Brown bear encounter prompts partial closure of Crow Pass Trail

Mike Dunham

A three-mile stretch of Crow Pass Trail has been closed to hikers after a "brown bear charging incident" over the weekend.

The superintendent of Chugach State Park said information remained sketchy Monday, but he understood that a hiker reported being approached by a bear. "That was reported first," he said. "Later some people reported that there was a brown bear on a carcass" in the same area, about 7 miles from the north trail head. Other hikers in the area at the same time did not report seeing it, Harrison said.

The popular hiking trail goes through the park from the Crow Creek Trail Head near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center. The state Department of Natural Resources gives the total distance as 21 miles; other sources say it is 24 or 26 miles. It is part of the historic Iditarod Trail system.

Hikers can still use the trail from either trail head, but only to a point, Harrison said. They cannot continue past the closures, meaning they are not allowed to make the traverse between the two trail heads. The section closed is from Icy Creek, which Harrison described as about 5 1/2 miles from the Eagle River Nature Center, and Twin Falls, 3 miles farther.

Harrison did not know when the closed section might reopen. "We'll give it a couple of days then go back and reassess," he said.

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.