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Antler Creek – Denali Alaska
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Overview
Location

Healy, Alaska

Sights

Mt. Healy, Alaska Range Mountains, wildlife, wild flowers

Distance

About 3 miles to the Bison Gulch Fork trail. 6 miles round trip. If you hike to Mt. Healy from this point it is another 1.2 miles making the entire hike from top to bottom 8.4 miles.

Parking Lot Elevation

1764 ft

Summit Elevation

4469ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

2705 ft

Time Required

3-5 hours. If you plan to hike to Mt. Healy from Antler Creek, add on 3-4 more hours depending on your skill and group size.

Pets

Allowed

Fees

None

Water Info

Bring 3 liters of water

Best Season

Summer, fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

No real shade

Trail Condition

Very sporadic dirt trail

Restrooms

None

Visitor Center

N/A

Camping

Allowed

Food

Bring meals and snacks as needed

Equipment

Bring very sturdy hiking boots, backpack for food and water, rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, hiking poles are recommended.

GPS Coordinates:

Antler Creek Trailhead: 63°49’15.42″N,148°59’12.07″W
Rocky Terraces: 63°48’27.91″N, 149° 1’36.79″W
Bison Gulch and Antler Creek Fork: 63°47’44.19″N, 149° 0’37.50″W

Trail Map


Driving Directions


The Trail:

Note: If you plan to hike up Antler Creek to Mt. Healy, this trail is much longer than the route from Bison Gulch.

Antler Creek is one of the many ways you can climb to the top of Mt. Healy.  It is steep and the trail often disappears but if you are creative and committed you can make your own trail to the top.  Or you can simply hike up as far as you want, get incredible views of the Healy area and  surrounding mountains then come back down.

The trailhead can begin at the Antler Creek bridge which doesn’t really have too much parking. Or you can easily park on the south side of the Denali RV Park and Motel property.  You will see this sign at the parking lot.

Antler Creek

The trail winds around for about 1/4 mile until you come to the beginning of the Antler Creek ridge line.Antler Creek

The picture below is looking up the ridge line, which is where you will need to hike.  The trail isn’t as clear as others in the area but I thought it was more fun making up my own trail at times – that is why I say you will need to use some creativity.  Just make sure as you hike up, you look ahead about 1/2 mile to plan your hiking route.

Antler Creek

The trail is very steep at times.  Just go at a nice slow pace and you wont wear yourself out.  Enjoy the views!Antler Creek

Do you see the trail?  Neither do I.  But this is where the “trail” will lead you.  Just keep going up!Antler Creek

Lots of pretty flowers all over.

Looking back towards Otto Lake and the town of Healy.

Looking back towards Otto Lake and the town of Healy.

Before you come to the very top of the ridge line you will see multiple trails that go in all directions.  This is where you must decide which direction you want to go.  If you want to continue hiking up to Mt. Healy then you must follow the trails to the south but staying on the ridge line or hike straight up to the top.  You can hike north a little ways for an incredible overlook of Otto Lake and the town of Healy. It depends on you.  But for the sake of this Trek I will continue going up Antler Creek until it meets up with the Bison Gulch Trail to Mt. Healy.
Antler Creek

Follow the ridge line until you come to the top!

Follow the ridge line until you come to the top!

Almost at eye level with the bottoms of the clouds.Antler Creek

I lost the trail a few times so I hiked to the very top of the ridge line which is about 1.5 mile from the bottom, planned my next route and then stuck to it.  I passed by a very huge field of rocky terraces with lots of wildflowers and mushrooms.Antler Creek

Antler Creek

From here it is about another 1.4 miles until you meet up with the Bison Gulch trail.  It is a looooooong way down!
Antler Creek

Once I met up with the Bison Gulch Trail I kept hiking a little ways so I could follow a heard of mountain goats.  The goats were really cool to see as they roam all over these mountains and I had the off chance of catching them on the same trail I was on.

After I watched the goats for a few minutes I hiked back down the Bison Gulch Trail and went back to my car.

Antler Creek

Antler Creek

If you continue to hike up to Mt. Healy, keep following the ridge.  It is about another 1.2 miles to the top.

Mt. Healy

Mt. Healy

The Return:

Head back towards your car.

Personal Thoughts:

Antler Creek was pretty cool but I doubt I would hike to the top of Mt. Healy from this way again.  It is longer and more steep but it was still fun to do.  I did see several other hikers who were coming down but overall I don’t think too many people hike this trail.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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User Rating
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Difficulty
6.0
Technicality
5.5
Enjoyment
7.7
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

8.2
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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