Johnson Pass Trail South Access

Distance

23 miles

Difficulty

Moderate

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: 60.724063
Longitude: -149.278135

Photos

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Johnson Pass Trail Points

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 23 miles

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.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 23 miles

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…  ...more

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring. 

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring 

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring. 

Includes an out­house, bear lock­er and fire ring. 

Includes an out­house, bear lock­er and fire ring.