Why Take This Hike
If after reaching the crest of Crow Pass you want to go farther, hike 3 miles down the far side of Crow Pass. You’ll end up at a bridge over Raven Gorge, with the waters of Raven Creek echoing in the deep, dark recesses below. Though Raven Gorge takes some time to reach—it’s nearly a 7-mile hike one way—you’ll be on a fine trail with great scenery almost the whole way.
The journey to Raven Gorge offers as many rewards as the destination. First, on the right, you pass the white and blue mass of Raven Glacier. Look up its entire length to where the bergschrund at its uppermost end pulls away from the precipitous face of 6,000-foot-plus Raven Peak. Soon after, to the left, look up to Clear Glacier, with Crow Peak (5,950 feet) towering above its far end. Straight ahead, some 12 miles distant and high above where Raven Creek merges with Eagle River, you can see snow-capped peaks disappearing into the distance.
Descending steadily, the trail eventually reaches a bridge over Raven Gorge. You’ll hear the water falling before you see it. Rising up from a seemingly inconspicuous crack in the landscape, the deep resonance is evidence of a great volume of water churning through great depths.
But only upon starting across the sturdy bridge can you actually look deep down into the narrow gorge below. There, in the shadows, you can make out the frothing and falling waters that fill the air with a constant rumble.
Not very often does one have the chance to look straight down a falls—and few places allow for a more scenic and spectacular hike to get such a unique perspective. And though you might have an easy time convincing friends back home of Raven Creek’s spectacular scenery, you might find it difficult to snap a photo showing the depth and resonance of the gorge: The deep waters and the dark shadows make such a picture challenging to capture.
(For more, see Walk-About Guide to Alaska, Volume One by Shawn R. Lyons)