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Thread: Eagle River to Girdwood?

  1. #1
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default Eagle River to Girdwood?

    I am planning to hike from Eagle River to Girdwood. Just trying to see how long it should take an in shape hiker? What condition is the trail in? Any suggestins would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Rob

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Rob - I haven't been on the trail this year, but I've led groups over this hike many, many times. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask. An in-shape hiker should take anywhere from one day to three days on this trail. Personally, I like to spread it out over four days while spending two nights at Thunder Gorge climbing around and swimming. Awesome country you're heading into... By the way, I'd suggest starting from the Girdwood side. You climb for the first 3 miles, but after that it's all downhill to E.R.

    -Brian

    (Incidentally, are you aware of the bear hunt that is open up there? I've seen up to 27 blackies in one hike through there, so it might be an interesting addition to the hike!)

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    Brian,

    I'm gonna do that hunt in about 3 weeks and havent been able to hike and scout. Whats the first 3-5 miles like on the girdwood side. I see the road is open to foot traffic.

    Thanks
    Joel

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The first 2-3 miles is almost constant uphill, though it goes through a series of switchbacks, so it's not too steep. At the top of the pass is a Forest Service cabin. Not a bad place to dry off on wet days, but I've only seen bears up on the top periodically. You'll stay right in the top of the pass for almost a mile, and then you'll start to slowly descend into the other side. After crossing a few rockslides/snow chutes (follow the piles of rocks if the trail is unclear) you'll finally get into good bear country. I've seen countless black bears in that valley, as well as a few brownies (no open season, alas). You might happen to see a black bear on the climb on the Girdwood side or in the top of the pass, but I usually don't see any until I'm about a mile into the decent on the far side. There are some decent places to set up camp there, and all you'll really need to do is sit in camp and spot the hillsides. I don't think I've ever camped there without watching bears from camp. Good luck!

    -Brian

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    Thanks Brian, the cabin was originally reserved by the guy I'm going with, but when the road was closed they cancelled all reservations so were gonna bring a tent in case he cant get it back.

  6. #6
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Brian. Is there brush/alders at the bases of the hills the bears are on, like there is on this side of the mountains? Sounds like starting on the Girdwood side is the way to go. Does the trail have any boggy sections like the trail going through Arctic Valley?

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    There's no boggy sections, although some years about a mile of trail is flooded by beavers at about mile 7 on the Eagle River side. As for brush, if you hunt high for a few miles after you cross the pass you should be able to hunt without breaking brush. There are alders, but they're patchy up high and you should be able to get through them unscathed. Good luck!

    -Brian

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