Hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River

Harp Mountain is known as the easiest 5,000-foot peak in the Chugach Mountains, but the steep ascent makes it a challenging climb.

Tucked away at the end of Hiland Road in Eagle River, this hike takes you up the ridgeline and rewards you with incredible views.. that’s if you don’t get socked in.

In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River, Alaska.

Hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River

Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 3.5 miles roundtrip
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,593 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Dogs: Yes

How to get to Harp Mountain:

  1. From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway
  2. Exit the highway at E Eagle River Loop Rd.
  3. Take the first right at Hiland Rd.
  4. Follow Hiland Rd. until the end of the road
  5. Park on the side of the road

Please be respectful of the NO PARKING signs. There is space to park up the road. The Harp Mountain trail starts at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Read more: 5 Best Hikes in Eagle River

harp mountain summit eagle river

We headed out midday and had to hike through low visibility. And then it started to snow. I couldn’t believe it because it was almost June. But, that’s Alaska for you.

I ended up hiking the trail again the following summer and got some amazing view with clear skies!

Through The Alders

The trail to Harp Mountain isn’t obvious and it can be hard to find. You will find the trail to the right of the “No Parking” signs and to the left of the driveways. A small trail will be found at the edge of the tree-line.

You’ll start climbing through the alders. The trail can be muddy here especially after snowmelt or a day of good rain. Shortly, you will see a small sign in the woods and you will take a left here. Do not go straight. It won’t take too long before you make it out of the trees.

Roseroot Rhodiola Rosea Eagle River Alaska
Rose root (Rhodiola Rosea)

A Steep Climb

The trail up Harp Mountain isn’t technical but the climb is steep. In just under 1.7 miles, you will climb 2,593 feet to reach the summit. The trail up consists of a lot of loose rock and shale. It’s a good idea to bring some hiking poles with you.

The best part about hiking any ridgeline is that it’s all open and you will get awesome views almost immediately. The trail is pretty clear as you climb the ridge.

Hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River Alaska
harp mountain traik

Socked in at 5,001 Feet

Just when you think you’ve reached the top of Harp Mountain, you realize that you’re actually on a false peak. This is just the first false peak because Harp Mountain has four false peaks in total.

Once you reach the top of Harp Mountain you will usually be rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding area, including Hanging Valley, Eagle and Symphony Lakes, and even all the way out to Turnagain Arm.

Unfortunately, the first time I hiked to the top the views consisted of a lot of nothingness. We were socked in and it was snowing big flakes, so we turned around and headed back down the mountain.

Harp Mountain Summit Eagle River Alaska

When I hiked the trail again, the skies were so clear and the views were insane! It really makes a difference going when the weather is good!

chugach mountains hiking in alaska
summit hikes in eagle river

A Fast Descent

Even though it’ll take you a couple of hours climbing up, you will find that the way back down will take you half the time.

As we hiked down Harp Mountain it stopped snowing and became much clearer. The valley started to open up and we could see Rendezvous Ridge across the valley.

Hike Eagle River Alaska

The hike to Harp Mountain will take you less than three hours to complete. I really enjoyed this trail!

Happy hiking!


Read More

5 Ultimate Hikes in Eagle River

Hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River

Hike Eagle and Symphony Lakes in Eagle River

What to Wear Hiking in Alaska (Summer)

Alaska Travel Guide


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Hike Harp Mountain Eagle River Alaska. Known as the easiest 5,000-foot peaks in the Chugach. #Alaska #EagleRiver #Hiking #ChugachMountains

Do you have any questions on hiking Harp Mountain in Eagle River? Let me know in the comments.

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Tim
21 days ago

I like your website. Having just done this hike today, I think your description of of the distance is unclear. In the trail summary section near the beginning of the page, it says that the trail is “3 miles roundtrip”. It is actually closer to 6.5 miles roundtrip, or 3+ miles each way. It’s a great hike.

Sean
13 days ago

I’ve done Harp many times, including just a few weeks ago. My trackers show an average 3.4 miles round trip. I think your 3.5RT is right. 🙂

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