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Showing posts from 2011

Thunder Montain Hike (June 2011)

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Thunder Mountain is not far from the shore and forms part of the once side of the Mendenhall Valley. There are two trails up the mountain which merge about half way up. The one I took is from the valley and is rougher. The trailhead for this trail is about a quarter mile from where I'm living now. There are is an short wetlands ecology trail there as well. The trail starts off on a boardwalk and quickly changes to planks. 
Once a the trail crosses a creek it becomes very steep until the junction with the Heintzleman Ridge Route trail. After the junction the route gets a bit easier until the  tree line. Most of the trail is marked by ribbons with multiple ribbons at the junction. 
 Once I got up to Heintzleman ridge there were great views into Lemon Creek Valley.

I took the trail out to the top of Thunder Mountain where there are views of Admiralty Island and the Mendenhall Glacier.
I found a perfect reclining rock for eating lunch with view of two glaciers and eagles flying around. …

Ice Caves Hike (June 2011)

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On the west side of the Mendenhall River (the opposite side from the visitor center where the buses take the tourists) there is a trail that goes to the Mendenhall Glacier. It is considered the country's most accessible glacier. A three mile hike on the West Glacier Trail, then the Ice Caves Trail will get you to its edge. Along the sides of the glacier there are ice caves big enough that you can walk in.
On the way out I hiked up the Mendenhall Lake Edge Trail which is an unofficial trail with lots of flowers. 

This trail runs splits off from and rejoins the West Glacier Trail; it is mainly a walk along the edge of the lake. When the lake level is up, this trail is underwater. After rejoining the West Glacier Trail, I took a right turn onto an "Unmaintained Hazardous" trail, which is a rough trail marked with cairns that leads to the side of the glacier. At the end of this trail, there is a short descent to the glacier. I did not see any ice caves right away so I walked …

Herbert Glacier Trail (June 2011)

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The Herbert Glacier trail is an easy 4.5 mile trail about 16 miles north of the Mendenhall Valley in Juneau Alaska. The trail is a compacted gravel trail which many people bike. It follows the Herbert river up to the Herbert Glacier.
Near the end of the trail, we left it and walked across a wash, crossing a couple of streams, to get closer to the glacier.
We came upon the main flow of the creek feeding the Herbert River and were not able to cross it so we went up along it. This part of the hike included a bit of rock scrambling and going through bushes. It was a welcome challenge after the smooth trail.
We did not find a place to get across the creek, so we did not get the glacier itself, but we had some close views of it. We also looked at the class 5 rapids in the creek.

The main trail is great if your looking for something easy with great views at the end. Most other trails in the area are a bit rougher. The trail is about 9 miles roundtrip, but with the additional hiking we did along …

Benjamin Trail (May 2011)

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The Benjamin Trail is a trail I worked on last fall; one day of trail building and one day of old trail removal. It is an addition to another trail at Betasso Open Space near Boulder. It opened in May and I was able to get a chance to ride it. It was very popular and there was many other people besides the five that went with me. 
The Benjamin trail is access from the Canyon Loop. A short trail took us to the 3 mile loop. We did two loops around the Benjamin trail and once around the Canyon Loop.
We went clockwise on the trail and it started by going uphill. The downhill was fun. I went fast through the trees around the curves. Much of the trail is like the Canyon Trail - built into the side of a steep hill. It's not a difficult trail and an advanced beginner can do it.

There is also a great view point at the top of the trail.

Nugget Creek Hike (June 2011)

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This trail starts at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor center. I took the first left onto the East Glacier Trail. It is a loop trail from which the Nugget Creek trail branches off near the midpoint. The East Glacier trail is well maintained and easy to hike with lots of creeks crossing it.
 There is also AJ Falls just off the trail.
Nugget Creek Trail is a less maintained more rugged trail, many walkways are washed out, but not difficult. The bigger creeks have bridges though. I recommend waterproof boots and bug repellant. There's occasional views of the creek, but there's lot of side creeks coming in. 
Near the end of the trail, there is an old shelter by Vista Creek. It is a small shelter with half the roof missing. 
Just downstream of this spot the creek plunges over a waterfall on it's way down to Nugget Creek. 
Shortly after here the official trail ends. There are some paths here that quickly fade out. I checked out some of them before heading back. 
There is an unmarked, but…

Alaska

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I am in Alaska for the summer so there will be posting some hikes from here. I'll still post some past trips, but with all the hikes and rides I'm doing here, there may not be many.