Alaskan Adventure: Hikes

Hiking is something I love to do, but do no do nearly enough of. Something about your blood flowing through your veins as you breathe in fresh air gives you peace at mind. Something about connecting with nature and just soaking it in for moments can never get old.

It is a time to think, absorb, be sad or happy, and be thankful for the natural gifts that are surrounding us-that so many times we take for granted. When I was in Alaska I was able to go on 3 amazing hikes, so that is what I am going to talk about in this blog post. I wish I could have gone on a lot more, but the agenda was packed as it was. Next time, I will go on different trails and tell you all about them ;).  Alaska has been my favorite place to hike so far and so here is my ‘review’….

Flattop Mountain Trail

This is the view as I was getting closer to the top!

This was the first trail I went on, and it was one of the first things I did with my family when I arrived in Alaska. I loved this trail! It was a fairly easy hike in my opinion, but it gets harder as you go along (for more reviews about what other people think click the name of the hike above).

It was also fairly hot (it was at an unusually high temperature for Alaska when I hiked this trail), which also made hiking this trail a little bit harder, but I would not have changed it/wished I didn’t hike it for anything.  So overall, I would describe this trail as easy to moderate. I know a family who has little boys and they went on this trail, so if you have a family you might want to go to this hike. It is gravel for most of the way and the views are incredible because it is a very open scene.

The start of the trail has you go through a path surrounded by trees.

First, you go through an area with more trees, but then after a little bit it clears up and you can see the mountains stretched out as far as your eyes can see. It is just incredible. I sadly didn’t end up going the whole way because of family reasons, but I totally would have! I will next time 😉

There is a couple spots where you can just sit down on the edge on some rocks. I personally think this would be a great spot to just think, pray, eat and absorb the scene.

There was also a few people hang gliding down the mountains and I just though that that was SO cool! So that is an idea for another fun activity if you are up for it some time, otherwise it was fun to just watch people fly.

When I go back to Alaska, if I go back to this area, I am definitely hiking this trail again. Lastly, another good thing about this trail is that it is not overly traveled that you have people by you every second, but it is traveled enough that there is a less chance of seeing a bear or other wild animal up close (it is still important to be cautious and aware in case one does cross your path though).

We were there on a clear enough day to see Denali (the tallest mountain in South America).

 

Exit Glacier Hike

This hike is one that I will never forget (some reasons good, and some not the best). First of all, the Glacier is AMAZING. If you have never been to a glacier, definitely put it on your bucket list-sadly glaciers are slowly getting smaller and smaller so I encourage you to see one as soon as you can to see them is the big glory! Even though they are shrinking in size, they are still huge and very noticeable! The colors are amazing as well, it doesn’t even look real sometimes. You can see hints of silver, blue, green, and purple added into the white base.

Glaciers are just another thing that I just find fascinating and breath-taking. It is crazy to think that at one time in the past that whole land and area, where I was standing, was covered with ice and was freezing! It just shows how much change there is in the world. They are just one of those natural treasures that you can only find some places-and Alaska is one of those places.

Second, this hike was so cool! It was a fairly easy hike, in my opinion. I did the ranger walk so I was able to learn about the glacier and the things surrounding it. Throughout the trail, I was able see a stream flowing down from the glacier as well as the vegetation that was surrounding me the whole way.

The one horrible part about this hike was….the flies!! It was awful, they were everywhere! There was literally a swarm following every person (trust me I could see them). It was just annoying and uncomfortable the whole way up the hike. The good that came out of this though it that once we reached the top toward by the glacier they were totally gone-the cool air of the glacier probably blew or ‘whipped them away’. It so refreshing and made the hike worth it. (I hiked this trail in the mid to end of July and it was unusually hot for Alaska so that may have had something to do with the flies). I know some other people who hiked this trail and had to problem/totally loved it, so it may just have been the day/time of year.

The trail goes along a lake/river (glacier water).

Eklutna Lake

I loved this hike and area! If you are near or close to Chugach go to Eklutna Lake. It is such a beautiful lake-there was a couple perfect spots for pictures as well which is always something important in my book. It is such a peaceful and breathtaking setting. The (gravel) trail is also a good trail for bike riding, running, or walking along the shore.

Some people were kayaking on the lake! It looked so peaceful and fun, and it would be such a great memory. Next time I go I will look more into doing this activity because I love Kayaking.

Some of the spots are perfect for pictures 🙂
One path on the trail led to this little stream.
This is the part of the trail that goes along the lake.

These overall are amazing hikes! There is nothing better than hiking with an amazing view, and boy did I get that in Alaska. I can’t wait until the next trip for more adventures. If you have been on any of these hikes, let me know-I would like to know your opinion (and I am sure other people would be too).

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