3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Skookum Volcano Trail is a "short but steep trail to a high pass with outstanding views of the surrounding area," according to [TrailheadTraveler.com](https://trailheadtraveler.com/6-best-day-hikes-in-wrangell-st-elias-national-park-preserve/).
The hike begins by following a creek up a low valley as it approaches the big mountains.
The trail crosses the creek many, many times, guaranteeing that you'll get wet feet.
Early in the year, the creek can become a torrent with icy snowmelt and can prove dangerous--exercise caution.
The NPS [notes](https://www.nps.gov/wrst/planyourvisit/upload/Skookum-Volcano-Trail.pdf) that the hike provides access to "wildlife, spectacular scenery, alpine plants, [and] volcanic geology.
This trail leads through an extinct, deeply eroded volcanic system and provides an opportunity to examine picturesque volcanic geology.
Erosion has exposed dramatic examples of rhyolite and dacite domes, andesite lava flows, vents, and many erosion-resistant dikes." The trail isn't always well-marked, and due to the many creek crossings, it can often be washed out.
Sometimes there are cairns marking the route, but other times the cairns may have been washed out, too.
Like all hikes in Alaska, even despite this trail's relatively short length, this is still a true backcountry excursion!