Information About

Thompson Pass

Quick Facts

Open in The Map Thompson Pass on The Map


61 ° 7' 43" N,
145 ° 43' 47" W



Nearest City



2678 ft (816.25 m)


Biking, Camping, Climbing, Day Hiking, Hiking, Kite Boarding, Kite Skiing, Mountain Biking, Paragliding, Rock Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmachining, Walking About

Thompson Pass in Detail.

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.


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.


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.

Thompson Pass Gallery

Pictures of, from, or near Thompson Pass.

Places Near Thompson Pass

101 Wall, Blueberry Block, Republic of Boulder, The Sunny Side,


Dutch Flat,


Bench Glacier, Deserted Glacier, Don Glacier, DOT Glacier, Heiden Glacier, Keystone Glacier, Marshall Glacier, Scorpion Glacier, Tasnuna Glacier, The Beach, Tonsina Glacier, Tsina Glacier, Twentyseven Mile Glacier, Worthington Glacier, Wortmanns Glacier,


Angel, Bridal Veil Falls (Ice Climb), Cidersicle, Fang Gully, Flying Cloud, Foolagain, Glass Onion, Greensteps, Hanging Tree Left, Hanging Tree Right, Horsetail Falls (Ice Climb), Hung Jury, Mud Slide, Oil Slick, Popsicle Pillar, POS, Simple Twist of Fate, Spring Loaded, The Bight,


Blueberry Lake, Thompson Lake, Trap Lake, Worthington Lake,


19 Mile Wall, Bald Boy, Bro Bowl, Catchers Mitt, Cracked Ice, DOT Face, Fracture Canyon, Girls, Heavenly, Heiden View Face, Little Girls, Little Odyssey, Loveland Basin, Mega Sumo, Moonlight Basin, Nick's Happy Valley, North Odyssey, Python, RFS, Road Run, School Bus, Skate Park, Snatch, Stairway, Valley of the Tusk, Vertigo,


Girls Mountain, The Island, Odessey,


Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site,

Mountain Passes:

Ptarmigan Drop, Thompson Pass,


Acapulco, Berlin Wall, Bronto, Cracked Ice, F-Top, Goodwills, Halibut Head, Ivory Tusk, Little Matterhorn, Loveland Peak, Python, Repeater Peak, RFS, Rhinestone Cowgirl, Sapphire, Stairway, Stone Mountain, The Tusk, Tones Temple, Twentyseven Mile Peak, Whistlers Mother,


Sushi Bar, The Books,


Bear Creek, Bench Creek, Browns Creek, Cascade Creek, Glacier Creek, Heiden Creek, Ptarmigan Creek, Sheep Creek, Small Creek, Wortmanns Creek,


Browns Creek Trail, DOT Glacier Trail, Little Odessey Trail, Pack Trail of 1899, Thompson Pass Pipeline Access Road, Trans-Alaska Trail - Valdez to Thompson Pass, Worthington Glacier Ridge Trail,


Browns Basin, Heiden Canyon, Keystone Canyon, Snowslide Gulch,


Ptarmigan, Wortmanns,


Bridal Veil Falls, Horsetail Falls, Rudleston Falls,

Related Articles
Snowboarding Thompson Pass
Snowboarding Thompson Pass

Life's to short to put off seeing the world. Year after year had gone by and the stories of all the snow and terrain Alaska had to offer only built up. It was time to check it out and experience it for myself. I'd booked my flight and I was on my way to one of the snowiest places in North American. We were Alaska bound departing from the Pacific Northwest.

Something for Everyone on the Valdez Pack Trail of 1899
Something for Everyone on the Valdez Pack Trail of 1899

The Valdez Trail of 1899 is a gem, but I only rarely see other people on it. It takes you through a series of different ecosystems from mossy forest to alpine tundra. The trail is generally kept in very good shape, with just one real muddy spot towards the southern end. It also has historic significance. It follows the pack trail the Army Corps of Engineers built between 1899 and 1901 between the ocean and the interior. There are four trailheads along the Richardson Highway: at 12 mile, 14 mile, 20 mile, and 26 mile, giving hikers a range of options. Technically, the southern end is the “Pack Trail of 1899” and the northern end is the “Wagon Road of 1898,” but it all feels like one trail to me.