“This run tackles the easiest 5,000' summit in the western Chugach.”
— Abe H
Fall Colors · Views
Parking along the street outside of the cul-de-sac is free, but pay attention to the signage.
Harp Mountain, at 5,000' of elevation, is #83 of the 120 Chugach State Park Peaks as listed on Peakbagger.com. Anytime you get above 5,000' in the western Chugach, the views are spectacular because you are generally past the front peaks and into the heart of the front range.
Luckily, Hiland Road in Eagle River provides easy access to the base of Harp, eliminating lengthy approaches of other 5,000-foot peaks in the area. Thus, while the grade is certainly not easy, Harp is commonly known as the easiest 5,000-foot peak in the Chugach.
The trail begins at the end of the cul-de-sac and quickly climbs out of the trees and into the alpine. Once into the alpine tundra, the trail follows the ridge top over a series of false summits up to the true summit. Each false summit provides natural breaks in the climb, which are usually welcomed as the climb averages over 1,600 feet of gain per mile.
This trail has an intermediate/difficult rating for its steep grade.