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.
Hike Mt. Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley
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
- 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
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.
How to get to Mt. Gordon Lyon
- From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway
- Exit the highway at Arctic Valley Road
- Continue on Arctic Valley Road to Ski Bowl Road until you reach the end at the Arctic Valley Ski Area
- The parking area for Mt. Gordon Lyon trail will be on your left
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.
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.
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.
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 towards Rendezvous Peak.
As you climb the ridge, you’ll start to see incredible views of Eagle River and surrounding peaks.
I also saw this incredible sun halo looking towards Rendezvous Peak. The photo really doesn’t do it justice.
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.
Arctic Valley Chair 2 Public Use Cabin Review
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Do you have any questions on hiking Mount Gordon Lyon in Arctic Valley? Let me know in the comments.