MacLaren Summit

Summer Walks

Distance: As far as you like

Elevation gain: No more than a couple hundred feet

Trail type: Hiking, 4-wheeling

Considerations: None

The pass along the Denali Highway above MacLaren River Valley is arguably the scenic high point of one of the most scenic drives in the state.  Fortunately, there are a couple trails and a small parking area here which allow travellers to savor the views and take a break from the bumpy, gravel road.  The view doesn’t really change much as the trail travels through rolling alpine terrain, so this is a good candidate for a shorter walk, rather than hiking as far as possible.

From Delta, drive about 80 miles south on the Richardson Highway to Paxson.  Turn onto the Denali Highway here and go about another 37 miles to MacLaren Pass, and park in the small lot on the left.  If coming from the west, the pass is obvious, after a significant climb out of the MacLaren River Valley.  Trails depart in both directions, but one heading north, towards the mountains is most popular with day hikers.  Hike as far as you like — the trail slowly peters out over the course of several miles.

MacLaren Summit