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Alaska – Tonsina Point Hike

Tonsina point hike in Seward, Alaska

The Tonsina Point Hike, just south of Seward is a delightful little hike to uninhabited points of Alaska. The hike leads to a secluded black sand beach. Beyond the Tonsina Point Hike, you can reach Caines Head State Recreation Area. Highly recommend this hike on it's own, but it truly epic at low tide.

Discovery

Before our trip, I had been in contact with Adventure 60 North about things to do in the area as they are one of the very few tour/adventure companies that stays open during the winter. I think I had originally asked about renting snowshoes, but due to the mild winter of 2016, it was not good conditions to try snowshoeing. We decided to stop by and man am I glad we did! Their staff is super knowledgeable about the area and hiking trails. We were told about a trail not too far from our hotel, called the Tonsina Point Hike and we decided to take a look.

Tonsina Point Hike

The trail head begins at the end of the road in Lowell Point and follows the coast line to Tonsina Point. From Tonsina Point, you can continue hiking to Caine’s Head Recreation Area and on. The trail itself was well-maintained with small wood boxes covering the muddy areas. There was very little snow on the ground and well-marked. You are in the thick of the trees for most of the time, but every now and the, you can peak at ocean crashing into the cliffs.

At a Glance:

  • Rating: 4 Stars, would absolutely do it again
  • Intensity: Hiking gear – check conditions before you head out
  • Duration: 2+ hours, depending on how far you go
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Seward
  • Restrooms: Nature-pee

Highlights:

  • Incredible views of Resection Bay
  • Fresh evergreen air
  • Not too strenuous
  • Choose your own adventure in terms of length of hiking

Recommended for this hike:

  • Go at low tide
  • Hiking shoes/gear
  • Snacks and Water
  • Bear spray

It was a gorgeous sunny day, so we passed quite a few people on the trail. I didn’t notice it much on the way in or even at Tonsina Point, but had to maneuver around people with dogs a number of times on the way out. This made me think it was a local’s hiking trail and people were out enjoying the sunshine.

Low Tide

Miraculously, and unintentionally, timed our hike with low tide. When we reached Tonsina Point, there was a grassland type area and then grayish-black sandy beach for many yards. We walked all the way out to the water and I felt like we were in the middle of Resurrection Bay. The mountains on the other side felt like they were only a few yards away. The low tide left still pools of water on the beach. We took pictures of the mountains from across the bay reflecting into the pools. These pictures are some of my favorite images that I have ever taken.

We meandered around the beach and then decided to head back to our hotel, rather than continue to Caine's Head. Overall, this was a great hike along the coast and I am super happy we did it. Thanks again to Adventure 60 North for the suggestion! The views were not drastically different than at Lowell Point, but if timed with the tide, it can be magical.

Happy Travels,

Hanna



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