2,019' 615 m

Low

4,749' 1,448 m

Up

4,768' 1,453 m

Down

19%

Avg Grade (11°)

62%

Max Grade (32°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views

Overview

The Bonanza Peak Run follows the Bonanza Mine Trail up to Bonanza Mine, then continues upward to Bonanza Peak along a bouldery ridge line. Along the ridge line, you get expansive views of the Wrangell and Chugach Mountain ranges, which contains some of the tallest peaks in Alaska.

Description

Starting from Kennecott, take the Root Glacier Trail for a short distance before turning right onto the Bonanza Mine Trail. Follow the switchbacks through the trees up to the tundra, where the views really open up. The Bonanza bowl is very picturesque with patches of snow, a stream and small waterfalls, and turning around, you see Root Glacier and the Chugach Mountains.

Continuing through the bowl, remnants of mining operations are ever-present and the trail culminates at the mine bunkhouse ruins. Here, you can run around and observe the historic artifacts before continuing up to Bonanza Peak. For a detailed description of the trail to the mine, please refer to to the Bonanza Mine Trail.

The Bonanza Mine Trail offers a difficult challenge with great views, but those with summit fever will choose to continue upwards to 6687' where you'll get views of a lifetime. Gaining the ridge can generally be described as type 2 fun, with talus and scree competing against your will, but you are rewarded with the views once you are on the ridge. Following the ridge to the summit is not for the faint of heart as it feels quite exposed over the series of ups and downs. Areas of scree can also be fairly loose.

While there is no marked trail above the mine, obtaining the summit is very straightforward and descending back down to the trail can be shortened by bypassing the mine and descending down scree.

This run has a double black diamond rating due to the exposure on the ridge and steep grade.

History & Background

There are no fees to enter Wrangell-St. Elias, but getting to Kennecott requires logistics (eg. variable parking fee at the end of McCarthy Road, $5 shuttle from McCarthy to Kennecott). While the park and roads are open year-round, McCarthy Road is not regularly maintained in the winter and Kennecott Visitor Center is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Contacts

Shared By:

Abe H

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1307

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#23

in Alaska

#1,307

Overall
23 Views Last Month
847 Since Feb 8, 2018
Very Difficult

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Photos

View of Bonanza bowl
Feb 8, 2018 near unknown, unknown
Ridge view looking north at Bonanza Peak (middle), Mt. Blackburn (left), and Regal Mountain (right)
Feb 8, 2018 near unknown, unknown
Ridge view looking southeast toward the southern Wrangells and St. Elias mountain ranges.
Feb 8, 2018 near unknown, unknown
Bonanza Mine ruins
Feb 8, 2018 near unknown, unknown
View of Kennecott, Root Glacier, Mt. Blackburn
Feb 8, 2018 near unknown, unknown

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