Skagway hiking overview
Lost Lake Trail
Lost Lake Trail in Skagway. So steep even the dog can barely keep from falling down the mountain.
Hiking is fun. Nowhere is it better than Alaska. Nature is free to enjoy, which explains why hiking is so popular. Sure, you need to buy some boots and maybe some hairspray. Pants are important too. Heck, I didn’t say hiking was free – I said nature is free. I’m doing my best here. Anyway, let’s talk about one of Skagway’s less-traveled hiking trails, Lost Lake Trail.
Lost Lake Trail is in Dyea
To reach the Lost Lake trailhead you have to drive about 10 miles out to Dyea. You could walk, I guess, but that would be a far longer hike than the actual trail. You could bike too. Let’s just say you have to get out to Dyea somehow and leave it at that. To reach the trailhead, turn left after you pass the Taiya River bridge. When you see the road that takes you to the Slide Cemetery, turn right. Keep going past that because it’s just a bunch of dead people. When you reach the trailhead there is a place for a couple of cars to park. If you’re in a car, park there. Same if you’re in a truck. Whatever.
What’s the Lost Lake Trail like?
Think of the steepest hiking trail you’ve ever been on and then double the steepness. You hike through some lush, beautiful rain forest, which kind of takes your mind off the terrible pain in your legs. In total, you will cover about 1,600 feet of elevation gain in about a mile. That’s steep. I don’t even like thinking about it.
Your destination is Lost Lake, which is actually not lost because it is right at the end of the trail that leads to it. Totally misleading name. The lake is very pretty and there are fish in it. Rainbow trout. If you have a fishing rod, you can catch one, whack it on the head, fillet it, and eat it on the open fire at the lake. You also need some matches to start the fire. And a pan. You’re going to need a bigger backpack, so you may as well bring some beer too. Bring one for me.
Things to know about Lost Lake Trail
Hiking is fun in theory but there are always some things that make it kind of suck. Sometimes in life, you have to take the good with the bad. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter mosquitoes. Lots of them. In fact, sometimes only netting will save you because these industrial-strength Alaska mosquitoes are impervious to Deet. One time a swarm of misquotes stole my Deet and sprayed me in the face with it. Then they hot-wired my car and went on a joyride through town laughing at tourists. I’ve had it with mosquitoes!
I ran into wasps the last time I hiked the trail. Maybe they were hornets. I can’t tell the difference and they sure didn’t talk about it. One of them stung my chihuahua, Momo. Let me tell you that Momo was not having it. He angrily grabbed the wasp as it stung him on the butt, crushed it with his teeth, and spit it out. I’ve never seen anything quite like that. Momo has little patience for wasps or hornets. Who can blame him?
In the fall, there are endless amounts of blueberries by the lake. That seems great until you realize that grizzly bears love blueberries. You need to be prepared because you could encounter a half-ton agent of horror with razor-sharp death claws. Bring bear spray. Heck, just stay home. Hiking is dangerous!