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Thread: blueberry picking/hike

  1. #1

    Default blueberry picking/hike

    Hi,

    I'm pretty new here and spend most of my time on the fishing forum but wanted to get out with the wife this weekend.

    We live in Anchorage and wanted to go blue berry picking. Although she is from here and has done it growing up she doesn't really know where to go.

    Any advice would be great. Is this a good time to go?

  2. #2

    Default Blueberry Picking/Hiking

    Probably the best opportunity and closest is at the Flat Top trail head. Well not up on top of Flat Top but on the trail to the left. Walk about 1 mile down the trail (very easy travel) and start looking at the shrubs to your right. Another place to check out is South Fork, I believe. I get confused between South Fork and North Fork because they are both in Eagle River. Anyways take the Glenn Highway north to the Highland Rd exit and make a right at the first light. Follow that for about 8-10 miles or until you see a sign on the right hand side of the road telling you where the trail head is located. Some what steep hike for the first 200-300 feet, but after that you can go left or right into the brush and you will find blueberries. FYI... regardless of where you go keep in mind bears also enjoy blueberries. Have fun.

  3. #3

    Default hikes

    You could also try the trail access to near point and wolverine peak from either Prospect heights or the trailhead at the top of the hill in Stuckagain Heights.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Personally, I would avoid the Flattop area. That gets hit really hard by berry pickers. Sure, you'll find a few, but not much more.

    I second the recommendation of South Fork Eagle River. Take the trail back about 2.5 miles to the bridge. Once you cross the bridge, go another 100-200 yards and then head off the trail to the left. You'll find more berries than you can possibly pick right in there.

  5. #5
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    Default

    If you go back a ways on powerline pass and then into the marshy stuff you can find quite a few up at Flattop. Basically, go anywhere you can get above timber line or gets a good amount of precip.

  6. #6

    Default

    Southwest slopes of Bear Mountain and Mount Eklutna, off the Peters Creek (Valley) Trail. Here's a link to a route description for Mount Eklutna by Shawn Lyons that will get you to the trailhead, etc.

    Watch for bears. Good spot for blueberries, and they know it.

  7. #7
    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    Default skyline road

    if u take the norht eagle river loop road at the top of the hill on the left going up is skyline road. take that road all the way to the top. There is some parking and a trail that will take u all the way to the top of baldy. I have had good luck up there before. Also has a wonderful view of the knike arm all the way out to wasilla and in to anchorage. makes for a nice day trip and no far from anchorage the trail is steep but not to bad for the most part well worn. lots of paragliders use it as launch point.

  8. #8
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    Default berry report

    I was East of Baldy yesterday exploring the Blacktail Rocks and upper Ptarmigan Valley area. The low bush or bog blueberries, as some people call them, are past their prime. Still harvestable, but kinda mushy. The low bush cranberries, on the other hand, are prime. I brought home a couple of quarts. The crow berries are also very abundant.

    Speaking of Baldy, has anyone hiked from the Mt. Baldy trailhead to the Ptarmigan Valley trailhead before? Looks like a nice walk. It might be a little tricky finding the Ptarmigan Valley trail proper once you get down into the trees. I'm going to give it a try before the days get too short.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! We went up in the afternoon yesterday toward baldy as suggested below. It was a beautiful afternoon and sunset. We got into a fair number of berries after a moderate hike and the kids had a great time.

    Talked with a few parasailers (or whatever they're called) and watched one fly over us and then hike back up to the top. Pretty crazy hobby if you ask me, but I wouldn't mind trying it sometime.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coaldust View Post
    Speaking of Baldy, has anyone hiked from the Mt. Baldy trailhead to the Ptarmigan Valley trailhead before? Looks like a nice walk. It might be a little tricky finding the Ptarmigan Valley trail proper once you get down into the trees. I'm going to give it a try before the days get too short.
    I biked it two weeks ago - carried my bike up Baldy, rode the ridge back to Blacktail, and then dropped down into Ptarmagin. Absolutely awesome trip!

    You are right, however, that finding the trail is a bit tricky. I dropped down into Ptarmagin too early and ended up in the bottom of the valley. The trail is actually up on the side of the hill quite a ways, and I had to carry my bike across two small streams and through some thick alders before I figured it out. Make sure you walk all the way to the base of Blacktail, and then sidehill around blacktail without losing elevation until you can start seeing the trail on the hillside below. Staying high longer will save you some wet feet and bushwhacking time.

  11. #11

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    The kids had such a good time picking on Friday we decided to go again today. Went to the trail head of Flat top just for the convenience since we didn't want to hike in deep and have it rain on us.

    We found a good number although it was obvious that it had been picked before. The berries are REALLY ripe and I'd probably say they are nearing the end of their season. We're baking pies as I type... good times

  12. #12
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    Default Trail

    Brian,

    Thanks for the info. Just so I understand, you say the best place to catch the trail is on the east side of Ptarmigan Valley? Then I assume it crosses the creek and intersects with the old road grade on the west side? I'll give it a try this week.

    It was very foggy when I was up there and couldn't see anything.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coaldust View Post
    Thanks for the info. Just so I understand, you say the best place to catch the trail is on the east side of Ptarmigan Valley? Then I assume it crosses the creek and intersects with the old road grade on the west side? I'll give it a try this week.
    Yep, that's right. There is a bridge over the creek partway down the valley. It's a pretty good trail, but much longer than I was expecting. Make sure you give yourself ample time. Enjoy!

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