This is a beautiful hike in June and July, when the alpine wildflowers are at their peak. But it’s a beautiful hike anytime, because the views from up top—facing Mount Edgecumbe and overlooking Sitka Sound—are awesome. There are two ways up this mountain: a big climb or a big drive.
In fact, this is the only alpine area in southeastern Alaska accessible by road. If you’re just visiting for the day, the best idea is to do an out-and-back hike by either coming in from the town side and hiking up Gavan Hill, or by driving up Harbor MT road and doing an out-and-back hike along the ridge.
This trail was originally built during World War II to provide access for military installations. The trail switchbacks up until it hits the ridge where a short spur-trail leads to an overlook. The trail continues on to the right, where there are WWII lookout ruins. The trail then follows the ridge toward Harbor Mountain. It curves over to Gavan Hill, then proceeds steeply down a long series of stairs back to town.
Distance: 6 miles