Johnson Pass Trail North Access

Distance

23 miles

Difficulty

Easy

The Johnson Pass Trail originated in the 1890s as a route for Iditarod miners who raced north from Seward to Nome. It later was developed into a wagon road by merchants and miners who settled the area. The Alaska Road Commission then used it as a thoroughfare through the 1930s. Today this popular hiking trail travels portions of the historic Iditarod Trail between Moose Pass and Granite Creek with bridged streams, mostly easy grades, and good markings that make it great for families and mountain bikers. The wildflowers are abundant and verdant undergrowth can be check high sometimes. Most of the trail lies below treeline, so there are established camp clearings along the way that are nestled into the trees. One of the best campsites is 10 miles in from the northern trailhead, set among trees on a spruce-covered knoll looking over the trail and Bench Lake. Fishing is good for Arctic grayling in Bench lake and rainbow trout in Johnson Lake. You can either return to the northern trailhead or hike another 13 miles to the southern trailhead in Moose Pass near the southern end of Upper Trail Lake. The southern half of the trail tends to get overgrown and can be muddy so it's usually more fun to stick to the northern 10-mile section, which also saves you from shuttling vehicles.

(Note: This trail is different from the Johnson Trail just south of Anchorage.)

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 60.503698
Longitude: -149.433399