Destination Hiking US

Harbor Mountain Shelter Trail

Harbor Mountain Shelter Trail

Length: (one way) 0.1 mile
One Way Trip Time: 5 minutes
Trail Begins: Harbor Mountain Road, near top.
Trail Ends: Harbor Mountain picnic area.
Trail Rating: Easy. Short, planked trail.
Recommended Season: All year
USGS Maps: Sitka A-5
Elevation Gain: 50 feet

Access: Go approximately 4 miles northwest of Sitka along Halibut Point Road and turn right onto Harbor Mountain Road. About 4.5 miles up this gravel road is a pull-out parking area on the right, where the trail begins. Harbor-Mountain Road is steep with sharp switchbacks; recreational vehicles and vehicles pulling trailers should not attempt the drive.

History: Harbor Mountain Road was built during World War II to provide access to build a lookout and other military installations at the top of the mountain.

Special Features: This is the only sub-alpine area in southeastern Alaska that is accessible by road. From the short trail and picnic area there are wonderful vistas of Sitka Sound, Sitka, Mt. Edgecumbe, and numerous other mountains and islands. There are five rather secluded picnic sites near the end of the trail, each with a fire grill, picnic table and a beautiful view.

Description: This short planked trail goes northwest from the parking area to covered picnic shelter. The trail crosses a very fragile subalpine meadow and streamlet. Several trails radiate from the shelter and lead to picnic sites.

During the winter the Sitka Snowmobilers Club puts walls on the shelter to create a warming hut, which is open for public use. This entire alpine area is good for cross-country skiing in the winter. Snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles are permitted when there is a foot or more of snow protecting the vegetation and ground surface.

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