Hike Mount Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley

The Mount Gordon Lyon hiking trail is one of the few hikes that you’ll find in Arctic Valley.

Arctic Valley is located 30 minutes north of Anchorage. Due to the close proximity to Anchorage, this 4-mile roundtrip trail makes an awesome day hike near Anchorage.

Mt. Gordon Lyon is best used from May to October, but it always comes down to snow conditions. You’ll also find that a lot of people head here during the winter for backcountry skiing.

In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Mt. Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley, Alaska. The photos that I share in this post were taken during the month of October.

Mount Gordon Lyon Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina, Dënéndeh (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Dogs: Yes

Quick Tips

  • Bring $5 for daily parking fee
  • Arrive early to secure a parking spot, especially during summer weekends
  • Pets must be on leash in trailhead parking lot & under control on trails and in the backcountry
  • Carry bear spray
  • Stay overnight in the Arctic Valley Cabin

How to get to Mt. Gordon Lyon

  1. From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway
  2. Exit the highway at Arctic Valley Road
  3. Continue on Arctic Valley Road to Ski Bowl Road until you reach the end at the Arctic Valley Ski Area
  4. The parking area for Mt. Gordon Lyon trail will be on your left

Arctic Valley Gate Hours

In order to get to the Mount Gordon Lyon trail, you’ll have to drive through the gate at Arctic Valley. The Arctic Valley gate is open 6am-10pm. Make sure you head back down and leave the Arctic Valley area before the gate closes.

Hike Mt. Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley

Mount Gordon Lyon Trailhead

The Mount Gordon Lyon Trail can be found in Arctic Valley. The parking lot is big but parking may be limited depending on the time of year.

The daily parking fee here is $5 and there are public toilets available to use. You will definitely get a ticket here so make sure to pay the fee at the kiosk in the upper parking lot.

After parking, head across the road towards the ski lift area. You can also start the hike from the Arctic Valley trailhead sign by the fee kiosk.

Rendezvous Cafe

You’ll notice a small cafe called Rendezvous Cafe that is usually open on summer weekends and holidays. They sell coffee, drinks, and some snacks.

Mt Gordon Lyon Hiking Trail

Under Chair 2 Ski Lift

The Mount Gordon Lyon trail is about four miles out and back and will take you less than two hours to reach the summit.

The trail starts to the left of the lower parking lot and takes you on a gravel trail underneath one of the Arctic Valley ski lifts.

Within about 3/4 mile you’ll want to cross over a bridge to your left. After crossing the bridge, turn right on the trail and head towards the saddle overlooking Eagle River Valley.

The trail is a gradual uphill as you make your way up about 2,000 feet of elevation.

You’ll notice there are a lot of smaller trails that have been formed by berry pickers. Arctic Valley is a great place for berry picking in the fall.

Arctic Valley Ski Lift Area

Towards the Saddle

Once you reach the saddle, head left to follow the trail up the ridge to the summit of Mount Gordon Lyon. If you head right, you will hike toward Rendezvous Peak.

As you climb the ridge, you’ll start to see incredible views of Eagle River and surrounding peaks.

Arctic Valley Snowy Mountains

I also saw this incredible sun halo looking towards Rendezvous Peak. The photo really doesn’t do it justice.

Sun halo above Rendezvous Peak Arctic Valley

Mount Gordon Lyon Summit

Once you reach the tiny summit of Mt. Gordon Lyon you will be at an elevation of 4,134 feet. The views from here are insane. You’ll get a 360-degree-view of Anchorage, Eagle River, and surrounding mountains.

Hike Mount Gordon Lyon Arctic Valley Alaska

If you’re looking for another hike in the area, check out the new Muktuk Marston Trail.

Happy hiking!

Pin For Later

Hike Mount Gordon Lyon Trail Arctic Valley Alaska. This 4 mile roundtrip trail is a great day hike near Anchorage and offers incredible views of Eagle River and surrounding mountains. #Alaska #Hike #ArcticValley #MtGordonLon #WinterHike

Do you have any questions on hiking Mount Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley? 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!

1 thought on “Hike Mount Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley”

  1. In the 1970’s as kids we would catch the Army truck at Buckner Field House on Ft. Richardson for the ride up to Arctic Valley. There was a trail running from the parking area (military side) down through the wild and then to the road. Can’t recall exactly but i think it was called the 5-mile or 7-mile trail. One portion was pretty flat and would give you a workout crossing it with skis. Good times. Lift ticket was $1.


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