Hiking the Portage Pass Trail in Whittier, Alaska

I recently travelled to Alaska, with previous posts detailing a hike taken in Chugach State Park, a visit to the Matanuska Glacier, and a cruise to the Holgate Glacier and Kenai Fjords National Park. We also hiked on the Portage Pass Trail near Whittier, Alaska.

Whittier is a small city about 60 miles south of Anchorage that was the site of a US Army facility during World War II. Now a popular port of call for cruise ships, the only road to Whittier passes through a 2.5 mile long, single-lane tunnel that’s shared with a rail line, resulting in a ferry-like schedule that alternates car passage and train passage in each direction. The vast majority of Whittier’s almost 300 residents all live in a single building, the Begich Tower Condominium, originally built in the 1950’s for the US Army Corp of Engineers.

The Portage Pass Trail is about four and a half miles with a steep elevation gain, and leads to Portage Lake and Portage Glacier. While it was early June, there was still snow cover and ice, so we both wore MICROspikes at points.

These images, as well as additional images, can all be found on my licensing archive.