Muktuk Marston Trail is the newest hiking trail in Arctic Valley. Its official opening was celebrated on June 1, 2023.
The new trail is 3.5 miles long and starts at the Arctic Valley Ski Area in Chugach State Park. It follows the side of the mountain in Ship Creek Valley before heading into Hunter Pass.
Arctic Valley is located 30 minutes north of Anchorage. Due to the close proximity to Anchorage, this trail, which connects to a network of other hikes, makes an awesome day hike near Anchorage.
Muktuk Marston Trail is best used from June to October, but it always comes down to snow conditions.
In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Muktuk Marston Trail to Hunter Pass in Arctic Valley, Alaska.
Hike Muktuk Marston Trail in Arctic Valley
- 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
- Be careful around potentially hazardous ski area equipment
- Great trail for berry picking in the fall
Arctic Valley Gate Hours
In order to get to the Muktuk Marston Trail, you’ll have to drive through the gate at Arctic Valley. The Arctic Valley gate is open 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Make sure you head back down and leave the Arctic Valley area before the gate closes.
The drive up Arctic Valley is usually a bit bumpy. The road is often rutted so keep this in mind when choosing a vehicle to drive here.
How to get to Muktuk Marston Trail from Anchorage
- From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway
- Exit the highway at Arctic Valley Road
- Continue on Arctic Valley Road until you reach the Arctic Valley Ski Area
- The parking area for Muktuk Marston Trail will be on your right
Muktuk Marston Trail Map
Muktuk Marston Trailhead
Muktuk Marston Trail can be found in Arctic Valley. The trailhead begins just across from the lower parking lot. You will see a gravel trail and a set of interpretive panels.
There are parking spaces for about four vehicles directly in front of the trailhead. Otherwise, you can park in the lower or upper parking lots.
The daily parking fee here is $5 and there are public toilets available to use. Unfortunately, the Alaska State Parks pass is not accepted here. You will definitely get a ticket here so make sure to pay the fee at the kiosk in the upper parking lot.
Muktuk Marston Overlook
If you’re looking for a quick and easy stroll to a beautiful viewpoint, you can walk half a mile to the Muktuk Marston Overlook.
Here, you will find some ski chairs that overlook the Ship Creek Valley. The views here are amazing and it would be a great place to enjoy a snack or a post-hike beer.
Ship Creek Valley
Muktuk Marston Trail is a 3.5 mile one-way hike and will take you less than three hours to complete the hike.
After you enjoy the incredible views at the overlook, you will head into Ship Creek Valley along the dirt trail.
The trail has a gradual ascent of about 300 feet. It’s really mellow and the views of the surrounding towering mountains on the opposite side of the valley are incredible.
As you round the corner, you will be hiking into Hunter Pass. The pass has little elevation and you’ll be able to quickly get to the other side.
We hiked the trail on June 3rd, and with the late snow, we had to cross a patch of snow that is sitting in the pass. Luckily, the temps were cool enough and packed down that post holing was minimal!
Once you get through the pass, you can connect down to South Fork Trail or up along the ridge. You can also choose to start your hike from the South Fork Valley Trailhead.
We wanted to hike a loop, so we decided to turn left and hike up Rendezvous Ridge. This is where you will get most of your elevation gain, about 2,200 feet!
The ridge is easy to follow and you just have to keep your sights on Little Teton Mountain and Rendezvous Peak.
Little Teton Mountain Summit
As you continue along the ridge, you will hike up to the summit of Little Teton Mountain (3,796 feet).
From the summit, the views from here are insane (unless the clouds have you socked in). You’ll get a 360-degree-view of Anchorage, Eagle River, and surrounding Chugach Mountains.
Arctic Valley Ski Area
You can easily add the summit of Rendezvous Peak into your day hike, but there was too much snow in the saddle that we didn’t want to cross.
So, we decided to make our way back towards the Arctic Valley Ski Area. You will have to climb up a little bit more before descending down the mountain.
The trail connects down to meet up with the turn off for the Muktuk Marston Overlook. You can hike the last half mile back to the trailhead.
Our total mileage for the day was just under 8 miles. It took us about four hours to complete the hiking loop, including stops along the way.
The Muktuk Marston Trail connect to many other trails in Arctic Valley. You can hike through Hunter Pass and then towards Triangle Peak.
You can hike up from South Fork Trail and do the loop from there. You can also add extra miles to your day hike by adding Rendezvous Peak and Mt Gordon Lyon to your route.
I loved the views from the Muktuk Marston Trail. Surrounded by mountains, looking into the valley, and being able to see downtown Anchorage! I definitely recommend checking out this hike.
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Do you have any questions on hiking Muktuk Marston Trail in Arctic Valley? Let me know in the comments.