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Thread: Looking for some hiking ideas

  1. #1

    Default Looking for some hiking ideas

    OK, yep I'm from the lower 48, and planning my first trip to alaska. I'm looking for some advice on some good hikes while I'm there. I intend to camp, so june/july is my intended time frame. I'd like to see some spots that will be away from the typical tourist crowds, and I will be traveling with my dog (australian cattle dog, used to backpacking). I plan on being in the south (Anchorage area) but I will go anywhere for someplace unique. As for my info, I have a 4WD jeep wrangler (that I don't mind getting dirty) and am reasonably capable/familiar with backcountry hiking (at least down here), I'm in shape, early 30s, and both realistic with my abilities and familiar with what it takes to be out for a while (at least down here). I would like to do several three/four day trips while I'm there, and I would love some local advice on places I can see (with my dog) that I won't have to run into crowds. If you don't want to make your advice public, I will respect that, and would love to hear via email or PM any good spots. I'm not particular on what kind of places, just looking for something off the beaten path where i can take some good photos and enjoy my time. Any advice or tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, christian.

  2. #2

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    It is pretty straight forward.......that time of year, if your on a trail, you'll encounter humans thingies, and their dogs.

    If your Bushwhacking crosscountry......no human thingies, and no dogs.

    The flatter the trail the more human thingies, and their dogs.

    To have hiking with staggering panoramic views, you need to be above timber, if your above timber you can see 50 miles, and you will most likely see other human thingies.

    My best suggestion is go to the end of an established trail, like say Gull Rock Trail, and keep going on out to the little Indian, and loop up to either Cripple Creek or Resurrection Creek.

    You could go up Palmer Creek and loop over and down Alder Creek.

    The other issue will be where to safely leave your jeep.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    My favorite 3-4 day trips would be the Crow Pass Trail from Girdwood to Eagle River and Kesugi Ridge north of Talkeetna. Both offer spectacular views and relatively sparse crowds. You'll see other people, but it won't be bad. I'd also look into hiking parts of the Kenai Mountains - maybe a day or two near Devil's Pass and another couple of days near Lost Lake. After that, I'd drive south to Homer and hire Dave Lyons with Ashore Water Taxi to take you across the bay to Kachemak Bay State Park. There are lots of trails over there, and Dave can put you onto the best spots. (He goes by the screen name "homerdave" on here.)

    You can find info on most of these places by doing a search of these forums. You might also want to consider buying a couple of hiking books before you come. A few of my favorites are The Walkabout Guide to Alaska Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, as well as 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska. With those books, you'd have enough ideas to last you a lifetime.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the fast replies! I will definitely be picking up some of those books. I don't mind 'seeing' people, just rather have some quiet. AGL4now, you sound like I should be more concerned with my jeep being safe... I have never been too worried about that (down here) since I never keep anything remotely valuable (windows unzip haha), but is that really a concern out there? Is it with thieves or vandals.. or laws that bring you to mention that? thanks to both of you for the trails, I'll be looking into those areas further, but some of them sound like they would be good places to see.

  5. #5
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Christian, if you take BrianM's sage advice and end up on the south side of Kachemak Bay (or as I like to call it, The Most Beautiful Place on Earth), PM me and I'll put you onto some good hikes. If you head out my back door, you can hike clear to the Gulf, and I guarantee you won't see another human.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Ditto's on taking a water taxi across K-bay. There are some incredible trails back there, and you'll have the place pretty much to yourself.

    These shots are from the trails close to Halibut Cove Lagoon, and it was late May so much more snow then you'd see in June/July. On the other hand, it hadn't greened up yet, so you get better views with/out the underbrush.







    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/kbay/kbaytrs.htm

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the good advice about south of Kachemak bay! that sounds like exactly what i'm looking for. no roads in should make the crowds thin, and it definitely looks like a good place to take in the view. do you know if i will be able to bring my dog on the water taxi? and as for parking, will that be a problem? i did see that some places charge 20$ a day to leave your car... hopefully that's only around the tourist traps...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ktj View Post
    Thanks for the good advice about south of Kachemak bay! that sounds like exactly what i'm looking for. no roads in should make the crowds thin, and it definitely looks like a good place to take in the view. do you know if i will be able to bring my dog on the water taxi? and as for parking, will that be a problem? i did see that some places charge 20$ a day to leave your car... hopefully that's only around the tourist traps...

    Have full insurance, if you park at the trail heads. Even if you leave nothing inside they might jump on your Roof & Hood. And set it on fire. (Some peoples children)

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ktj View Post
    i did see that some places charge 20$ a day to leave your car... hopefully that's only around the tourist traps...

    I think they charge you for breathing the air on the end of the Spit now, don't they?
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The Homer Harbor has free visitor parking, so you should be fine. I left my truck there for four days in May for free. As for the dog, send homerdave a PM to find out. My guess is that he won't mind at all. His boat is an aluminum landing craft, not a luxury live-aboard.

    As for the warnings of parking at a trailhead, I really wouldn't worry about it. Don't leave anything valueable in sight, but otherwise forget about it. Yes, vandalism happens - it can happen anywhere - but I've lived here my whole life and park at trailheads a lot, and have never had my truck broken into.

  11. #11
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default dogs are more than welcome...

    as a matter of fact i go through over #20 of biscuits a summer.
    parking is no problem on the spit, and i can help you plan for as many nights in the backcountry as you would like.
    dave
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    +1 on Kachemak bay state park by water taxi. I stayed in a yurt there during the last week of September. We had a great time; spent a day kayaking down Tutka bay saw lots of sea otters, eagles and seals. We did a lot of hiking too although I smashed myself bad on some slippy rocks. A Black bear stole our spare oar which was weird and I didn't think running after it was a good idea even though he probably didn't get very far.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Pic's from a hike last year

    If you truly don't want to see anyone, you can check out some pic's from last years hike that one of my freinds did. They spend 3 days, and didn't see a single hint of human habitation the entire time, nor humans, of course. They left right from the lodge. Here's he link to his pic's.

    http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...ragon/?start=0

    Good Luck! no matter where you go in Alaska, it will be unforgettable!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  14. #14

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    Thanks again for the replies, Kachemak bay is a definite. Thanks homerdave for the answer about the pup, we will certainly be heading out there, and I'll be looking for your boat, while cannon looks for your biscuits haha. Those photos from denalihunter were pretty interesting also, I was hoping to see denali itself... but no dogs. Your lodge looks great but it will probably be out of my budget in the summer (I'm no rich man, and gonna be stretching my money pretty thin trying to spend a few weeks up there, plus the drive) but I'm going to look into the area a bit more. Charles C, sorry about your loss of the oar, but that sounds like the set-up to a far side cartoon...

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    you can e-mail me at ashorewatertaxi@gmail.com
    dave
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ktj View Post
    Charles C, sorry about your loss of the oar, but that sounds like the set-up to a far side cartoon...
    Haha, it does actually.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    The Homer Harbor has free visitor parking, so you should be fine. I left my truck there for four days in May for free. As for the dog, send homerdave a PM to find out. My guess is that he won't mind at all. His boat is an aluminum landing craft, not a luxury live-aboard.

    As for the warnings of parking at a trailhead, I really wouldn't worry about it. Don't leave anything valueable in sight, but otherwise forget about it. Yes, vandalism happens - it can happen anywhere - but I've lived here my whole life and park at trailheads a lot, and have never had my truck broken into.
    I have left my trunk somewhere safe, and ride a cheap bike to the trail head and hide it in the woods.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ktj View Post
    Thanks again for the replies, Kachemak bay is a definite....... I was hoping to see denali itself... but no dogs....
    Kachemak Bay is awesome. Well worth a visit.

    Somebody previously mentioned Kesugi Ridge. It is a great 3-4 day hike in Denali State Park, south of the National Park. Follows a ridgeline, with incredible views of Denali, if the weather is decent. Should be no problem with taking your dog there. When I hiked it year before last we didn't see anyone except a very few day hikers near the trailheads.

    Enjoy!

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    I'm sure you have found this already but ak hike search is a great resource for pics, rough idea maps, and info. http://www.alaskahikesearch.com/

    You will be in good hands with Dave he took my dad and I across the bay for a bear hunt. You can reserve a yurt in kachemak bay state park if you want to take a break from tenting.

    Portage Pass trail is definitely shorter than you are looking for, but in my opinion its the best scenery for the effort in Alaska. Plus it would be on the way to Homer from Anchorage. Good luck

  20. #20

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    Thanks again! your replies have all been very helpful. The alaska hike research site was great, and cdubbin and homerdave will both be hearing from me when i have more specific dates. Kachemak is a definite, and the Kesugi Ridge seems to be a great spot as well. I picked up the first volume of the walkabout guide, found a couple of interesting hikes (I really enjoy historic mining sites as well) and I'm going to get 55 ways soon. If i can ask another question, when it comes to flying out to the roadless spots (maybe mcgrath or lake clark area), how crazy is the price? is it better to get a ticket well in advance. I know i can't see it all, but i'd like to do what i can. I'd really like to see barrow, but it would cost almost $1000... which is just too much for me. If you have any tips or suggestions i'd like to hear em. And thanks again, everyones been great. I've been reading alot of this forum and it's been full of good ideas and information!

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