Jewell Glacier

Chugach National Forest
This hike was rated 4 stars.
Difficulty
Moderate; some parts have steep elevation gain. Be careful of loose rock. Coming down commands caution.
Connects With
Miles One Way
4
Miles from Anchorage
50; above Girdwood
Season
July to September (too much snow before then)

Description

I’ve been to Crow Pass about 5 times and it is indeed a great hike but on my way to Raven Glacier for a day hike, I was curious about Jewell Glacier and wanted to take a look. For those who know Crow Pass, it’s the glacier on the right before you come to Crystal Lake.

I’m sure glad I did! There are some great views up there and you can get real close to the glacier. The bottom of the glacier actually goes underneath the rock. There is a lot of great exploring up here.

For long time residents of Anchorage, this is a great hike to get away from the Crow Pass crowds while still enjoying all that the pass has to offer. After this hike, I still had plenty of time to check out Raven Glacier and the gorge. For those who are agile and experienced, I believe there is more exploring to be done further up.

Important Information

You have to look very closely to make out the trail going up and over the glacial moraine that leads off of the Crow Pass Trail.

The basic plan is this: head up the Crow Pass Trail. If you’re on the lower trail, when you get to the point where you’re to cross the creek, don’t. Instead parallel it and head toward the second creek coming down the small notch in the moraine. Look closely and you will see the path diagonally going up to the notch. Then head towards the glacier. If you are on the ridge trail, look for the diagonal trail after you pass the first creek coming down the mountain where the glacier is on top.

Be careful of the loose rock and scree.

Make mental pictures when you go over the notch. I had completely forgotten where it was and you can not see it once you’re over it. Be careful coming down. There were a few places I felt it was necessary to crab it. You may want to bring a walking stick.

You can explore all around the glacier with relative safety and I would suggest heading to the left (facing the glacier) side as there are great views. You can also see how the glacier goes underneath the rocks. Do not climb on the glacier! Snow could be hiding a deep crevasse and if you fall in, it was nice knowing you.

Etc.

If you’d like to educate yourself about glaciers and their awesome power, please visit All About Glaciers, a great introductory website.

Hold onto your bladders! The two roads to get to the trailhead are very rough and are more pothole than actual road.

Topo Map

Jewell Glacier topo map

Comments on hiking Jewell Glacier

  1. Jeff W. — May 18, 2013

    If you are hiking up to Jewel Glacier, I would definitely recommend continuing on for a spectacular view of Milk Glacier. If you’re at the base of Jewel Glacier looking up the mountain, aim for the pass to the right (between Summit and Jewel Mountains). Conveniently, you can pass between the two parts of Jewel Glacier, so no crampons are required. Once you reach the pass, you can look down on Milk Glacier 500 feet below, assuming the valley isn’t clouded in. When I explored this, I had to wait at least 30 minutes for the clouds to move out, but it was definitely worth it!

  2. The following was submitted by John Z.:

    If you are on the upper trail, you can also exit the main trail before crossing the first creek. Just scramble up, its steep enough to warrant attention but not too steep as to be crazy. Once you get to the hump, you’ll come across the old mining trail, just turn left and follow it for a short while until it ends, then scramble up to the glacier.

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