This is a great day hike, about 8.6 miles roundtrip and took about 5 hours at a decent clip with a couple snack breaks. No matter how hot you are on the climb, make sure you have warm clothes for the top. Both times I've been up it, I've added several layers at the top--it is consistently cold and windy up there. The trail goes past an old plane crash and there are spectacular views all the way and especially on top. Not too steep, the small switchbacks help. I liked having trekking poles for the way down, but definitely optional. If it's really socked in, it may be worth waiting for another day when you can actually see the view, though the clouds did blow away today (not so lucky last time).
Review by Majester Mahmoudieh1 year ago
Compared to the usual hikes occasional hikers and/or tourists do (Flattop et al), this hike is longer.
That's not necessarily a bad thing though. That means the grade (steepness) is much more gradual and, to many folks, it "feels" less steep.
The trail starts out low and in the brush. In my opinion, this is the scariest part. Why? Well, you never have to scramble up rocks and use your hands on this trial, but that's not why. The why is simple: BEARS.
I definitely recommend hiking with friends, or being loud, or taking bear spray, or all of the above. The lower parts of the trail have many blind-turns and overgrown areas where you could surprise Ballou.
Soon you'll leave the brush though, and take a gentle cruise to the summit of Wolverine. The views from the top, looking east (away from Anchorage) are pretty incredible.
Review by SandraF11 years ago
On arrival in Alaska, our very first activity was hiking up Wolverine Peak. A 10 mile uphill hike through brush and steep terrain might be over taxing for a body used to a normal desk job routine, but I can't think of a better way to start off an Alaskan vacation. As I told our hike guide, "we're not cruise-type people".
The beginning of our hike was fair. We were walking on paved road and our guide had a dog with a white tipped tail bouncing along side us. Then, the trail narrows, and veers up and out into backcountry. Going up, the views are stunning. Our eagle eyed guide spotted a family of moose (meese?) off in the distance. There was a baby moose munching along side its mother, with the father not too far off. We had snacks along the way in the form of wild blueberries.
Our periodic rest stops at different levels of elevation brought out the splendor of the Alaskan wilderness and a great overview of the City of Anchorage. At the very top, there was some minor cloud cover that early August day, but we did have an awesome lunch. Maybe it was the accomplishment of hiking up Wolverine Peak. Maybe my body was tired and sore. Maybe I was just really really hungry, but that was the best turkey sandwich and granola bar of my life.
An excellent introduction to Alaska and a perfect first day of our vacation.
Review by Onlyoneteaminlondon Bejai12 years ago
Hiking Wolverine Peak was my first activity in Alaska and it left me sore for the rest of the week. However, the climb as well as the views made it all worthwhile.
The hike is well known locally and is about 10 miles round trip. It can be strenuous as Wolverine Peak is 4500 feet above sea level and most of the hike is straight uphill. The first 2 miles aren't too bad but the trail gets narrower and steeper as you go along so I was huffing and puffing halfway into it. You have to make your way carefully in certain parts where the trail gets narrow cuz there's this plant called Cow's Parsnip (I think that's what it's called) and something on the flower reacts to sunlight so if you brush up on the flower and it gets sunny, you will have very nasty blistering sores. Be careful!
Throughout the hike the guide stopped periodically so that I could check out the scenery and the wildlife. There was a moose and her calf.. and we picked wild blueberries on the trail for a little snack. And the views of the peaks and valleys were so lovely. Just really hard to describe...
Take lots of water and a nice lunch to enjoy at the top. A great way to spend the day.
Review by Sureshbhai12 years ago
Not for the faint of heart. . .or for people out of shape. I did this once in high school at the peak of my physical existence and it was tough then (granted I had on slip on sandals with no back. . .). I tried it again a few years later and only made it about half way. It'll make you sore for days afterwards if you're not prepared. Also, the trail splits off, so you may want to take someone who's done it before with you. Regardless of which path you take, the scenery is gorgeous and the trails aren't very crowded. Beware of the moose though since it isn't very crowded, they come in your path a lot more often than expected.
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