Tips and Special Features
This is the easiest unit to access on the south side of the Alaska Range without flying; however, you cannot use the bus system to immediately access it. Cross-country travel in this area can be very difficult. The vegetation on the south side of the Alaska Range is thick and the Windy Creek drainages have fewer braids so river crossings can be challenging.
Foggy Pass is a low divide between Cantwell Creek (Unit 17) and Windy Creek. Travel across it is not technically difficult, but it will be slow due to areas of wet, tussock tundra and patches of thick brush. Better routes can be found following animal trails on the hillsides at the southern edge of the pass rather than right through the middle. The route into Riley Creek (Unit 2) is across a wide divide that feels more like a valley than a pass. The pass itself offers great camping, but its north side is very brushy. The pass system into the Sanctuary River (Unit 5) is much steeper and more difficult. It is a longer climb and there are sections of steep scree on the Windy Creek side, but it is mostly tundra on the slopes leading into the Sanctuary River drainage.
Windy Creek can be either the beginning or the end of a long trip along the Denali Fault on the south side of the Alaska Range. For a full traverse, it is best to have 8 or more days. For more information on this north-side traverse read the descriptions in Unit 17 and 23.
Last updated: April 14, 2015