Location: Between Hope and Cooper Landing, about 100 miles south of Anchorage
Distance: 39 miles (each direction)
Extended Trail: Some combine this trail with Russian Lakes Trail for a 60-mile trip between Hope and Cooper Lake
Total elevation gain: About 2,200 feet in either direction
Surface: Gravel and Dirt Mountain Paths
Resurrection Pass is one of the most popular longer hikes on the Kenai. The trail covers stunning scenery climbing from forest floor into alpine tundra, with numerous alpine creeks, cabins, and backcountry lakes along the route.
About 70 miles south of Anchorage, turn northwest off the Seward Highway onto the Hope Highway. Drive 16 miles to the outskirts of Hope and turn left (south) onto Palmer Creek Road. In about 0.6 mile, bear right at a road fork onto Resurrection Creek Road, continue to the signed trailhead, a total of 4 miles from the Hope Highway.
The marked trailhead is on the north side of the Sterling Highway at Mile 53, about 15.5 miles west of the junction of the Seward and Sterling Highways and 0.2 mile west of the second Kenai River Bridge.
|0.0||Begin/end at the Hope (north) Trailhead||39.0|
|7.0||Arrive at Caribou Creek Cabin||32.0|
|11.5||Pass by the Fox Creek Cabin||27.5|
|14.5||Arrive at East Creek Cabin||24.5|
|19.5||Cross Resurrection Pass||19.5|
|21.5||Arrive at Devil’s Pass Cabin/Trail||17.5|
|26.0||Arrive at Swan Lake Cabin||13.0|
|29.5||Reach Juneau Lake Cabin||9.5|
|30.0||Arrive at Romig Cabin||9.0|
|32.0||Meet the Trout Lake Cabin/Trail|
(0.5 mile to cabin)
|35.0||Arrive at Juneau Creek Falls||4.0|
|39.0||End/begin the hike at Cooper|
Landing (south) Trailhead
Special features: Alpine scenery, large lakes, fishing, and a series of fee cabins
Resurrection Pass is the most popular longer hike on the Kenai. The trail features a string of eight fee cabins that make the trip a great 3-to-6-day cabin-to-cabin hike – if you can reserve the right cabins in advance. Make reservations early (www.reserveusa.com or 877-444-6777) if you want to do the hike without pitching a tent. There are plenty of good campsites along the trail, many of them cleared and marked by the Forest Service, and some are provided with bear-proof food-storage boxes. Signed campsites are spaced no more than a mile or two apart the entire length of the trail, except for about a 5-mile stretch roughly centered on Resurrection Pass.
The southern part of the trail wanders through the lake basin of Juneau Creek.
The basin’s three large, forested lakes, all with fair fishing, are Trout Lake (7.5 miles from the south trailhead), Juneau Lake (9.5 miles), and Swan Lake (13 miles). Beyond Swan Lake, the trail climbs in switchbacks into Juneau Creek’s alpine upper valley.
Devil’s Pass Cabin is in a treeless zone and is equipped with a fuel-oil stove, cabin occupants are responsible for bringing their own fuel.
The Devil’s Creek Trail intersects the Resurrection Pass Trail at the cabin, leading 10 miles east to the Seward Highway and connecting with the Resurrection to create two other trail options: either a 27-mile hike between the Devil’s Creek and Cooper Landing trails, or a 31-miler between Devil’s Creek and Hope. The Resurrection is an alpine hike for about 7 miles, between the top of the Swan Lake grade and a point a short distance above American Creek. The trail crosses
Resurrection Pass at 2,600 feet in elevation. Just south of where the trail enters the trees, roughly 2 miles north of the pass, experienced cross-country ramblers can head west off the trail into the alpine watersheds of Afanasa, Abernathy, and American Creeks.
The north end of the trail is rolling and forested, with some scenic blu8S above Resurrection Creek between FoX Creek and tree line. The lower end of the north trail threads through a mixed conifer forest of Sitka and white spruce and its natural hybrid, Lutz spruce. Caribou Creek, Fox Creek, and East Creek cabins and nearby campsites are good destinations from the Hope Trailhead.
The Hope end of the trail passes gold-dredge tailings and an overgrown mine site, each a good reminder of the area’s past. The lower part of the trail is on an old mining road, following an easement across mining claims.
There are rainbow and lake trout, burbot, and whitefish in Trout Lake, the same species plus grayling in Juneau Lake, and lake trout, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden in Swan Lake. Fish Resurrection Creek for pink salmon and Dolly Varden, and Juneau Creek for Dollies. Check current fishing regulations before wetting a line.
Resurrection Pass is popular for both hiking and mountain biking, be prepared for bike encounters. Hunters use the trail, especially from the north, for moose and caribou hunting in the fall.