Gull Rock Trail is a 11.2-mile roundtrip hike in Hope that parallels Turnagain Arm and provides views of the Chugach Mountains.
This trail is rated moderate with only 760 feet of elevation gain and it’s definitely one of the best hikes in Hope. It’s best used from May to mid-June before the trail is overgrown, and winter travel is not recommended due to avalanches.
In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Gull Rock Trail in Hope, Alaska. Hope Point Trail is #44 in the Southcentral Alaska 100 Hikes Challenge.
Hike Gull Rock in Hope, Alaska
Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 11.2 miles roundtrip
Time: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 663 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Trekking poles may be useful
- Carry bear spray
- Bring snacks
- Highly recommend as overnight trip
How to get to Gull Rock Trail from Anchorage
Gull Rock Trailhead is located 89 miles south of Anchorage, which is about a 2-hour drive.
- From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway
- Follow for 70 miles and turn right onto Hope Highway
- In 17.7 miles turn left where there is a trailhead sign
- Drive to the end of the road to find the parking lot
Gull Rock Trailhead
I’ve previously biked the Gull Rock Trail, but I recently hiked it in late August. The Gull Rock Trail starts from the same parking lot as Hope Point Trail. The parking lot is large and there’s a toilet available to use.
The trail starts next to the trail information area and takes you through the spruce and birch forest and quickly crosses over a creek before reaching the trail sign for Gull Rock and Hope Point.
Through Porcupine Campground
If you follow the arrow pointing to Gull Rock Trail, you’ll continue along a small trail through the woods before it empties onto the road leading to Porcupine Campground.
You’ll want to walk the road to the end of the campground where the main trail starts for Gull Rock.
Into the Woods
The trail continues into the forest for the remainder of the hike. If you decide to hike in the fall season (or anything past mid-June), you will probably encounter a lot of plant overgrowth.
Unfortunately, the trail becomes overgrown with a lot of brush and Devils Club, which is the worst! You’ll also encounter a lot of bear scat… I’m pretty sure we followed a bear in and out!
With this Alaskan combination, I definitely suggest hiking this trail early in the season or hiking it prepared to encounter bears. Make noise and carry bear spray!
Reaching Gull Rock
After hiking 5.6 miles, you will reach Gull Rock, which is a rocky outcrop with some great views of Turnagain Arm.
As you make your way towards the end of Gull Rock, you’ll come across another great view of the cove to your left.
Make sure not venture onto the tidal flats. The glacial mud is like quicksand and you don’t want to get trapped in it.
There are a few primitive backcountry campsites at Gull Rock and it’s a beautiful sight to wake up to. You can also see beluga whales in this area as well as some incredible sunsets!
If you need to filter water, you’ll find a stream about .25 miles back on the trail.
Gull Rock Trail is 11.2-miles roundtrip and it will take you 6 hours to complete the trail out and back.
This trail gives you opportunities to see grouse, bears, moose, and beluga whales. The only wildlife we saw was a bald eagle soaring above us and a few other birds.
Other Hikes in Hope
If you’re looking for more hikes in Hope, check out Hope Point Trail, Resurrection Pass, and Palmer Lakes.
Backpacking Resurrection Pass Trail in Alaska
Southcentral Alaska 100 Hikes Challenge
What to Wear Hiking in Alaska (Summer)
Pin For Later
Do you have any questions on hiking Gull Rock Trail in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.