The National Historic Iditarod Trail is a 24-mile trek used by gold miners and sled-dog teams until 1918, when the Alaska Railroad was finished. It’s a two- to three-day hike through superb mountain scenery to Girdwood (where it's known as the Crow Pass Trail), and is the region’s best backpack adventure.

Pitch a tent at Rapids Camp or Echo Bend (Mile 3), or rent one of two yurts ($65 per night) close by. For a shorter outing you can turn around at the Perch, a very large rock in the middle of wonderland, then backtrack to the Dew Mound Trail at Echo Bend and loop back to the Nature Center, making this a scenic 8-mile trip.