This loop travels along either side of Savage River as it carves a canyon between Mount Margaret, to the west, and Healy Ridge, to the east. The trail goes nearly 1 mile before crossing the river with a bridge, and returning to the same parking area. The trail stays near the river most of the time, with only a few areas where it rises a few dozen feet higher than the river level.
Hiking off-trail in this area is generally permitted, but hikers should be careful of wildlife encounters and falls. The sides of the canyon are not sheer, but they can be steep, with uncertain footing, and people have been injured or died in falls when hiking off-trail here.
The area is very windy, so dress accordingly. The weather can also be quite different than the park entrance, so prepare for rain and hope for a sunny day!
Without a car (recommended): In summer (mid-May to mid-September), use the free Savage River Shuttle to travel from the park entrance to Savage River. Pay close attention to the schedule to ensure you can use the bus to return to the park entrance after you finish hiking. The shuttle is highly recommended as available parking is extremely limited in summer.With a vehicle: Drive 15 miles along the Denali Park Road, from the entrance to Savage River. Limited parking is available for cars, but frequently fills up in summer. The trail is a loop, so you'll return to the parking area when you're done. The road is open in summer and when conditions allow in spring and fall (so, generally from mid-April to early October, though closures can occur if snow accumulates in spring or fall).
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Last updated: March 21, 2022