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.
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.
In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River, Alaska.
Hike Harp Mountain in Eagle River
How to get to Harp Mountain:
- From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway
- Exit the highway at E Eagle River Loop Rd.
- Take the first right at Hiland Rd.
- Follow Hiland Rd. until the end of the road
- 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
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.
A Steep Climb
The trail up Harp Mountain isn’t technical but the climb is steep. In just under three 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.
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, our 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.
Read more: Hike Barbara Falls 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.
The hike to Harp Mountain will take you less than three hours to complete. I really enjoyed this trail and I’m looking forward to hiking here again on a clearer day.
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Do you have any questions on hiking Harp Mountain in Eagle River? Let me know in the comments.