April Bowl Trail in Hatcher Pass is a great beginner and family-friendly hike that offers an easy and incredibly scenic view of the surrounding Talkeetna Mountains. If you are lucky and the skies are clear, you can gaze over at Denali.
This hike is located in Hatcher Pass near Palmer and it’s one of the best hiking trails in Hatcher Pass.
I love hiking in Hatcher Pass because it means I get to enjoy a scenic drive just to get there. The area is stunning and there’s so much to explore.
Hike April Bowl Trail
How to get to April Bowl Trail:
- From Anchorage, head North on the Glenn Highway
- Continue towards Wasilla and exit the highway right at Trunk Road
- Continue on Trunk Road
- Turn left onto Fishhook-Willow Road/N Palmer-Fishhook Road
- Continue onto Fishhook-Willow Road/Hatcher Pass Road
- Turn left to stay on Fishhook-Willow Road/Hatcher Pass Road
April Bowl Trail is only accessible during the summer months when the road through Hatcher Pass is open. Instead of driving into Independence Mine, you have to take the left up through the valley.
The April Bowl trailhead is at Mile 19. You will find a small parking lot across the street.
April Bowl Trail to Hatch Peak
The trail starts across the street from the Summit Lake State Recreation Area parking lot. It’s a well-trafficked trail so you will often find a busy parking lot. April Bowl Trail starts off with steep elevation gain and follows switchbacks up the mountain.
The trail starts to level off and you will arrive at April Bowl, a stunning turquoise tarn. This is a great place to enjoy lunch or a snack.
You will continue up the ridge before making it to the summit of Hatch Peak at an elevation of 4,811 ft above sea level. At the summit, you will be rewarded will incredible, 360-degree views of Hatcher Pass, including April Bowl and Summit Lake below.
April Bowl Loop
Most people hike this out and back but you can actually hike it in a loop. Just continue on the ridge after the summit of Hatch Peak and follow the trail down the other side of the lakes. The trail is not marked and can be difficult to find, so be careful not to go too far to the other side.
Sometimes the weather in Hatcher Pass is really windy and storms can roll in quickly. Make sure to pay attention to the weather and bring a rain jacket or wind breaker.
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Do you have any questions about the April Bowl Trail in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.