Before we get started, we must first send a big “THANK YOU” to Ron Niebrugge with Wild Nature Images for taking such amazing photos that truly capture the magic of Alaska’s Playground. The majority of the photos in this blog post are courtesy of his stunning photography skills and for that, we are incredibly grateful.
Lost Lake Trail is located in the Chugach National Forest, closest to the town of Seward, Alaska but also accessible from a trailhead in Cooper Landing, Alaska. It is approximately 15 miles long and is accessible all year long. It is most commonly used for hiking and backpacking in the summertime.
During the winter months many residents and visitors alike will use portions of the trail for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snow machining.
When snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, you’ll be moving at a pace that leaves you plenty of time to take in all of the breathtaking views.
There are wonderful public use cabin's along the trail that many adventure-enthusiasts love to take full advantage of as well, so long as they follow the strict requirement of needing to sign up a minimum of 6 months (180 days) in advance prior to staying. It might seem like a lot of notice needed, but these cabins are often considered hidden gems and they tend to fill up very quickly!
On the inside of this particular cabin, you’ll experience a very cozy setting with all of the essentials to keep you safe, warm, and comfortable overnight.
The views aren’t too bad either. And yet again, we are humbled by how spoiled we are with endless natural beauty on Alaska’s Playground!
During the summer months, tent camping is always an option as well. If you want to get “up close and personal” with nature, this is definitely your one-way-ticket to achieving that!
Look for forest birds such as fox sparrows, chickadees, thrushes, gray jays and spruce grouse. Alpine tundra draws out gray-crowned Rosy finch, ptarmigan and American pipits. Black and brown bears use the habitat, along with moose. Marmots bask and feed in rocky areas above tree line—listen for their sharp, whistled alarm calls.
Mountain goats forage on steep slopes of Ascension Peak overlooking the lake.
The trail begins in a mossy low-elevation Sitka spruce forest only a few miles from the sea and then climbs through a succession of habitats until it breaks out into subalpine tundra. The valley surrounding Lost Lake is known for its meadows of flowers.
To access the Lost Lake Trail, you have two options. The first is the Primrose Access which is located east of Kenai Lake as you head towards Seward, AK. You’ll find the Primrose Campground and Lost Lake trail access parking lot on the right. This is a steep and moguly climb through dense hemlock forest to the mountains surrounding Lost Lake, high above and behind Kenai Lake. Click HERE to view the Department of Natural Resources Trail Map.
If traveling by snowmachine, the ride is bumpy going up, and takes a 1/2 hour or so, but the endless riding and powder above offer an extreme experience for expert riders.
Another way to access the Lost Lake trail is from the Cooper Lake access point. You can climb through V-Max canyon and access Lost Lake from the opposite end by taking Snug Harbor road off of the Sterling Hwy in Cooper Landing, just past the Kenai Lake bridge. A 7-mile drive up this partially paved/gravel road will take you to a small parking area.
If traveling by snowmachine, you can unload and travel several miles further up the road through a packed snowmachine corridor, and turn left at Rainbow Lake parking area to follow the tracks up the mountain, through V-Max Canyon and to Lost Lake. Bring extra fuel for this route, as you should probably do just about anywhere you go in case you get carried away with your riding.
Lost Lake Trail is rated a “difficult” trail, so please be advised of the extremities before attempting to venture on a journey down the trail and utilize your local resources to make sure that you are fully prepared. One thing is for sure… if you do make the journey, we are 100% certain that you will not be disappointed with the beautiful scenery that you experience!
Additional Sources: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=viewinglocations.lostlaketrail