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Thread: Hiking Stampede Trail

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    Default Hiking Stampede Trail

    I am planning a hiking trip to Alaska next summer. I am interested in hiking the Stampede trail and I am curious what the best time of year would be for the easiest and safest hike. Can anyone give me some insight on the difficulty level of this hike? What are some recommendations for other hikes and camping in the area? Are there any hotels motels in Healy Alaska?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Incidentally, there are far more beautiful hikes than the Stampede. That would be among my last choices for a hiking destination if I were coming all the way to Alaska. Of course, if you're another that wants to visit the "Into the Wild" bus, I suppose that's where you'll go anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Incidentally, there are far more beautiful hikes than the Stampede. That would be among my last choices for a hiking destination if I were coming all the way to Alaska. Of course, if you're another that wants to visit the "Into the Wild" bus, I suppose that's where you'll go anyhow.
    Nice answer
    That seems a little out of your character!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk5000 View Post
    I am planning a hiking trip to Alaska next summer. I am interested in hiking the Stampede trail and I am curious what the best time of year would be for the easiest and safest hike. Can anyone give me some insight on the difficulty level of this hike? What are some recommendations for other hikes and camping in the area? Are there any hotels motels in Healy Alaska?
    1) Don't go. See post #2 above.

    2) If you do go, wait until July when the water in the rivers has receded a bit. The Teklinika does not resemble the roaring torrent that Emile Hirsch had to brave in the movie, but it will still kill you if you are inexperienced and try it when it is high.

    3) Plenty of hotels and hostels in the greater Healy/Denali Park area May through mid-September.

    4) Stop by the Backcountry Information Center at the entrance to Denali National Park, They will be happy to explain to you in detail a) why this is a lousy hike; b) where much better hikes are located; and c) how to hike up here without dying.

    4) See number 1.

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    It's a long hike to that bus, probably close to 20 miles and the road/trail is very easy to follow. I go there almost every year to ride and sometimes to moose hunt. Crossing the Tek might be a problem but you should be able to find a suitable crossing point, just follow the river until you find it. When you get to where the trail hits the riverbed, go upstream and continue to follow the trail, you'll see where a lot of atv's cross and the trail is just on the other side though it can't be seen from there. If I were hiking in there I would go past the bus and into the mountains but that would be a very long hike. Make sure you take some kind of protection with you as there are bears in there, black and grizz. Good luck and have fun!

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    Default One more thing.....

    Hawk5000,

    Don't forget to bring a bag of rice with ya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coaldust View Post
    Hawk5000,

    Don't forget to bring a bag of rice with ya.
    and a .22.... you know, for bear protection.

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    I did a video about hiking the Stampede Trail that might be of interest to people reading this forum:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRc8HQ-_aPo

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernalberta View Post
    and a .22.... you know, for bear protection.
    Now that's just mean. Still, I laughed.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikhalfacre View Post
    I did a video about hiking the Stampede Trail that might be of interest to people reading this forum:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRc8HQ-_aPo
    Good video Erik. Thanks for posting it.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

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    After reading around online and seeing just how many people are interested in finding out more about hiking to the bus, I put this site together as a resource for those people:

    http://www.pathfinderalaska.com/stampedetrail/

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    Hello!
    Is there anybody still interested in hiking the stampede trail in June 2010? I'm looking for someone really well-experienced, because I'm not yet and I don't want to go on my own.
    I could be in Healy as soon as possible, probably in 2-3 days.

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    Point blank - there are a lot of better places to hike. I doubt you would get across the Tek on foot this time of year, which would make it impossible to see that hallowed bus idolized by folks down in America.

    If you do go, be smart. Don't go alone, and don't cross big rivers if you don't have experience. Please don't rely in your ability to find food in the woods.

    A buddy and I will be out in that area June 18-20. If we see you wandering around, we'll stop and give you some advice or a lift back to the trailhead if you end up needing it.

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    There are definitely far nicer hikes but I still think stampede is well worth doing. I really enjoyed my two hikes out there. Crossing a ravenous Teklanika with twelve other people linking arms in a giant chain is one of my best AK memories. If you hike it on a clear few days you can usually see Denali to the south.

    I wouldn't necessarily frown upon someone wanting to see "the bus". For my first few weeks in AK I was all about the bus but after spending time with the locals, one of whom lent me a book about Frank Glaser. I realised there was a lot more about the Alaskan way of life I didn't know about. Thankfully I met some great Alaskans while hitchhiking through the state that were willing to overlook my relative ignorance and teach me about the Alaskan brand of self-sufficiency, shooting, hunting, living in the bush, cleaning grouse; you name it. So if any of you sourdoughs meet some annoying kids going to the bus. Stop for a chat, you may have a future Alaskan on your hands. They're not all hippies after all. I had to eventually leave because I couldn't get my visa extended any further (despite having a job) and I'm currently waiting on a green card application so I can get back up there as soon as possible. That's why I'm always on here annoying everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles-C View Post
    There are definitely far nicer hikes but I still think stampede is well worth doing. I really enjoyed my two hikes out there. Crossing a ravenous Teklanika with twelve other people linking arms in a giant chain is one of my best AK memories. If you hike it on a clear few days you can usually see Denali to the south.

    I wouldn't necessarily frown upon someone wanting to see "the bus". For my first few weeks in AK I was all about the bus but after spending time with the locals, one of whom lent me a book about Frank Glaser. I realised there was a lot more about the Alaskan way of life I didn't know about. Thankfully I met some great Alaskans while hitchhiking through the state that were willing to overlook my relative ignorance and teach me about the Alaskan brand of self-sufficiency, shooting, hunting, living in the bush, cleaning grouse; you name it. So if any of you sourdoughs meet some annoying kids going to the bus. Stop for a chat, you may have a future Alaskan on your hands. They're not all hippies after all. I had to eventually leave because I couldn't get my visa extended any further (despite having a job) and I'm currently waiting on a green card application so I can get back up there as soon as possible. That's why I'm always on here annoying everyone.
    Nice to know that there are a few youngens out there that will listen. Thanks
    Tim

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    A follow-up post:

    A buddy and I were out at Stampede a little over a week ago. I'm not sure whether we met up with this particular individual, but there were a number of folks from Outside on pilgrimages to the Magic Bus. A couple of folks in a beat up little car stopped us to ask for some advice, so we invited them down to camp for a beer and some stories. He was fresh out of the Navy and bumming around - a pretty nice guy. She was taking the summer off to explore Alaska - very liberal and a UC Berkeley Grad. Needless to say, she was a bit taken aback when we decided that it was time to do some shooting.

    However, we encouraged her to give it a try. First came the safety spiel and the tutorial. Then we determined that she was left eye dominant, though right-handed. Finally, demonstrated firing technique before handing over a .22 pistol. Hesitant at first, she turned out to be a real dead eye! By the end of the night she had become a big fan of plinking, having graduated through from .22 to the 9mm and .357 and then finally my buddy's AK! I think the experience - viewing a firearm as a tool that requires practice, as opposed to a weapon of murder and destruction - changed her views on gun control. Kudos to her for keeping an open mind.

    Halfway to the Tek we ran into a French Canadian kid in a stock Land Cruiser. He made it to the big muddy patches in the open field and was trying to get up the courage to go for it. He wanted us to stick around in case he got stuck. "Buddy," we told him, "if you get high-centered or buried in the mud, there is no way our two 600-lbs. machines will ever be able to do a thing about it." We discouraged the attempt, and he eventually decided to hoof it instead. Don't know if he ever made it to the Tek, but the Land Cruiser was still there when we left. We saw it again on the Denali Highway a day later, so this fella apparently lived.

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