Total Distance: 9 km
Return Time: 2.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 465 m
Traditional Territory: CIA
A great coastal forest hike in the Haines (Alaska) area, with a rewarding 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, as well as views down the Chilkoot and Chilkat inlets.
There are several routes up Mount Riley, here we describe the route from the Mud Bay Road side. The route from this side is shorter and more direct (8.8 km return) versus the longer, Beach Road/Battery Point access (12.8 km). Also note, since the Beach Road/Battery Point side is north facing there can be snow along the trail later into the spring.
From Main Street in Haines, head south on Third Avenue, which becomes the Mud Bay Road. After about 1 km turn right on the road posted for Chilkat State Park. Follow this road for 4 km until you reach a large parking area on the right and the trailhead for the Mount Riley Trail (which is on the other side of the road).
From the parking area, cross the street to get to the trailhead (marked by a sign). It starts out as as very gradual hike up before starting into the switchbacks.
There is a junciton after the 1.1 mile trail mark. Keep right, the left trail drops down to Lily Lake.
After a little more elevation gain, you reach a wet subalpine meadow and another trail junction. This is where you meet the trail from the Battery Point side. Turn right to continue to the Mount Riley Summit, it is only another 300 m distance.
Closer to the summit you'll notice a trail on the right which leads up from the Mud Bay Road side. Keep left to get to the summit. From the summit you'll enjoy views north up the Chilkat River Valley, Chilkoot Inlet, and Haines. To the southwest are the mountains and glaciers towards the Davidson Glacier. Return the way you came.