Gull Rock Trail

Area Status: Open

A 5.7 mile hiking trail (5.7 miles from the trailhead the trail is 5.1 miles from campground) along the south shore of Turnagain Arm from the end of the Hope Highway to a rocky peninsula. This trail has gradual ups and downs with occasional short, steep sections and travels through spruce/birch forest with numerous openings affording views overlooking Turnagain Arm and mountains beyond. This trail usually becomes snow free by early May.

Trail access is at mile 56.5, Seward Highway, turn west onto Hope Highway. Drive 17.8 miles and take a left 500 feet before Porcupine Campground, drive 1/4 mile to trailhead.

This trail is not recommended for horses or bicycles.

Click here to download the Recreation Opportunity Guide

At a Glance

Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: May - October
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Closed to motorized vehicles May 1- November 30. Closed to pack/saddle stock April 1- June 30.
Water: Streams
Restroom: Outhouse at campground
Operated By: Chugach National Forest

General Information


At Mile 56.5 Seward Highway turn west onto Hope Highway. Drive 17.8 miles to Porcupine Campground. Trail starts at the far northwest end of the campground.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Dispersed Camping

Backcountry campsites at the end of the trail at Gull Rock. There are many dead trees in this area posing hazards on windy days. Please be careful with fire.

Day Hiking

Many dead trees along this trail can be a hazard during windy days.

General Info:


The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge The boundary begins at mile 4.3 and continues to the rock. Though there used to be a trail that continued to the Mystery Creek Road it has not been maintained for many years and travel now would be extremely difficult through dense brush and fallen trees.

Safety Information

Do not venture onto the tidal flats. The glacial mud is like quicksand and can trap the unwary hiker. This type of situation has led to drowning as the high tide moves in. During high winds this trail should be avoided due to the large number of beetle killed spruce trees the entire distance to Gull Rock. Fire danger is high at all times because of dead trees.

Use caution with bear and moose. Giardia (a microscopic parasite that can infect warm-blooded animals and humans) could be present in all open water sources, boil surface water for 5 minutes before drinking. Winter travel may be hazardous due to avalanches and white out conditions. Winter travelers need to be able to evaluate avalanche hazards. Be prepared for rapid weather changes. Remember to pack out your trash. You can contact a U.S. Forest Service office to receive more detailed information on safety precautions and Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics.

Viewing Wildlife

Beluga whales can be seen during high tides and outgoing tides from vantage points along the trail, and especially well from Gull Rock.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
5.7 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
620 feet elevation gain