Gold Cord Lake is a 1.5 mile round trip hike with beautiful views. It is a perfect easy hike for your family located in the stunning mountains of Hatcher Pass. For it’s views alone it is well worth the cost of entry, and it will be a trail that has your family coming back for more.
Gold Cord Lake YouTube Video
Gold Cord Lake has some beautiful views and is almost impossible to describe in written word. So we wanted to be sure we could video it for you so that you can see it for yourself! Please note that even with this video, it doesn’t do it justice! You absolutely have to check this trail out for yourself.
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Gold Cord Lake Trail
At 1.5 miles, Gold Cord Lake Trail starts out relatively easy. It is a gravel packed, single person trail that snakes through a field at a very gradual incline. This part of the trail is definitely easy for kids of all ages. About halfway through the trail, you come to a boulder field and the true ascent begins. The trail is also harder to pick out and it is best to keep a close eye on the kids since there are some drop offs. That being said, we were completely comfortable taking our kids on this hike and will do so again.
The biggest reason we don’t often hike Gold Cord Lake Trail is because it does cost. In Alaska there are very few trails that aren’t covered by an inexpensive State or Borough Park pass or are completely free – so for our family it’s always seemed kinda odd to pay for a trail that does cost a small amount. That said, after enjoying the gorgeous views, I can say that paying to complete this trail at least once is well worth it.
It should also be noted that it is possible to park in the lower parking lot below the Independence Mine gate and avoid the fee by walking a longer distance. Since we have younger kids, this did not seem like the wisest idea for us, so we chose to pay and park up in the Independence Mine parking lot.
Gold Cord Lake Features
Besides the beautiful views, you will enjoy the beautiful tarn (or small mountain lake) at the top. Our kids loved playing along the edge of it and we enjoyed a picnic at the top. Be prepared for winds, however, so bring those wind breakers!
Halfway up the trail, right as the real ascent up the hill begins, there is also an old cabin. Our kids loved seeing the rustic shack and identifying items left behind.
All in all, Gold Cord Lake Trail is an awesome trail for families and one that we highly recommend. We’d love to hear if you have completed this trail and what your favorite part is!