Table Top Mountain Loop Trail
Easily one of the most scenic drives in the Interior, the trip out to Table Top Mountain Trail from Fairbanks winds deep into the center of White Mountains National Recreation Area, rising up hillsides and dipping down into valleys for a rolling picture show of spruce forest and snaking riverbeds.
The hike to Table Top Mountain is just as spectacular, providing panoramic views of the White Mountains from the center of the range, and is a short “must do” jaunt if you’re spending any time in the area. The trail requires a steady climb of about a thousand feet. At the top, hikers can explore two summits for wide, expansive views of the White Mountains and the Alaska Range on a clear day.
Restroom facilities are available at mile 57.4 on the Steese Highway (at the turnoff for U.S. Creek Road), where there is are interpretive signs and a gravel road to Davidson Ditch, a predecessor of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System that once transported water to gold dredges for use in mining. It was Alaska’s first pipeline project.
The Table Top Mountain Trail climbs above tree line and passes through a regenerating spruce forest from prior forest fires. The trail tops a large mesa-shaped mountain with a view of the White Mountains before descending back through spruce and birch to the Nome Creek Road.
Travel north of Fairbanks, Alaska on the Steese Highway. Turn left onto the U.S. Creek Road at the Steese Highway mile post 57. Travel the U.S. Creek Road to the Nome Creek Road and proceed left at the road junction after the Nome Creek Bridge. Travel approximately 8 miles to the Table Top Mountain Trail.