5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Johnson Pass trail is an old wagon road that, over the years, has narrowed down into a stunningly-beautiful singletrack trail.
This 23-mile point-to-point route is one of the easiest, most accessible backcountry routes in the Kenai Peninsula.
Thanks to its origins as a wagon road, the trail is mostly smooth and non-technical throughout its length, and it doesn't gain an arduous amount of elevation.
Both ends of the trail are also easily accessible from a major paved highway, which makes accessing the trail and setting up a self-shuttle a cinch. In the winter time, the trail is open to snowmobiles, which pack in the route and make this remote pass accessible to other users as well.
The trail usually gets packed in sometime in December and is accessible through the rest of the winter. During the winter, the access points to the trail vary slightly from what's shown on the map.
[According to the USFS](https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/chugach/recarea/?recid=16810), "access from the north [is via] Johnson Pass Wagon Road on the west side of trailhead parking area," and "access from the south is via winter trail, 1 mile upriver from railroad trestle at far end of Upper Trail Lake." The southern access point differs most from this map, and might vary from year-to-year depending on where the trail gets beaten in.
Presumably, the "winter trail" crosses Upper Trail Lake to reach the summer singletrack route, where it heads north of the lake and begins to travel into the mountain range. Sources: [Alaska.org](https://www.alaska.org/detail/guide-to-backpacking-and-biking-the-johnson-pass-trail) [FS.USDA.gov](https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/chugach/recarea/?recid=16810)