Root Glacier Trail

Distance

2 miles

Difficulty

Difficult

The main street in Kennicott turns into a well-maintained, 4-mile-long hiking trail just outside of town. This trail winds alongside the Kennicott and Root Glaciers, and hiking it is a great opportunity to experience the grandeur of the Wrangell Mountains and see more of the valley. It's a great starting point, whether you have only a few hours or are planning a multi-day glacier and mountain adventure. You will be rewarded throughout the hike with great mountain and glacier views, and have the chance to spot bears cruising on the lateral moraine below you. For an easy hike, head to Jumbo Creek; it's an easy three-mile round-trip from Kennicott and is a good destination for relaxing. The turnoff to the toe of the Root Glacier is about 15 minutes past Jumbo Creek and clearly marked. You can also pass the glacier turn-off trail and continue hiking all the way "around the bend" of the Root Glacier to get an up-close look at the Stairway Icefall that spills 6,000 feet off Mt. Regal. Along the way you'll get great views down onto the Root Glacier, where you can see and hear bizarre glacial features. Plan on this 4 mile round trip hike to take anywhere from 2-4 hours.

There is also an outhouse just past the turnoff to the Root Glacier. You will see a signed marked "toilet." If it looks as though something has been chewing on this rustic outhouse, that would be the local resident porcupines.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 61.48694689
Longitude: -142.8905225

From the Kennecott Visitor Center, walk through the Kennecott Mill Town, north towards the Root Glacier. About a half-mile beyond the visitor center, the road will split. Take the left hand trail. The trail will soon cross over Bonanza Creek. After about a mile the trail curves sharply to the right and uphill, follow the trail to cross Jumbo Creek on the footbridge. After approximately another 1/4 mile, the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail.

Photos