Alaska is truly The Last Frontier in America, and the “Great Land” offers nature lovers hundreds of hiking trails that offer unique views of isolated, pristine terrains and various wildlife. If you're making a journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun, consider one of the five hikes we've chosen to highlight based on recommendations from Trails.com, but be sure to go during summer unless you're prepared for cold, cold weather.
The Lost Lake Trail can be hiked in a day or you can go slow and camp for several nights to more thoroughly explore the Kenai Mountains. The 15-mile trail takes you to Lost Lake, a secluded alpine lake that's 2 miles long, and the surrounding tundra offers views of rolling meadows, wildlife, and Mount Ascension.
The Harding Icefield Trail offers hikers breathtaking scenes of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield and surrounding Kenai Fjords National Park, including views of alpine forests, wildflower meadows, mountains, and an overlook of Exit Glacier. On the Harding Icefield Trail you'll climb to elevations of 3,500 ft. over the 9-mile roundtrip hike, making it a steep, strenuous trek, but worth every step.
Ascending Flattop is the one of Alaska's most popular trails, and it offers hikers clear views of the Aleutian Islands, Mount McKinley, Williwaw Lakes, and Wolverine Peak. The 3-mile hike through the untouched wilderness of Chugach State Park takes you up 1,350 vertical feet to the rocky, spacious summit that's perfect for picnics and panoramic photography.
Deer Mountain Trail is a quintessential Alaskan hiking trail that will give you panoramic views of the town of Ketchikan and the Tongass Narrows, including old-growth alpine rainforests, mountains, ocean coastline, and islands. The 10-mile hike is easily accessible and takes you to the 3,001-ft. peak of Deer Mountain, or you can extend your trek to pass Blue Lake and cross Revilla Island.
Caines Head Trail is a 13-mile hike that follows the Resurrection Bay coastline to historic Fort McGilvray in Caines Head, Alaska, and it offers views of ancient glaciers, rainforests, canyons, and mountains. More than two miles of this hiking trail is on the beach and this is where you'll have the best chance to see ocean wildlife such as otters, sea lions, whales, and birds.