Embark on an unforgettable journey up the Mount Ripinsky Trail, offering awe-inspiring views of Lynn Canal as you ascend towards the north peak at 3,920 feet. This trail provides an invigorating challenge and a scenic escapade through diverse landscapes.
Discover three trailheads to access this stunning trail. The closest to town begins at the end of Skyline Road, offering a dirt path leading to the trailhead. For a more direct route, consider the Piedad Road trailhead, approximately 1.5 miles north of town along the Haines Highway, offering a challenging vertical climb with fewer switchbacks. Alternatively, the 7-mile Saddle trailhead on Haines Highway provides a picturesque journey across muskegs, through lodgepole pines, and thickets of local flora, eventually ascending to the saddle—a popular camping spot. From here, a steep climb leads to Peak 3920, boasting breathtaking vistas and connecting ridges leading to Mount Ripinsky.
Prepare for a demanding hike, especially towards the summit. Experienced hikers typically spend 2 to 5 hours ascending, while families often plan for a full-day adventure. Consider hiking poles to support your knees on the challenging terrain that features tree roots and potential mud. Check weather forecasts beforehand and equip yourself with proper gear, including sturdy hiking boots, as the trail demands resilience and preparedness.
The full trail from the 7-mile trailhead to Main Street covers approximately 10 miles, encompassing a traverse of Peak 3920 and Mount Ripinsky. Allow ample time, around 8 to 10 hours, for this extensive and rewarding hike. In early summer, snowmelt may still be present along the trail, requiring caution and navigation skills, especially in challenging weather conditions. Carrying a map and compass can prove invaluable in these situations.
Experience the grandeur of the Alaskan landscape as you conquer the Mount Ripinsky Trail, a journey that promises both physical challenge and breathtaking natural beauty. Take in the expansive views, embrace the adventure, and make memories amidst the rugged wilderness of this captivating hike.