St. Elias Lake
Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain: 120 m (394 ft)
Time: 2 hours
Date Added: January 24, 2010
Last Update: June 13, 2020
St. Elias Lake is a short hike with great rewards. There is a backcountry campground at the lake, which is nestled between tall mountains. This trail is great for beginner backcountry camping because it is a short trail to a campground with amenities. It is also great to do with kids.
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From Haines Junction, drive towards Haines, Alaska on the Haines Highway for about 60 km. There is a pullout on the right-hand side of the road and a sign will indicate the St. Elias Trail.
The trailhead is right off from the highway pullout and easy to follow. The trail has a few ups and downs, but becomes relatively flat near the lake.
The trail meanders through the trees for a couple of kilometers and then opens up with views of the surrounding peaks. The trail then travels through a meadow once out of the trees for the rest of the way to the lake.
The lake has designed tent sites, a food cache, a fire-pit with benches, and an outhouse. There is a great view of the surrounding mountains from the lake.
The trail is often tracked for x-country skiing in the winter. Snowshoeing is also a great option. Once you get to the lake, if it is frozen you can continue right to the opposite end of the lake.
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