Top of the World Trails
Distance: 7 miles round trip to summit, 14 miles round trip to end of trail
Considerations: Some boggy trail
This trail system is often used by hunters, but it’s scenic enough, and has trail conditions good enough to make it attractive to other recreational users. Specifically, trails here lead up to a high country tundra plateau ringed by the mountains of the Alaska Range, and down to the beautiful clearwater portion of the upper Delta River.
From Delta, drive 61 miles south on the Richardson Highway and park at a large pullout just past milepost 265. Cross the gated pipeline access bridge over Phelan Creek and climb the steep hill on the access road alongside the pipeline.
At the top of the hill, a trail leads up an alpine ridge to the southwest and offers views over Phelan Creek Valley and the Rainbow Ridge area. Continuing on the pipeline access road, there’s another trail leading off to the west 1.8 miles from the highway. This trail leads through some wet areas (with geoblock), and past some minor intersections, down to the Delta River, and follows it upstream for a couple miles.
Long Winter Hikes
Distance: 3-8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 800-1500 feet
Trail Type: Snowshoeing, snowmachining
Considerations: Trail may see little use after leaving pipeline corridor
Take advantage of a plowed parking area and well packed trail up onto a high tundra plateau which offers endless exploring, depending on snow conditions. One good destination is the mountain marked 4364 on the map which offers fantastic panoramic views of the area. The initial portion past the pipeline hill is likely to have deep snow and slow going, if it hasn’t been tracked by snowmachiners, but once on the ridge, the wind usually keeps the snow shallow or hard packed.