Hike April Bowl Trail in Hatcher Pass

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

Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Yes

How to get to April Bowl Trail:

  1. From Anchorage, head North on the Glenn Highway
  2. Continue towards Wasilla and exit the highway right at Trunk Road
  3. Continue on Trunk Road
  4. Turn left onto Fishhook-Willow Road/N Palmer-Fishhook Road
  5. Continue onto Fishhook-Willow Road/Hatcher Pass Road
  6. 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 Hatcher Pass

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.

April Bowl Hatcher Pass

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.

April Bowl Hatch Peak Alaska

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.

Read More

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Pin For Later

April Bowl Loop Hatcher Pass Alaska

Do you have any questions about the April Bowl Trail in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.

About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

3 thoughts on “Hike April Bowl Trail in Hatcher Pass”

  1. My friends and I (when we were in our 20s – we all grew up in Alaska) hiked this before there was a trail (back in the 70s) – we named the lack in April Bowl [which was not named at that time :-)] Lung Lake because it looked like a pair of lungs! Do these lakes now have a name?


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