FKT: Hannah Lafleur - Tutka Backdoor (AK) - 2022-07-24

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
9h 11m 57s
GPS track(s)

The Tutka Backdoor Run is a rugged backcountry route from the Outer Coast of the Kenai Peninsula, through the mountains, and ending in Kachemak Bay. It is maintained by volunteers and local runners, hikers, and adventurers. We had a group of runners doing the route all on the same day, for the second annual Tutka Backdoor Run. I ran the whole route with two people, Galen Hecht and Marc Fawcett-Atkinson.

The trail involves an incredible variety of terrain, from rooted dirt trails through forests to tundra and alpine meadows marked by cairns, to long stretches of snow fields through Tutka Pass. We carried all of our food for the day, and were able to fill up our water bottles from water sources along the way. We also carried extra layers, which were necessary for the strong winds in the pass and the rain that moved in throughout the afternoon, as well as bear spray; we saw lots of scat, but no bears. The major river crossing at the Taylor River, which can provide a challenge at high water, was just above the knee and didn't pose any issues. We also had an issue-free crossing of the Tutka Lagoon, a tidal lagoon that is impassable at higher tides, which we avoided thanks to local intel and planning. The run finished less than a mile from the Jakolof Bay dock, and we took a water taxi back to Homer from there.

I look forward to more adventures on this route, and encourage others to go out and explore it as well. It is a beautifully crafted trail that provides excellent travel through rough and challenging terrain. Thanks to Erin, Ben, Michael, and the whole crew that helped make this run possible!