Upper Winner Creek - INHT

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Note: The hand tram on Winner Creek Trail is closed this summer - May 12, 2020

The Upper Winner Creek Trail is a segment of the longer Iditarod National Historic Trail (INHT).

The first half of the hike takes you through dense cottonwood and alder forests, boardwalks, and grassy areas. After the first mile of boardwalk section, ferns and grassy lowlands are typically brushed, but can grow high reducing visibility. Avalanche chutes produce scree fields and large boulder terrain through certain areas of the trail.  Large swaths of old snow are still present on the trail through June. The trail crosses multiple small streams, but the savvy hiker can avoid wet ankles with proper navigation of the natural bridges. Byron Creek is a cascading, glacially fed river which can be seen along the trail. The upper section includes subalpine and alpine switchbacks with breathtaking views. There are various trickles that come down from the mountain, and one moderate waterfall crossing 6 miles in.  Please exercise caution when choosing the best path for crossing the falls. The lower portion of trail offers an easy walk for families, though active children can complete the entire hike.  Snowfields left from the previous winter can supply snowballs for those inclined to a friendly contest. The trail terminates at Rosehip Bridge about 9 miles in, and will eventually continue on down along Twentymile River to the highway.  Many adventurers currently pack raft from the end of the trail down Twentymile River to the Seward Highway.

Wild salmonberry and blueberry bushes offer hikers a bounty in late July and August. Wildlife includes bears, moose, and even the occasional Dall’s sheep.

Click here for more information on the Iditarod National Historic Trail.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Winner Creek Trail tram is closed for the 2020 season - May 12, 2020.

General Information


At mile 90 of the Seward Highway (35 miles south of Anchorage), turn onto the Alyeska Highway in Girdwood. Drive 2 miles and take a left onto Crow Creek Road. Go almost 3 miles up this road and park in the Winner Creek Gorge trailhead.



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