This dormant volcano rises 3,202 feet to dominate the view about 14-15 miles west of Sitka on the southern lobe of Kruzof Island. Part of an extensive and rugged field of ancient volcanoes that covers about 100 square miles on the island, Edgecumbe last erupted more than 4,000 years ago. The crater is also the site of a smoky April Fool’s joke in 1974, when a local man ignited 70 old tires that had been transported to its crater.
Best Viewing Spots
In Southeast Alaska about 110 miles from Juneau
Edgecumbe will be unmistakable during clear weather, looming to the west above Sitka Sound as an immense mound, often topped with a crown of snow. It just shouts—“Volcano!” People enjoy shooting photos of the mountain framed with foreground details like the boat harbor or the area’s many scenic islands. On a crystalline day, the view of Edgecumbe can be exhilerating.
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A seven-mile trail climbs Mount Edgecumbe, offering a moderately strenuous day hike with a shelter cabin and tent sites along the route for backpackers. The trailhead is on Kruzof Island a 30-minute to 40-minute boat ride across Sitka Sound, beginning near Fred’s Creek Cabin (a U.S. Forest Service rental.) Landing at the beach can be iffy during rough weather, so most people wait for decent forecast before reserving a charter or drop-off. The lower trail through the forest can be muddy, but has boardwalks. The final three miles can be windy and steep, with the last stretch climbing an exposed face of loose pumice. If it’s clear, the summit will deliver extraordinary views of a rain forest mountainscape to the east and the vast open Pacific Ocean to the west.