Snowbird Hut - Backpacking
Experience wild, remote Alaska on a section of the famed Bomber Traverse.
Destination Distance From Downtown
The Snowbird Hut is only about 5 miles from the Reed Lakes Trailhead, but don't let the mileage lull you into complacency: you'll need good routefinding skills to make it up and over the pass, plus confidence traveling on ice and snow—there's minimal crevasse-fall danger on the Snowbird Glacier, but you should be prepared to self-arrest. The hike in is a lungbuster: vertical gain is just under 3,000 feet.
Time To Complete
You could do the 10-mile round-trip hike to the Snowbird Glacier and back in a day. For a truly Alaskan experience, though, spend the night in the remote Snowbird Hut.
The hut is open year-round; but avalanche danger often renders the pass inaccessible in winter. An avalanche forecast is issued weekly at http://hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org/, and all winter backcountry travelers should be capable of terrain management and companion rescue.
No fee is required to use the first-come, first-serve hut, but consider a donation to the American Alpine Club for maintenance if you spend the night there.