Canwell Glacier Trail is a very exciting&demanding journey located in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, in United States. This fantastic mountain trail follows the lateral moraine of the Canwell Glacier.
Located in the Delta Mountains of the Alaska Range, this is definitely not a Sunday drive. The road sits on top of the southern moraine of the Canwell Glacier, north of Paxson. The road leaves the Richardson Highway (63.352170, -145.728577) and terminates at (63.327536, -145.587279). It still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey and is definitely not for the faint of lungs, heart, or legs.
The surface of the trail is anywhere from gravel to watermelon-sized rocks. Parts of the moraine are eroding into the glacial valley, including part of the moraine that once held the trail. Driving at night, or in poor visibility, is not recommended for drivers unfamiliar with the road. The road includes stream crossings, steep climbs, and amazing glacier views. The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. It is suitable for experienced high-clearance 4x4 drivers only.
Drive with care as this is a mountain road with dangerous dropoffs. The road is 12.66 km (7.87 mi) long. One way. The ride is rather remote, so you need to be prepared. In case of a breakdown, there is very little in the way of passing traffic or inhabitants around, and no cell phone service in parts. The track eventually ends and you can cross the glacier to the Canwell Hut built by the Alaska Alpine Club in the 70’s out of Fairbanks. The road is subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes and includes some narrow sections scarcely wide enough for two cars to pass at the same time. The area was once used for military ski training operations. The road climbs up to 1.492m (4,895ft) above the sea level near its end. At this elevation, this road could be the highest road in Alaska, above Atigun Passon the Dalton Highway at 4,739ft (1.444m) asl.
Road suggested by: Robert Kemper
Pic: Robert Kemper