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.
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.
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.