The Goat Trail - Skolai Pass to Glacier Creek
|Difficulty:||Moderate to Strenuous|
|USGS Maps:||McCarthy C3, C4, B4|
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This classic Alaskan hike follows the geographic division between the Wrangell and St. Elias ranges and along an historic route leading from McCarthy to the Chisana gold fields.
A scenic flight among high mountains and glacial rivers takes you to the Skolai landing strip (4500'). Spending a day or two in Skolai allows you to explore ‘Hole in the Wall’ Glacier or hike the alpine bench overlooking Russell Glacier which provides spectacular vistas of the University Range (16,421’). From Skolai, the route climbs over 6000' Chitistone Pass, through Chitistone Gorge and and descends to follow the Chitistone River down to the landing strip at Glacier Creek.
Steep cliffs interrupted by waterfalls border this canyon, which is home for black and grizzly bears, wolves, wolverine, red fox and mountain goats. Hikers may opt to travel in the reverse direction, beginning at Glacier Creek and ending at Skolai.
Special Features of This Route
Streams: There are a couple of potentialy challenging stream crossings, especially Toby Creek. Be prepared and knowledgable about safe crossing techniques.
Terrain: There is a section in the Chitistone valley of steep traverses through exposed scree slopes.
I hesitated to book the trip as it was a sizable expenditure for my family. I have to say, the trip to McCarthy – Kennicott was excellent and I will be recommending your company to all who will listen. Your pilots are first rate and your staff in McCarthy worked hard to ensure that all of us enjoyed ourselves..