Crow Pass Trail hikers advised to use caution when crossing Eagle River

Crow Pass Trail on May 18, 2019 (Photo by L. Parker)
Crow Pass Trail on May 18, 2019 (Photo by L. Parker)

Eagle River waters are high right now and Laura Kruger with the Eagle River Nature Center says Crow Pass Trail hikers who want to cross need to be extra careful.

As of Sunday, June 30 hikers reported difficult conditions where the trail crosses through the river, Kruger said. Hikers reported water running waist high at the ford site and almost chest deep a few miles further at Thunder Gorge. But Kruger said levels fluctuate.

“Water levels change daily so what we’re reporting one day could even be totally different that same day later on or the next day,” she said. “But typically during normal water levels it’s about knee high or a little over the knees.”

Kruger said she doesn’t advise the crossing for people hiking the pass for the first time.

If you do choose to cross, take your time and maybe try it early in the day, she said.

“Water levels tend to be a little bit lower in the morning because the sun hasn’t been hitting the glacier or the snow up in the mountain as long,” she explained. “And of course you should unbuckle your backpack straps — both your waist and chest straps — because if you fall into the water you’re going to want to ditch that pack.”

The National Weather Service reported high river conditions are expected along several rivers through Friday, July 5 with a flood warning for the Yentna River at Fish Creek.

You can find updates at the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation web page or the Crow Pass Trail Facebook page.

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