Gold Cord Lake Trail

Matanuska Valley
This hike was rated 4 stars.
Submitted By
Somewhat Easy; babies in a backpack, hardly walking preschoolers to the hardy over 60 years of age group, but no strollers. There is a 500 foot elevation gain.
Miles One Way
Miles from Anchorage
64; near Hatcher's Pass
All year


I did this hike with the Mat-Su Meetup group on a Thursday evening in July 2009 so we were pretty much alone at the top. The trail is easy to follow and in wonderful condition. Even the boulder field now has easy to follow steps to manage the 500 foot elevation gain. There is an old sod cabin along the trail and of course, a pristine lake at the top. Marmots chirping will drive the dogs nuts.

Important Information

Bring water for drinking or a picnic to enjoy by the lake.

Bring Bug dope for the flies/mosquitoes.

Park in the Independence Mine visitors parking area uphill past the fee gate in summer months. In winter months the Independence Mine gate will be closed and the road groomed for skiing so you would have to walk to the trailhead from the fee gate parking. The trailhead is clearly marked on the opposite side of the parking from the mine area.

Please respect private property signs in the area.

Bring money for parking fee or use your State Parks pass.


Visit the Alaska State run Independence Mine and museum which is open in summer months.

Topo Map

Gold Cord Lake Trail topo map

Comments on hiking Gold Cord Lake Trail

  1. Sally Barnes — July 23, 2017

    If you’re in shape the trail may take 30 mins. I, on the other hand, am in the 60+ group and trying to get in shape. I would definitely recomment trekking poles as they gave me a lot of securtiy – especially coming down. I am exremely afraid of heights so there is a section of the trail towards the top that I really struggled with. I made it though and coming back down I had a little positive mantra I keep repeating to myself and before you know it I was already passed the scary part and didn’t realize it. Met a lady on the way up that opted to sit it out because she too is afraid of heights. I tried to encourage but she was cotent to sit and wait for the rest of her party. The lake at the top was worth the hike however. It was pretty packed since it was a weekend. I would definitely hike this again. We even got to see a lone caribou!

  2. Shadara Wood — May 17, 2017

    I love this hike. While being easy (not stroller friendly for those of you with kiddos) but still easy enough for littles to do. Make sure to stop and look back on the Mine and Valley! Also definitely check out the old mining cabin. This belonged to one of the miners who it’s told skied down for his shift each day in winter, not wanting to have to live in the bunkhouse he built the cabin himself. The lake itself is a wonderful place to explore. With green/blue water that is clear nearly all the way to the bottom it is a shutterbugs wonder. This can be a busier hike on the summer weekends, so if you would like it quiet I suggest you do a weekday and earlier in the day.

  3. […] hiked Gold Cord, which was a short hike with little elevation gain. The hike only took about 30 minutes (if that) […]

Have you done this hike? Please share your experience below: