Most of this primitive trail lies within the Petersburg Creek – Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness. The trail begins at Petersburg Lake and circles Portage Mountain to the Salt Chuck East Cabin.Length (one way): 10.2 miles
Rating: More Difficult
USGS Map: Petersburg D-4
Access: You can reach the eastern trailhead via boat or floatplane to the Salt Chuck East Cabin. The western trailhead is at the end of the Petersburg Lake Trail, approximately 10 miles from the Kupreanof state dock. (See Petersburg Lake Trail listing.) You can hike the trail or take a floatplane to the lake.
Description: The trail is marked with blue diamond trail markers. Because it receives little use, the trail is not frequently brushed and may be difficult to follow. From the Petersburg Lake Cabin, follow the trail to the north end of the lake. The next section leads you through areas of sedge-type muskeg and fringes of heavy timber. Continuing north, the trail crosses more muskeg and numerous streams. Beaver activity has flooded sections of the trail and it is necessary to skirt these areas until you tie back in with the trail markers.
The trail continues to the tidal flat of Goose Cove at the southeast end of Portage Bay where there is a large red and white diamond trailhead marker. Continue west across the tide flat to another diamond trail marker, then follow the trail as it heads southwest. The final, most scenic portion of the trail winds through muskeg and timber to the trail’s end at the Salt Chuck East Cabin.
Contact the Petersburg Ranger District for Petersburg Lake or Salt Chuck East Cabin information and permit applications.
History: The Portage Mountain Loop Trail follows portions of a trail originally cleared by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930’s. The Forest Service maintained the trail throughout the 1 940’s and 50’s, then marked it for hikers in 1985.