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Reed Lakes Trail

Hatcher Pass

Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska

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Reed Lakes Trail

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  • Reed Lakes and Snowbird Mine Trailhead.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • View up Reed Creek Valley from the trailhead.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Glimpse back toward the trailhead along the Reed Lakes Trail.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Glimpse back toward the trailhead along the Reed Lakes Trail.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Boulder scramble before Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Boulder scramble before Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Reed Creek along the Reed Lakes Trail.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Glacial remains (boulders) along the Reed Lakes Trail.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Waterfalls near Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • View of Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Waterfalls near Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Hiker above Lower Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • View up toward Upper Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • Upper Reed Lake with Talkeetna Mountain peaks (6,536 ft) above.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • View just below Upper Reed Lake.- Reed Lakes Trail
  • View on the return hike looking out across the Matanuska Valley.- Reed Lakes Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Alpine lakes. Historic mine on spur trail.
Cons: 
Short seasonal access.
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Region:
Talkeetna Mountains, AK
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
9.00 mi (14.48 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,360.00 ft (719.33 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Hatcher Pass is a specimen of glacial activity. The craggy peaks, sweeping valleys, and turquoise-blue lakes converge to make for one fantastic playground—one that moose, caribou, sheep, black and brown bears, wolf, coyote, beaver, fox, hare, squirrels, marmots and lynx, and hordes of birds call home. 

From Palmer (a short 30-mile drive from Anchorage), the drive to the trailhead meanders alongside Reed River, which cascades down from the two alpine lakes tucked along the trail. Renowned mainly for its relatively moderate hiking trail, Reed Lakes is also one of Anchorage’s favorite bouldering areas, offering up a significant sampling of trad and sport routes as well, all featuring delightfully sharp granite. At the 2-mile point, visitors will stumble upon the old abandoned Snowbird Mine, a site in itself, but also the landmark denoting the start of the stellar bouldering.

This trail is also popular as a backpacking trip. Though the majority of the camping can be found around Lower Reed Lake, there are several picturesque sites situated on the banks of Upper Reed Lake. Regardless of where you pitch a tent (or spread your getup out under the stars) it’s imperative to bring along bear spray and bear-proof food containers. Truly, there’s hardly anything more magical than waking up next to a misty blue lake surrounded by craggy cirques after a night under the midnight sun.

Though dogs are allowed on the trail, and it’s typically marked as kid friendly, be aware that any adverse weather conditions could greatly increase the difficulty of travel for both. Several miles into the trail, a large boulder field requires both a bit of route finding and boulder hopping. 

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(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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