Manitoba Hiking Guide

The Manitoba area boasts easy access to some of the most scenic hiking trails on the Kenai Peninsula. Read the descriptions below to find out more! Hikes are rated on a grade of 1-5 in difficulty.

FRESNO PEAK: grade 5

Fresno Peak Trail begins almost directly across Seward Highway from mile 49 parking area for Manitoba Hut. Just walk up the highway 100 feet over Fresno Creek and there turn left onto the dirt road leading up the embankment on the far side. From there it climbs 3 miles and 3,100 vertical feet up a mining road/ATV trail to the power lines, and then bushwhack from there up the remainder of the ridge to an old wooden platform marking the summit of Fresno Peak (4,236 feet). As far as bushwhacks go this one proves quite manageable—especially once on the open ridges above the last stands of spruce.


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POLLY MINE TRAIL: grade 2

Polly Mine Trail actually begins at the parking area at mile 49 for Manitoba Hut. From the hut one merely has to continue up the trail beside it. It climbs mostly uphill for another 3 miles and 900 vertical to where after an easy crossing of Juneau Creek, it drops to the shore of Mills Creek which it follows to where it crosses the creek, which marks the spot where most people would probably want to turn around.


MANITOBA MOUNTAIN TRAIL: grade 3 to 4

 

Manitoba Mountain Trail begins about 1 mile up Polly Mine Trail from Manitoba Hut. There the much narrower and rougher Manitoba Mountain Trail climbs to the spruce-capped summit of Little Manitoba Mountain. From there it continues for another 2.5 miles and 2,100 vertical feet as it skirts along the edge of the spruce to where it drops onto a broad meadow and climbs the face of Manitoba Mountain proper to the broad summit (3,702 feet).


DEVIL’S PASS TRAIL: grade 3

Devil’s Pass Trail begins 10 miles south on the right (east) side of Seward Highway from mile 49 parking area for Manitoba Hut. From the parking are it slowly climbs for a total of 10 miles and 1,400 vertical feet into the alpine country to Devil’s Pass Lake and Devil’s Pass just beyond it, after which it drops on the far side to a junction with Resurrection Trail. Along the way, if one feels adventuresome they can climb Gilpatrick Mountain.


LOWER SUMMIT LAKE: grade 1

Lower Summit Lake lies less than 1 mile south on the left (west) side of Seward Highway. There one can kayak, canoe, or just watch the birds come and go over its waters. In fall one might also chance upon a pair of swans that have made it one home along their yearly migration route.


TENDERFOOT TRAIL: grade 4 to 5

Tenderfoot Trail begins at a fire gate less than 0.5 miles down the access road to Tenderfoot Campground, located just 3 miles south on the left (west) side of Seward Highway from the mile 49 parking area for Manitoba Hut. From the gate the trail first climbs to a relay station From there the less conspicuous trail continues for 3 miles and almost 3,500 vertical feet up through a meadow and a thin wall of spruce to the open ridge above to where it comes to an end at a cairn on a wide plateau below the crest of a broad ridge. From there to the end of the trail on the summit ahead and the wide open country beyond it one must do some precarious scrambling. 


COLORADO CREEK TRAIL: grade 2 to 3

Colorado Creek Trail begins at a fire gate just 3 miles south on the right (east) side of Seward Highway. From the gate it climbs for 3.5 miles and 1,900 vertical feet to where it peters out in the tundra. Ambitious hiker can then make the surprisingly easy bushwhack from the end of the trail off the end of the trail and follow the broad valley as it swings in a big dogleg to a low pass from which one can see Summit Creek Trail below.


UPPER SUMMIT LAKE: grade 1 

The hard-to-miss Upper Summit Lake lays just beyond Summit Lake Lodge just over 3 miles south in the right (east) side of Seward Highway from mile 49 parking area for Manitoba Hut. There one can kayak canoe, or even swim (if you dare).


SUMMIT CREEK TRAIL: grade 3

Summit Creek Trail begins at an unmarked turnout 5 miles south on the right (east) side of Seward Highway from mile 49 parking area for Manitoba Hut. From the parking area it then climbs for 9 miles and almost 200 vertical feet up and over two passes, passing Summit Pass Lake between, before reaching a junction with Resurrection Trail on the broad crest of Resurrection Pass.


RAVEN RIDGE TRAIL: grade 2

Raven Ridge Trail begins at the first left (west) turn just 0.4 miles from Manitoba Hut back up the trail leading back to the mile 49 parking area. From this junction the trail drops to a clearing near the historic Lauritsen Cabin (built about 1898 by Louis Lauritsen, one of the first miners in the area) to where it fords Mills Creek. It then climbs steadily for another 1 mile up to where it ends in the alder in the creek gorge at the base of Mount Hale-Bob.  From there ambitious cross-country travelers can climb up to the ridge on the left and from there climb to the summit of Hale-Bob Peak.


FRESNO CREEK TRAIL: grade 3

Fresno Creek Trail begins less than 1 mile south on the right (east) side of Seward Highway from the mile 49 parking area. From just across the parking area overlooking Lower Summit Lake it climbs 3.7 miles and 2,600 vertical feet to the remains of Shell Mine. From there one can then continue on to the summit of Colorado Peal, located 2 miles farther up the ridge.