An abrupt environmental change is reflected in a core from Hidden Lake, Alaska, by differences in sediment type, chlorite crystallinity, and content of organic carbon and water of the sediments. This abrupt change in the sedimentary record occurred about 14,500 14C yr ago and probably marks the time of recession of the glacier from the Hidden Lake drainage basin. Deglaciation of the area was then underway, and rock flour was being deposited in the lake. After recession of the glacier from the Hidden Lake drainage basin, rock flour was no longer introduced, and organic-matter content of the sediment increased. By the dating of these changes in sediment type, we show that retreat of glaciers in this area took place significantly earlier than previously estimated; this agrees with the timing of retreat of alpine glaciers elsewhere in western North America.