Segment 1: Alaska

Salmon Glacier near Hyder, Alaska.  World's largest road-accessible glacier.

Total Length: 1957.4 miles


The Fifty Trail begins on a rocky Pacific Ocean beach south of Seward, Alaska and ends on a rocky beach on the eastern tip of Maine. The western terminus is at South Beach, the site of a World War II military barracks, in Caines Head State Recreation Area outside of Seward. Several water taxi services are available to get the hiker to the trailhead, as the only land access to Caines Head is by trail, and then only at low tide.

The Trail Route picks up the Iditarod National Historic Trail at its southern terminus at the Iditarod Monument in Seward and, after a slight hiking detour to hike the Lost Lake and Primorse trails, the route returns to the Iditarod and follows one of the historic routes over Johnson Pass on another significant non-motorized trail. Finally after a scenic road walk, the Iditarod Trail again becomes non-motorized for six miles in the Girdwood-Alyeska area and then for a 23 mile section over Crow Pass to Eagle River.

From Eagle River to Palmer the trail follows the roads including the nineteen mile Old Glenn Highway scenic route.

Reaching Palmer the hiker follows the Palmer-Moose-Creek rail trail for six miles and later picks about twenty miles of mixed-use off-road trails in the Chickaloon area, about half of which are non-motorized (the rest allow ATVs). Then the genuine road trek begins. With a few short exceptions the next 1700 miles of the Fifty Trail are on roads. The Glenn Highway leads to the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway brings the trail into Canada’s Yukon Territory where it eventually picks up the route of the Trans-Canada Trail.

The ambitious Trans-Canada Trail, also called the Great Trail is Canada’s version of the Fifty Trail, and it’s only a year older. Deemed to be completed in 2017 in time for Canada’s 150’th anniversary, the 15,000-mile Great Trail connects all of Canada’s provinces and territories, though several long sections are paddle routes on water (such as the entire length of Lake Superior) and other long stretches follow highways. Unlike the Fifty Trail, the Great Trail tends to favor bicycle-friendly routes when on land.

The Fifty Trail leaves the Great Trail at the start of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, BC-37, at the border between Yukon Territory and British Columbia, and follows that highway though lightly populated country for 350 miles to the Meziadin Cutoff, the intersection with BC-37A, the road to Salmon Glacier.

Salmon Glacier is the world’s largest road-accessible glacier. It’s also the fourth largest glacier in all of Canada. It’s a strongly recommended 62-mile side trip (the one-way distance—hitch-hiking permitted. At Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, less than a mile beyond the intersection, it may be possible to sign up for an 8 hour tour to Salmon Glacier, at a cost of about $135, minimum of two people, check at the park). This side trip is also a last opportunity for the eastbound hiker to touch Alaska, or the first chance to do so headed westbound. The highway crosses through Alaska for just a few miles and passes through the quaint little village of Hyder, a town also notable because it lies at the head of the world’s fourth longest Fjord—the 50-mile-long so-called Portland “Canal”. There is an excellent self-guided driving brochure available online. Being so close to this world-class natural wonder and not taking the time to visit it seems … well … almost sinful.

Beyond the Meziadin Cutoff, after about 100 additional miles, the Stewart-Cassiar highway reaches its southern end at BC-16, an arm of the Trans-Canada Highway also called the Yellowhead Highway. The route follows BC-16 east for 293 miles following side roads where possible but includes a long stretch of BC-16, a northern branch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Along the way there are parks and waysides, first nations cultural sites, and a few opportunities to hike trails. The route passes through the city of Prince George where it makes use of a few miles of non-motorized trail called the L.C. Gunn Trail overlooking the Fraser River.

Ten miles east of Prince George the route leaves the Trans-Canada Highway, tunring onto Upper Fraser Road and eventually leaving paved highway to follow Forest Service Roads along the McGregor River as it drains out of the Rockies. 120 miles later, near the road’s end (due to a wash-out) is the northern terminus trailhead of the Great Divide Trail. This is the eastern end of the Alaska segment.


Best overall trail maps for the trails in the Anchorage-Seward area are the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps. Map numbers 231, 760, and 764 cover the Fifty Trail route.

Water Taxi service from Seward to Western Terminus of the Fifty Trail at Caines Head State Recreation Area:

Resurrection Bay area brochure with great photos including view from South Beach the trail terminus:

Caines Head Trail and Coastal Trail, Resurrection Bay, southern terminus map/brochure:

Seward Highway brochure, overview map shows trail locations, sights along the road walk sections:

Iditarod National Historic Trail hiking opportunities in the Seward area:

Lost Lake Trail brochure and map: Johnson Pass trail brochure and map:

Map of Iditarod Trail off-road route in the Girdwood-Alyeska Area:

Historic Iditarod-Crow Pass Trail: 23.1 mile foot trail: Two brochures with maps and detailed info: —and—

Old Glenn Highway scenic route information: Palmer-Moose Creek Rail Trail, 6.1 miles non-motorized – two brochures: —and—

Chickaloon trail map, including hiking trail sections: Glenn Highway mile 66.7 to 89.2:

Whitehorse Copper Trail:

Trans-Canada Trail, Alaska Highway segment map:

Stewart-Cassiar Highway:


The first fifty miles from the Western Terminus through Seward and toward Johnson Pass on the Iditarod Trail to the first campsite on Johnson Pass Trail.


Mile 0.0 – Western Terminus of the Fifty Trail at South Beach on Resurrection Bay in Caines Head State Recreation Area—specifically the rocks at the SW end of the sandy beach by the campsite, Caines Head State Recreation Area, Seward, Alaska.

3.1 to start of Coastal Trail – low tide only section

3.0 to Tonsina Point, end of low tide section

2.1 to Lowell Point Trailhead

2.2 road walk to Seward and the Start of the Iditarod Trail. There are two ‘Mile Zero’ Iditarod Trail monuments/markers. Shown in the photo is the more substantial one in front of the Alaska SeaLife Center (visible in the background). From here follow the paved bike path for 1.3 miles along the shores of Resurrection Bay through Seward to the Seward Boat Harbor in front of Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center, then follow 4th St and Seward Highway, Alaska 9, north out of town.

5.1 road walk to Lost Lake Trailhead

1.7 to trail fork

2.0 to campsite

3.2 to Lost Lake, series of campsites

0.9 end of campsite section, start of Primrose Trail

1.9 to campsite

4.0 to Primrose Trailhead, Kenai Lake

1.3 road walk to Hwy 9

12.0 mile road walk to Johnson Pass south trailhead

7.5 to campsite *****50.0 MILES TO HERE, end of HEART OF section*****

0.6 to trail junction with winter trail

3.8 to Johnson Lake campsite

1.0 to Johnson Creek Summit campsite

2.0 to two more campsites

3.0 to Groundhog Creek campsite

2.1 to Bench Creek campsite

0.6 to ford of Center Creek

2.4 to Johnson Pass north trailhead

26.7 highway walk on Seward Hwy (AK 9) to Girdwood, take trail beside Glacier Creek (follow Iditarod Trail signs) or Beaver Pond Trail

2.5 Alyeska take trail along creek then along side Crow Creek Road

2.8 to end of trail, road walk on Crow Creek Road

2.8 road walk on Crow Creek Road to Crow Pass Trailhead, (no fee).

****SUM from Western Terminus TO HERE: 100.3 miles. (From here on the trail mileage from the Western Terminus is provided for each waypoint. ) Crow Pass trail 22.6 mile foot trail to Eagle River Nature Center, north Trailhead ($5 fee)

135.1 – 12.0 miles on Eagle Creek Road

165.1 – Approx. 30.0 miles on Old Glenn Highway to Palmer

306.1 – 141 miles on Glenn Highway, AK Hwy 1, Palmer to Glenallen, including off road Palmer-Moose Creek Rail Trail and trails in the Chickaloon area.

320.1 – 14 miles on Richardson Highway, AK highways 1 and 4, Glenallen to Sulkana

460.1 – Tok. 140 miles on Tok Cut-off Highway, AK highway 1, Sulkana to Tok.

534.1 – Canadian Border. 74 miles on Alaska Highway, AK 2, Tok to Canadian border.

821.7 – Jct Alaska Highway and Yukon Hwy 2, Whitehorse. 287.6 miles, Yukon Highway 1, Alaska Border to Jct. Yukon Hwy 2, Town of Whitehorse. South/Eastbound route joins Trans-Canada Trail here.

840.4 – South Klondike Road, south end of Whitehorse Copper Trail. 18.7 miles off-road on Whitehorse Copper Trail, see pdf file brochure

884.1 – Jct South Klondike Road and Tagish Road. 43.7 miles, South Klondike Road, Whitehorse to Jct with Tagish road

922.3 – Jct. Tagish Road with Alaska Highway

1081.1 – Jct. Alaska Highway Yukon Hwy 1, with Yukon/BC Highway 37, Stewart-Cassiar Highway

1435.4 – Stewart-Cassiar Highway at Meziadin Cutoff, side route to Hyder, Alaska and Salmon Glacier.

Side ROUTE: Salmon Glacier

Mile 0.0 – Western endpoint: Salmon Glacier Scenic Viewpoint, Granduc Road, Stewart, B.C. Web site to download tour guide: — Here’s a web site describing the foot trails in this area.

10.9 – US-Canada border, Alaska/B.C. border

17.4 – Titan Trail trailhead parking. Titan Trail is about 6 miles long one way with significant elevation gains. It goes to an old mine site. There is no loop, so it’s out-and-back. Here’s a link to a trail report with maps:

17.7 – US National Park Service Fish Creek Bear Viewing Area: Web site:

21.1 – Grand View Inn (currently for sale) Hyder, AK

21.9 – Canada Border Services Agency, US-Canada Border

25.9 – Bear River RV Park, Stewart BC. Side trails for hiking. Web site:

47.6 – Bear Glacier Provincial Park, day use area (closed), viewing turn-out on highway. Web site with photo gallery:

62.2 – Meziadin Cutoff, junction with Fifty Trail route

End-o-side trip to Salmon Glacier

1435.4 – Meziadin Junction, Hwy 37a ends at BC Hwy 37.

1436.2 – Meziadin Lake Provincial Park (camping, shuttle to Western Terminus via a $135 tour) Web site:

1444.1 – Nass River Bridge.

1464.5 – Brown Bear Forest Service Road.

1482.2 – Bonus Lake Recreation Site (camping).

1485.2 – Cranberry Junction, Nisga’a Highway.

1508.2 – turn onto Kitwanga Lake Road S, scenic route off BC Hwy 37, north end.

1513.6 – Kitwanga Lake Road S, scenic route off BC Hwy 37, south end, return to BC 37.

1516.4 – ‘4 Ave.’ side road to Gitanyow, north end.

1518.1 – Gitanyow Historical Village (First Peoples; totem poles) Web Site:

1518.4 – Intersection of 4 Ave. with 1 Ave. 1 Ave extends south of town back to BC Hwy 37.

1519.7 – Intersection of 1 Ave. and BC Highway 37.

1528.6 – Intersection of Hwy 37 and Kitwanga Rd. N, side road to Gitwangak Battle Hill.

1529.1 – Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site. Self-guiding trail. Web site:

1530.2 – Jct. Kitwanga Rd N and BC-37.

1531.1 – Jct. BC-37 with Kitwanga Rd W, side road to Totem poles.

1531.5 – N end of 1 Ave across Railroad Tracks.

1531.6 – Jct. 1 Ave and no-outlet Railway Ave just S of track crossing.

1532.0 – Totem Poles at Gitwangak Education Society.

1532.4 – Jct. 1 Ave./Bridge Street with BC-37 Skeena River Bridge.

1532.5 – Jct. BC-37 with BC-16 Yellowhead Hwy./Trans-Canada Highway at gas station.

1543.1 – Kitseguecla village, bridge over Kitseguecla River at outlet into Skeena River.

1543.7 – Jct. S/West end of Skeena Crossing Rd with BC-16.

1548.8 – Jct. N/East end of Skeena Crossing Rd with BC-16.

1553.2 – Seeley Lake Provincial Park. Camping. Trail along lake to view platform. Web Site:

1554.7 – Jct. BC-16 and Aldous St., South end of side route through South Hazleton.

1556.5 – Right angle bend, Aldous St (N-S) and Omineca Ave (E-W).

1556.6 – Cataline Motel and RV Park. Web site:

1557.0 – Jct. Omineca Ave and BC-16, north/east side of town of South Hazleton.

1559.3 – Town of New Hazleton, many services.

1566.5 – Jct. with Suskwa Forest Service Road, continue along BC-16.

1581.6 – Jct. BC-16 at Telkwa High Road, north end, Moricetown Canyon view and bridge.

1601.1 – Jct. Telkwa High Road (N-S) with Old Babine Lake Rd. (E-W). Continue on Telkwa.

1605.5 – Jct. Babine Lake Road (E-W). Use for 100 feet to remain on Telkwa High Road.

1608.3 – Jct. Telkwa High Road and BC-16 on north side of town of Telkwa.

1608.5 – Jct. BC-16 and Riverside St at Eddy Park (short riverside walk). Route from here continues S on Riverside beside Bulkley River and then crossing it as road name changes to Telkwa Coalmine Rd or N on BC-16.

1609.2 – Jct. Birch St. and Telkwa Coalmine Rd. Route from here continues south on Birch St. which becomes Lawson Road after 0.4mi. From here north route follows Telkwa Coalmine Road, crossing tracks then the bridge over Bulkley River then staying left beside the river on Riverside St.

1609.6 – Birch St. to N / Lawson Rd. to S. Name change, continue straight.

1629.8 – Road name change: Lawson Rd. to N / Walcott Forest Service Rd. to S, continue paralleling Bulkley River.

1631.7 – Road name change: Morice Telkwa Forest Service Rd to S / Walcott Forest Service Rd. to N. Continue in general N-S direction paralleling Bulkley River.

1639.3 – Where Morice Gold Forest Service Road intersects from the West, continue straight. Road Name Change: Morice Telkwa Forest Service Rd to N / Walcott Forest Service Rd. to S. In southward direction road soon crosses Morice River.

1639.7 – Triangular Intersection. Route goes North following Walcott Forest Service Rd over bridge over Morice River. In the other direction route goes East and Northeast following N Road.

1642.1 – Overpass of Trans-Canada Highway, railroad tracks, and Bulkley River, east of which N road bends southward at N Road on-ramp from Trans-Canada Highway. Continue on N Road, SE in one direction, SW in the other. In the compass eastward direction N Road follows an old railroad grade.

1651.6 – Intersection of N Road with Summit Lake E Road. Trail route follows Summit Lake E Road to ESE. In the other direction, trail follows N Road toward the west, following an old railroad grade.

1652.8 – Intersection of Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway/BC-16 with Summit Lake E Road. Westbound trail leaves BC-16 and bears right to continue westward on Summit Lake E Road. Eastbound the trail leaves Summit Lake E Road, turns left onto BC-16 and continues eastward.

1663.2 – Village of Topley, continue on BC-16. Grizzly Jim’s Country Grill Restaurant, (seasonal) Facebook Page:

1683.2 – Rest Area. Continue on BC-16 Trans-Canada Highway.

1694.0 – Burns Lake Public Library, Just south of Jct. of Government St. with BC-16, by Husky Gas Station. Many services in town of Burns Lake. Southward from the Husky Station follow Government St., North out of town follow BC-16, Trans-Canada Highway.

1694.2 – Continue as Road makes right angle turn and changes name. From this point, the N-S road is Government St.. E-W road is called 3 Avenue.

1694.3 – Intersection of 3 Avenue and BC-16. Trail route follows 3 Avenue west then north in one direction and BC-16 southeastward past many services in the other.

1694.9 – Junction west end of Richmond Loop with BC-16. Trail route heading east turns right onto Richmond Loop. Heading west trail leaves Richmond Loop and turns left onto BC-16 to pass many services in the town of Burns Lake.

1695.7 – Junction east end of Richmond Loop with BC-16. Trail route heading east turns right onto BC-16, Trans-Canada Hwy. Trail route heading west turns left onto Richmond Loop.

1696.5 – Intersection of BC-16 and Kelway Road. Trail route bound southeast turns left onto Kelway Road. Route headed northwestward turns right onto BC-16 toward the town of Burns Lake.

1698.5 – At intersection where Freeport Road exits southward, continue straight. Road changes name. Eastward it is Tintagel Road. Westward it is Kelway Road.

1702.9 – Intersection of Tintagel Road with BC-16 Trans-Canada Highway. Trail route headed eastward turns left onto BC-16. Route headed westward turns right onto Tintagel Road, heading north briefly before road curves westward.

1712.1 – Sheraton Rest Area. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1723.9 – Savory Rest Area. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1728.4 – Intersection with Chowsunket St., Village of Fraser Lake with services. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1735.4 – Drywilliam Lake Rest Area. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1738.6 – Beaumont Provincial Park (campground and beach). Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1760.1 – Intersection with BC-27, Truck Weigh Station. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1764.6 – Town of Vanderhoof, services. Continue straight on BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway.

1823.9 – Intersection of Yellowhead Hwy./BC-16 with Ferry Ave., Prince George, BC. Trail route eastward turns right onto Ferry Road. Westward the trail route turns onto BC-16 and follows it for a considerable distance.

1824.6 – On ramp/off ramp for southbound lanes of Cariboo Hwy./BC-97. Hikers going both directions should use the southbound lanes to cross the Fraser River Bridge (the older bridge of the two spans) because it has walkways secured from traffic by curbs. Westbound trail leaves the ramp and turns right onto Yellowhead Highway/BC-16. Eastbound trail turns left onto the ramp, loops around onto southbound lanes of BC-97 and crosses Fraser River.

1825.3 – Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 at south trailhead of L.C. Gunn Trail. Eastbound route leaves highway and enters woods on L.C. Gunn Trail. Westbound route crosses BC-97 with care, turns left to cross Fraser River on the older bridge span, the southbound traffic lanes, of the Simon Fraser Bridge. Across the bridge bear left onto the ramp and follow it down to Ferry Avenue by the river.

1827.6 – Junction L.C. Gunn hiking/mountain bike trail with Yellowhead Highway/BC-16. Eastbound trail route leaves L.C. Gunn Trail at south end of bridge and turns right to follow BC-16. Westbound trail turns left off left shoulder of highway BC-16 and plunges into woods on L.C. Gunn Trail just before the point where Jersey Wall barrier ends at south end of the bridge over the Fraser River.

1829.0 – Intersection of BC-16/Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway with old Cariboo Highway/BC-97A. Westbound route turns left onto BC-16. Eastbound trail turns right onto old Cariboo Highway and proceeds southward 0.7 miles to the next turn.

1829.7 – Intersection of Old Cariboo Highway/BC-97A with Giscome Road. Trail route westbound turns right onto BC-97A. Trail route eastbound turns left onto Giscome Road.

1837.5 – Intersection Giscome Road and BC-16 Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway. Trail route westbound turns left onto Giscome Road. Route eastbound turns right onto BC-16.

1837.9 – Intersection of BC-16/Yellowhead Highway/Trans-Canada Highway with Upper Fraser Road. Trail route eastbound turns left onto Upper Fraser Road. Route west bound turns right onto Trans-Canada Highway and will generally follow it westward across the heart of British Columbia.

1847.7 – “T” Intersection near bridge over Willow River and the town of Willow River. Trail route makes right turn eastbound, left turn westbound, to stay on Upper Fraser Road. Willow River Town center, with General Store is 0.4 miles northwest of the intersection up Portage Road.

1850.5 – Right angle bend in Upper Fraser Road where Bateman Creek Forest Service Road exits eastward. Westbound trail route bears right at the T intersection to remain on Upper Fraser Road, Eastbound route follows Upper Fraser Road as it bears left, turning northward, while Bateman Creek Forest Service Road continues straight.

1853.8 – Harold Mann Regional Park parking area beside Eaglet Lake. Eastbound trail leaves Upper Fraser Road briefly to follow park trail beside lake. Westbound returns to Upper Fraser Road, turning left to resume walk on Upper Fraser Road.

1854.1 – 26385 Upper Fraser Road, across from private drive to Wild Valley Farm: Trail route eastbound leaves Harold Mann Regional Park lakeside trail and bears right to continue on Upper Fraser Road. Westbound, leave highway to follow short trail along lake shore through Harold Mann Regional Park.

1874.3 – “T” Intersection just west of Railroad Track crossing. Trail route Eastbound turns left to remain on Upper Fraser Road, here also called McGregor Rd., while Bowron Forest Service Road continues straight. Continue to follow Upper Fraser Road across Bridge over Upper Frazer River. Westbound route turns right just after crossing tracks to remain on Upper Fraser Road.

1875.7 – Acute “Y” intersection 500 feet east of East side of Bridge over Upper Fraser River. Eastbound trail route turns sharp right onto Church Forest Service Road. Westbound route turns sharp left onto Upper Fraser River Road and proceeds across Frazer River on bridge.

1876.0 – “Y” intersection. Westbound trail bears slight right as road changes name from Longworth Road to Church Forest Service Road. Eastbound Trail bears slightly left leaving Church Forest Service Road as name changes to Longworth Road.

1876.4 – “T” intersection. Westbound trail turns left at end of Pass Lake Forest Service Road onto Longworth Road and crosses over small stream with secondary parallel ‘River Road’ beside it. Eastbound trail route turns left leaving Longworth Road and turning north-northeast onto Pass Lake Forest Service Road.

1884.6 – Intersection with N-S woods road at somewhat oblique angle. Continue through intersection on Pass Lake Forest Service Road, Westbound course of the road bears slightly right after the intersection, Eastbound the road continues straight toward the Northeast.

1895.7 – Very acute ‘Y’ Intersection. Westbound traffic continues nearly straight ahead to remain on Pass Lake Forest Service Road. Eastbound route keeps left to stay on Pass Lake Forest Service Road where Torpy Forest Service Road bears off slightly to the right.

1905.7 – Angled ‘T’ Intersection. Traveling eastbound bear right onto Sande Forest Service Road (also called McGregor Sande Road) while Pass Lake Road continues straight and soon crosses McGregor River. Westbound route bears left leaving the McGregor River valley and heading Southwestward on Pass Lake Road, which will run southward on the west side of Pass Lake with beautiful views of Fang Mountain beyond.

1911.3 – Kittil Falls Recreation Site. Continue on Sande/McGregor Forest Service Road, but be sure to take the side trip a few hundred meters to see the falls. Camping. Web site:

1931.4 – ‘T’ Intersection. Eastbound route comes to the end of Sande/McGregor Forest Service Road and turns left to continue northward on Walker Creek Forest Service Road. Westbound trail turns Right, leaving Walker Creek Forest Service Road, which continues straight ahead, and turns onto Sande/McGregor Forest Service Road to continue down the McGregor River valley.

1957.4 – Trailhead at Northern Terminus of Great Divide Trail. GPS coordinates 53°50'48.4"N 120°25'05.6"W / 53.846766, -120.418227 – Immediately east of bridge over tributary to McGregor River. Eastbound becomes southbound eventually as trail continues to follow the old road, washed out in places, up the McGregor River. Westbound the trail picks up Walker Creek Forest Service Road and follows it generally southward and then westward.

Next Segment: Montana

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