Carter and Crescent Lake
Carter and Crescent Lake

Carter and Crescent Lake hike

Around Anchorage
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Signs along the trail to Carter and Crescent Lakes near AnchorageBeautiful lake views on Carter and Crescent Lakes Trail in AlaskaLake shores near Carter Lake in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaHiker approaching the lake on Carter Lake Trail in Kenai PeninsulaHiking through wildflowers on a trail to Carter and Crescent LakesPath through wildflowers to Carter and Crescent LakesSignpost near Crescent Lake in Kenai Peninsula near AnchorageCrescent Lake on a hike in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaHiker near Crescent Lake Trail in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaCarter Lake Hike near Anchorage AlaskaCrossing the bridge on Carter and Crescent Lakes Trail in Alaska

Carter and Crescent Lake hike

Distance: 6.9mi
Elevation: 1,142ft
Time: 3-4h

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The hike on the Carter and Crescent Lake Trail is a beautiful route in Alaska, Kenai Peninsula. This hike takes you to the beautiful Crescent Lake through the family-friendly trail along Carter Lake. The tranquility of this place is truly magical and the views of beautiful mountains, expansive meadows and sea of flowers are guaranteed!

Carter and Crescent Lake hike Map

Getting there

Take the Seward Highway (AK-1) from Anchorage towards south and go around 90.0mi, then continue straight to State Highway 9 (Seward). After 4.5mi you will see the sign ‘Carter Lake Trail’ on your right. Take this turn and park your car there.

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About

When to do

June - October

Pets allowed

Yes

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Carter and Crescent Lake
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Carter and Crescent Lake

The beautiful hike to Carter and Crescent Lake is on the easier side compared to other hikes near Anchorage. It’s still a brilliant hike with incredible views.

To make your day-hike to Crescent and Carter Lakes 100% enjoyable, you must be aware of a couple of things. Firstly, some parts of the trail can get a bit slick after rainy days, so we advise wearing good waterproof footwear to keep your feet dry and avoid slipping. Secondly, in August, some parts of the trail get overgrown. The path is still quite easy to see, but we advise covering your legs to avoid cow parsnip rash!

The Carter and Crescent Lake Trail starts at Carter Lake Trailhead Parking. The hardest part of the hike will start straight away and the path through the forest will soon get steeper and start switchbacking through the wildflowers and berry bushes. Don’t let it scare you as the hike won’t get any harder than this.

Soon you will emerge from the forest and the trail will even out. The path will become quite mellow and you will be able to enjoy the expansive views of the meadows and surrounding white mountain peaks as you approach the beautiful Carter Lake.

Lots of hikers turn around after visiting Crater Lake as the Crater Lake Trail ends here, but we strongly suggest continuing on to visit the beautiful Crescent Lake, which is really close.

Continue on the path along Carter Lake’s western side and you will shortly start approaching Crescent Lake through a pleasant trail along the drainage divide. There will be several small paths leading to the hilly area with a beautiful overlook of the northeast side of the lake.

Approaching Crescent Lake the atmosphere there is truly magical! After having a picnic near the lake, make your way back by taking the same path you came.

Find other amazing hikes around Anchorage:

Insider Hints

  • Take your fishing rod and tent with you as there are several nice spots near the lake to camp and fish

  • Visit Moose Pass – a beautiful community nearby where you can get nice cup of coffee and enjoy beautiful views of Trail Lake

  • If you can, hike this trail in spring to enjoy the sea of flowers

Comments

Suzy TQ 1 year ago

This just became our new favorite trail. Foliage is thick and beautiful. Lake was very cool.

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4h 00m Time Taken
Athena H. 2 years ago

Gorgeous field along the way to the pristine lake. Highly recommended!

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Sally Nguyen 2 years ago

Serenity at its finest! The most peaceful hike I've done in my life.

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Abode SC 2 years ago

Very cool trail. Great views along the way.

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Red Otter 2 years ago

Epic hike! It was fairly easy yet so magical. We're looking forward to our next trip here. Next time we'll bring our fishing poles.

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Petre H. 2 years ago

One of our favorite hikes in the park. Great views. Well-maintained trails and great weather.

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sushilover77 2 years ago

Ethereal place. Never seen anything like it before. The meadows,mountains and lakes are in perfect harmony.

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Wildmind 2 years ago

This trail has absolutely stunning views! Honestly, I enjoyed it a lot.

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Grimes W. 2 years ago

This hike is considerable and does not require too much effort. My kids enjoyed it a lot.

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9 Comments

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