This is one tough hike. If it were any more steep, you’d be Batman and Robin climbing up a building. They didn’t even have the courtesy to put in switchbacks. But if you’re in shape and up for the challenge, I highly recommend this hike for its excellent views of Turnagain Arm, the city of Hope and Resurrection Valley, and as you get to the top, the Kenai and Chugach Mountains. You’ll also get a faint view of Anchorage across the Arm.
The trail starts just before the entrance of the campground. You’ll follow the creek for an 1/8 of a mile and then – that’s it, vacation’s over! You will constantly be going uphill with very little trail that is actually level. The 2 worst spots are the bluff and the last part of the ridgeline. But I definitely have to say that the views and scenery are worth it.
When you get to the top, if you have a mind to, the trail heads right into the heart of the mountains but I have no information of what’s beyond the peak.
Bring enough water. There are no sources once you leave the creek. And remember, you’ll be sweating.
Either bring another person or bring a cell phone. It goes without saying to be careful on this trail, especially when descending the bluff part. In addition, the last part of the ridge is a narrow footpath with a huge drop. The potential for a fall is high on this trail. I’m not saying this to scare you but as a note to be cautious. You do not want to rush this trail. Take each step carefully.
Some guidebooks mention a radio tower. This has been removed and you will not find it.
You definitely want to pack a windbreaker. Besides the obvious reason that it’s windy at the top, you’ll be very sweaty by the time you get there and you’ll need to keep that wind from causing you hypothermia.
I did this trail in May and boy, were my hands cold up there. I wish I had packed my fleece gloves.
The state campground where the trailhead starts is very nice. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of the five sites that look right out on Turnagain Arm. It’s first come, first serve so get there early.
The town of Hope is worth a quick “looky see”. There is basically one loop road with lots of historic houses and cabins.