Thompson Pass


  • Location: 61 ° 7' 43" N, 145 ° 43' 47" W
  • Borough: Valdez
  • Topo Maps: Now in tabbed section further down page
  • Elevation: 2,678 ft / 816 m
  • Mountains: Odessey,
  • Description

    Thompson Pass is an alpine pass through the Chugach Mountain between Glennallen and Valdez. Richardson Highway runs directly through the middle of the pass. The pass can be nerve racking to drive through in the right conditions at anytime of year. Spring through fall the pass can fill with thick clouds where driving visibility is only a few feet in front of your vehicle. In winter blizzards can hit the pass with the same level of visibility and heavy snow accumulation. DOT does a good job of keeping the highway open through the pass but it is possible for it to be closed for a time.

    But when the visibility is great Thompson Pass is a playground at any time of year. Worthington Glacier is the largest summer attraction for those stopping in the pass. But the alpine surrounding the pass allows for limitless exploration and stunning views.

    In winter people travel from around the world to ski, snowboard and snowmachine (snowmobile) Thompson Pass. The snow depth and quality is often par to qualify as some of the best on the planet.


    Thompson Pass host a number of events. One of the largest is Tailgate Alaska, others include Chugach Fat Bike Bash, Snowkite Festival, and the Mountain Man Hillclimb.

  • Getting There

    From Valdez drive 26 miles out the Richardson Highway. From Fairbanks drive about 334 miles south on the Richardson Highway. From Anchorage take the Glenn Highway until it T's with the Richardson Highway and drive about 90 miles south on the Richardson Highway.

  • History

    Naming: Named in 1898 by Captain Abercrombie, "in compliment to Hon Frank Thomson, of Pennsylvania." He spells the name "Thompson" on his map and it stuck, and stayed.

  • Topo Maps
  • Lifeforms

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Pictures of, from, or near Thompson Pass.