Ridges, Rock Glaciers and Rivers

Nicolai Pass to McCarthy

Trip Description

Start this backpacking adventure in the alpine, high above McCarthy Creek and the Nizina River drainages.  A short and exciting supercub flight will take you to this striking alpine landscape with an absolutely incredible 5 star view.  There are often Dall Sheep in the area, and if we are lucky we might even see a bear feeding on berries or alpine plants in the distance.

The first half of the hike will be in the alpine with the possibility of day hikes and peak scrambles.  We have suggested adding on a few extra days on to the beginning of this hike in order to take advantage of the absolutely stunning day hike possibilites while you are still in the alpine.

After exploring the alpine, we head down some steep, and somewhat exposed ridges into the green, lush forest in the McCarthy Creek drainage below.

This descent from the alpine is the most challenging section of this trip.  Aside from the steep ridges, there will be  moderate to heavy bushwhacking going down a steep, sustained grade for up to a few hours.

The tail end of the trip is spent hiking beside McCarthy Creek along historic roads and horse trails back to the town of McCarthy.


hard  (hard)

Trip Highlights:
Stunning views. Classic alpine ridge walking. Travel through 3 ecosystems. Possibility of wildlife. Good challenging hike for those who are up to it.

Terrain Challenges May Include:
Ability to cary a 30 – 45 lb (13 – 20 kg) backpack through sections of steep, sustained elevation gains and losses over somewhat loose walking surface. Exposed in sections and not advisable for those people with fear of heights. Moderate to heavy bushwhacking.

Available Season:
Late June – Early/Mid August

Suggested Timeframe:
4 – 7 days

2020 Pricing

Prices listed are a PER PERSON price, based on the number of clients in your group and the length of your trip. These prices include airfare.

Ridges, Rock Glaciers, and RIvers (Backcountry Airfare From McCarthy Included)
Number of Clients4 Days5 Days+

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