Glacier Gap Lake
Summer Day Hikes
Distance: 6 miles round trip to Glacier Gap Lake, 14 miles round trip to Sevenmile Lake
Elevation gain: 800 feet round trip to Glacier Gap, 1600 to and from Sevenmile
Trail type: Hiking, mountain biking, 4-wheeling
Considerations: 2 substantial creek crossings
In a region with very few official maintained and signed trails, the long and well built 4-wheeler trail to Glacier Gap and Sevenmile Lakes is a real gem. This trail winds along the crest of a moraine, and sidehills along steep valley slopes, so it has none of the enormous mud holes so common to 4-wheeler trails in this part of Alaska. This makes it very suitable for hiking and mountain biking in addition to motorized use.
Follow the directions for Landmark Gap Lake and continue about another 6.5 miles west on the Denali Highway. The trailhead is signed on the right, but is a bit easy to miss from the road.
The trail immediately drops down to the crossing of Rock Creek. Though not deep or swift enough to be really dangerous under normal conditions, the creek is wide, cold, and deep enough that knee boots aren’t quite enough to keep feet dry. Since it’s so close to the trailhead, it might make sense to bring some hip waders for the crossing. The other option would be to bring some light shoes just for the creek. Crossing barefoot would be a bad idea. Since the creek bed is made up of large cobbles, crossing on a 4-wheeler can be a bit challenging as well. It’s important to have 4wd, and keep momentum.
After the creek crossing, the trail crosses gentle rolling terrain for the remainder of the three miles to Glacier Gap Lake, where there is a rowboat and emergency shelter for public use. Shortly before the lake, a signed trail continues straight toward Sevenmile Lake, sidehilling above Glacier Gap into the Amphitheater Mountains. In the area near the junction, it is possible to hike off trail up the tundra into the high peaks.
Summer Multi-Day Hikes
Past Glacier Gap Lake, the trail drops down to the valley floor, where there is another creek crossing. This one is smaller, but still too big to rock hop. Knee boots will keep feet dry here. The trail then climbs again, up to a low pass separating the valleys of Glacier Gap and Sevenmile Lakes. This section has fantastic views, and offers easy off trail access to the high country to the west. Finally the trail drops down to Sevenmile Lake, where it ends at about 7 miles. There is plenty of room to camp, and lots of clean water, but the open tundra location is pretty exposed to weather.