Alaska Adventure 55 Ways: Southcentral Wilderness Explorations

Alaska Adventure 55 Ways: Southcentral Wilderness Explorations

by John Wolfe Jr., Rebecca Wolfe
Alaska Adventure 55 Ways: Southcentral Wilderness Explorations

Alaska Adventure 55 Ways: Southcentral Wilderness Explorations

by John Wolfe Jr., Rebecca Wolfe


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  • Features hiking, skiing, paddling, biking, and more
  • New and substantially revised trips with all new full-color photos and maps throughout
  • Emphasis on traverses and loop trips for both summer and winter, always with simpler and shorter options

Originally published in 1972, the classic guide known as 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska has been fully updated and reinvented as Alaska Adventure 55 Ways. This robust reboot covers a diverse range of activities for year-round fun, from quick day trips to adventures that could extend to a week or longer, including canoe trails, wilderness cabins, easy summits, forest walks, cross-country ski routes, summer mountain biking and winter fat bike trails, wild skating, and more.

John Wolfe Jr. and Rebecca Wolfe, a father-daughter team, describe activities spanning the broad swath of Southcentral Alaska, 300 miles north to south and 350 miles east to west. The guide features activities on the lakes and peaks of the Kenai Peninsula, the Anchorage front range, the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, and the Copper River basin, taking in Chugach and Denali State Parks, Chugach National Forest, Kenai Fjords and Wrangell St. Elias National Parks, several wildlife refuges, and portions of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. With an emphasis on adventures regular people can enjoy and destinations that don’t require highly technical skills, expensive flights to remote locations, or demanding levels of athletic fitness, this guide appeals to all ages, with family-friendly shorter options and trip extensions adding up to more than a hundred "ways" to adventure.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680515428
Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date: 05/18/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 558,179
Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lifelong Anchorage resident John Wolfe Jr. studied at Middlebury College in Vermont and then returned to Alaska and founded the nonprofit Alaska Huts Association. He and his wife, Gretchen Nelson, included their daughters in outdoor excursions as they grew up. John became coauthor of this guide with his mother, Helen Nienhueser, in 1994. Although he has guided on Denali, John loves the simple peak scrambles of the Chugach Mountains best of all.

Rebecca Wolfe has been hiking in Southcentral Alaska since childhood. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s of architecture from Montana State University. Becca enjoys finding new ways to experience the Alaska backcountry on skis and by bike, though backpacking in the mountains is when she feels most at home. She splits her time between Mojave, California, and Anchorage, Alaska.

Table of Contents

Trip Locator Map 6

Foreword 11

Preface 15

Trips at a Glance 18

Introduction 23

How to Use This Book 51

Map Legend 55


1 Tutka Backdoor Trail 58

2 Alpine Ridge Trail and Grewingk Glacier 64

3 Cook Inlet Beach Bike 68

4 Swan Lake Canoe System 79

5 Skyline Traverse 84

6 Resurrection Pass Trail System 87

7 Russian Lakes Trail 93

8 Caines Head 98

9 Mount Marathon 102

10 Harding Icefield Trail 106

11 Lost Lake 110

12 Ptarmigan and Vagt Lakes 114

13 Johnson Pass Iditarod Trail 118

14 Crescent and Carter Lakes Traverse 122

15 Grandview Whistle Stop and Bartlett Glacier 126

16 Manitoba Mountain 131

17 Center Ridge Ski Tour 135

18 Turnagain Pass Iditarod Trail 139

19 Hope Coastal Walk 142

20 Blackstone Bay Overlook 146


21 Skookum Glacier in Winter 152

22 Portage Pass in Winter 157

23 Berry Pass 162

24 California Creek 166

25 Crow Pass to Eagle River Traverse 171

26 Penguin Peak 177

27 Glen Alps to Indian via Ship Lake 181

28 Rabbit Creek to McHugh Creek Traverse 186

29 Williwaw Lakes Loop 189

30 McHugh Peak 195

31 Flattop Ridge Loops 198

32 Near Point and Wolverine Peak Loop 204

33 Anchorage Coastal Walk 208

34 Arctic Valley Ridge Loop 212

35 South Fork Valley Trail and Ewe Valley Overlook 217

36 Peters Creek Winter Tour 223

37 Eklutna Lake Bikepacking 226

38 Bold Ridge Overlook Bike to Hike 232


39 Rabbit Slough in Winter 236

40 Lazy Mountain Loop 242

41 Hatcher Pass to Government Peak Traverse 246

42 Talkeetna Mine 251

43 Reed lakes 256

44 Nancy Lakes Canoe Loop 260

45 Peters Hills 264

46 K'esugi and Curry Ridges 267

47 Hicks Creek and Chitna Pass 275

48 Lion Head 281

49 Belanger Pass Loop 283

Copper Basin

50 Mentasta Mountains Loop 290

51 Dixie Pass 295

52 Jumbo Mine and Root Glacier Trail 300

53 Moonlight Odyssey at Thompson Pass 305

54 Historic Valdez Trail 308

55 Shoup Bay Trail 312

Acknowledgments 316

Glossary 318

Resources 320

Further Reading 328

In Recognition 329

Index 330

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