Southcentral Wilderness Explorations
The 50th anniversary update of a
classic Alaska outdoors guidebook
All About 55 Ways
An Essential Guide
Originally published in 1972, the classic guidebook known as 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska has been fully updated and reinvented as Alaska Adventure 55 Ways. This robust reboot covers a diverse range of activities for year-round fun, from quick day trips to adventures that could extend to a week or longer, including canoe trails, wilderness cabins, easy summits, forest walks, cross-country ski routes, summer mountain biking and winter fat-tire biking, wild skating, and more.
We are John and Becca Wolfe, the father-daughter team behind Alaska Adventure 55 Ways. Welcome!
A blurb from our publisher, Mountaineers Books:
John Wolfe Jr. and Rebecca Wolfe describe activities spanning the broad swath of Southcentral Alaska, 300 miles north to south and 350 miles east to west. The guide features activities on the lakes and peaks of the Kenai Peninsula, the Anchorage front range, the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, and the Copper River basin, taking in Chugach and Denali State Parks, Chugach National Forest, Kenai Fjords and Wrangell St. Elias National Parks, several wildlife refuges, and portions of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. With an emphasis on adventures regular people can enjoy and destinations that don’t require highly technical skills, expensive flights to remote locations, or demanding levels of athletic fitness, this guide appeals to all ages, with family-friendly shorter options and trip extensions adding up to more than a hundred "ways" to adventure.
Features hiking, skiing, paddling, biking, and more
New and substantially revised trips with all new full-color photos and maps throughout
Emphasis on traverses and loop trips for both summer and winter, always with simpler and shorter options
Samples of trips straight from
the new book
Here we present trip descriptions with maps as they appear in the book, ready for your trip-planning pleasure. If you like 'em, consider getting the whole book, so you'll have it on hand and can flip through to find a trip for every season, mood, and mode of travel.
Get a trip in your phone, and follow your progress!
Check out our example map-app trips. These are trips from the book translated to interactive map format using Avenza. This is a GPS-enabled app, allowing you to download a map and see your location on the map via your phone, even in areas without cell reception.
Still-good info now retired from the book
When your title says "55," there are always tough decisions about what to include and what to leave out. Here is the full text of a handful of trips that always are worth doing but did not make it into the new book. These are PDF scans from the 5th edition, 2006 printing.
Southcentral Alaska is our home and has been home to Dena'ina, Ahtna, and Sugpiaq (also known as Alutiiq) people for hundreds of years longer. It is a diverse and wonderful subarctic landscape. The adjacent map shows the locations of the book's 55 trips. You can read our thoughts about this land, and our Indigenous land acknowledgement, in the book's Preface.
55 Ways in the Media
June 8, 2022
"Behind the reimagined ‘55 Ways’ guidebook, a family legacy and shared passion for the Alaska outdoors"
By Chris Bieri
Photos by Emily Mesner
Whisper in our ear!
Do you have route conditions to report? Maybe you discovered new trail construction. Find an error in the book or website? Please let us know.
Do you have napping in the wilderness photo to add to our collection? Use the "chat with us" function in the lower right to send us an attachment.
55 Ways to Nap in the Wilderness
Help us build this portion of our web site! Inspired by our friend Mark Wedekind, who encourages napping on the tundra, we are compiling 55 (or more!) outdoor Alaska napping photos. You know, snoozing, dozing, or just kickin' back in a beautiful spot.
Send us your Alaska napping photo using the attachment function in the "chat with us!" bubble in the lower right. Let's have fun with this!