White Mountains National Recreation Area

Trails

Some say 'real Alaska' only begins when you leave the road system behind. Whatever the season, the White Mountains National Recreation Area has trails to lead you there, whether you're a weekend berrypicker or an intrepid backcountry adventurer.

Check the trail conditions update on this web site for current information on White Mountains trails.

Multi-Use Trails

Expect to see other users on the trails. The White Mountains National Recreation Area is managed as a multiple-use trail system. That means that a wide variety of uses can occur on the same trails, from snowmobiling to mountain biking to dog mushing. You can help everyone enjoy their time in the White Mountains by following the suggestions for proper trail etiquette on the Know Before You Go page.

Summer Use

BLM maintains several developed trails that are popular in the summer and fall.

The 16.5-mile Quartz Creek Trail crosses alpine tundra hillsides and spruce-forested valleys, passes rocky granite tors and crosses cold mountain streams. Popular with both hikers and 4-wheelers, this trail marks the boundary of the area closed to motorized use.

Hiker on Table Top Mountain Trail
Table Top Mountain Trail

For hiking and other non-motorized use, try the Summit Trail, which follows a ridge from the Elliott Highway all the way to Beaver Creek. A trail shelter 8 miles from the trailhead is available for overnight use on a first come-first served basis. A popular day hike is the 3-mile Table Top Mountain loop trail in Nome Creek Valley.

Some White Mountains trails are impassable in summer due to wet, muddy conditions or difficult stream and lake crossings. Please contact our office for further information on summer use of specific trails. You may also wish to visit our Off-Highway Vehicle Management page.

Winter Use

Snowmobiler stops at a trail junction to read a wooden sign
Trails are marked with signs and tripods.
Winter is a magical time to visit the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Reaching the heart of the White Mountains becomes much easier this time of year, once creeks, rivers, and bogs freeze. The mosquitoes are gone, too, replaced by northern lights and pristine snow. And in winter, BLM's more than 220 miles of groomed trails provide access to the entire system of public recreation cabins, making possible multi-day trips where you spend each night in a different cabin.

Additional information on specific trails is available by calling or visiting our office.