— Chugach Mountain Circuit —

The Details

Rugged Glaciers and Dramatic Mountain Scenery

DAY 0Meet your guide in McCarthy the day before your trip for Orientation and Gear Shakedown. After making sure you are totally prepared for the adventure ahead, your guide will make sure to get you to your lodging that night and coordinate plans for tomorrow’s pick-up.

chugach mountains glacierDAY 1The trip begins with an incredibly scenic ~40min bush flight into the backcountry! Landing deep in the Chugach Mountains, you’ll immediately be surrounded by more glacial ice than you’ve ever seen before. You’ll aim to get onto one of these huge rivers of ice right away, putting your crampons to good use as you make your way toward a confluence of glaciers. Depending on how far you get today, you may be camping right on the ice!

alaska backpackerDAY 2Ice, ice baby! Waking up to views of pointy peaks with hanging glaciers dramatically cascading down their slopes, you’ll fuel up on a delicious breakfast prepared by your guide. Today you’ll continue exploring the glaciers as you move through this rock and ice wonderland. Incredible features like blue pools, crevasses and moulins may slow down travel with limitless photo opportunities. Tonight you’ll camp at one of the most epic locations you’ve ever laid your head – up close and personal to a calving glacier!

alaska backpacking campDAY 3The rumble of crashing ice might wake you up this morning as the sun hits the ice of your personal glacier camp. Moving through some challenging moraine will take some time, but you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of a wide green valley opening up as you move along. The bright colors of the vegetation will shock your eyes which have become accustomed to the almost lunar landscape of the Chugach.

DAY 4Today you will move through the tundra-filled valley, past huge boulders deposited by the ice of ages passed and toward a pristine alpine lake. Setting up camp early, you’ll have time to spash around the water or enjoy a light side-hike for even better views of the valley from higher up. A day of reveling in the wildflowers may also include a wildlife sighting – grizzly bears roam these valleys!

tent camping alaskaDAY 5Making your way back to the airstrip where it all began, you’ll need to cross the glacial stream that cuts the valley in half. Your guide will find the widest and shallowest spot, often where the river braids into several channels, and help you get across. You’ll arrive at the strip at least an hour before the flight – just enough time to soak in the last impressions of your incredible adventure!

hiking with glaciersWhat’s Included?

  • Guiding and instruction from skilled professionals. Our personable guides have extensive experience and local knowledge, as well as medical and rescue training.
  • Bush plane flights to and from the backcountry.
  • Delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while in the backcountry, including hot and delicious meals morning and evening, and plenty of trail snacks and lunch food for mid-day nourishment.
  • Group equipment: stoves, pots, tents, fuel, etc.
  • Technical gear: crampons

All you need to bring is your personal gear. You can find a detailed list of the backpacking gear that we recommend you bring on our backpacking equipment list.

Download Itinerary (PDF)

“A fantastic experience — wild Alaska at its best!”

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