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Thread: Fairbanks Hiking

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    Default Fairbanks Hiking

    Living in Fairbanks and was wondering where are some good places to go for a day-hike near town.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R&S_Goodtimes View Post
    Living in Fairbanks and was wondering where are some good places to go for a day-hike near town.
    Chena Hot Springs Road, there are several nice trails. I like Angle Rock.
    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=..._V7hKyFDLJ1u8Q

    The Eqinox Marathon route follows some nice trails as well.
    http://www.equinoxmarathon.org/index...d=15&Itemid=40

    Have fun

    Steve

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    There is a book called, "Outside in the Interior," that gives all the good hiking areas in the Interior.
    You can order it here:
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=364

    There are also more technical climbs that you can do and there are books at Beaver Sports that you can get to find those. http://www.beaversports.com/content/...d=46&Itemid=53
    When you first enter in and you go through the bike section, make a left by the registers and past the area to go downstairs. There is an area of books that are right there. They are published in black and white. It's on top and it's written by members of Alaskan Alpine Club. http://www.alaskanalpineclub.org/ There are excellent and experienced people in that area. Don't hesitate to contact them!

    My personal favorites in the area are:
    Donnelly Dome
    White Mountains area
    Wickersham Dome
    Ester Dome (Equinox Trail as Stid mentioned above)
    Birch Hill
    Granite Tors
    Chena Dome Trail
    ...and there is a short trail system in North Pole off of Repp Rd and Brock Rd.

    Keep watching, though. There is supposed to be a recreation area under construction near Cripple Creek area. Not sure when they are going to start on it, but last I heard, it was voted to make it happen. Who knows, though. This could have changed.
    I hope that this helps!
    Lurker.

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    COtoAK knows what's up. I'd only add Eagle Summit / Pinnell Mountain area and the Mt. Prindle area; both accessed by the Steese Highway, and both featured in "Outside in the Interior." Both offer excellent alpine/arctic tundra hiking.

    There are excellent high mountain hikes along the Richardson south of Delta Jct. too, accessed mostly by non-descript gravel roads to the east of the highway. Several of the best hikes here are NOT in "Outside in the Interior." I can try to figure out mileposts if anyone's interested.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEATHEN View Post
    COtoAK knows what's up. I'd only add Eagle Summit / Pinnell Mountain area and the Mt. Prindle area; both accessed by the Steese Highway, and both featured in "Outside in the Interior." Both offer excellent alpine/arctic tundra hiking.

    There are excellent high mountain hikes along the Richardson south of Delta Jct. too, accessed mostly by non-descript gravel roads to the east of the highway. Several of the best hikes here are NOT in "Outside in the Interior." I can try to figure out mileposts if anyone's interested.
    Thanks for the compliment. Stid is pretty knowledge filled as well!

    I didn't add the Pinnell Mountain area and Healy Peak because I have yet to do either of those. Also, I have a hard time finding Pano Peak in Cantwell. There is another one I have been wanting to do, too. It's the Rainbow Mountains area over by Summit on the Rich Hwy.

    When you say that there are excellent high mountain hikes along the Rich, are you talking about the Rainbow Mountains or are you talking about White Princess? I thought that White Princess was only accessible in the spring and you need crampons for them? If that's not the case, definitely let me know and I'd consider doing that hike here soon. I've been wanting to do that now for quite sometime!
    Please do leave the mile marker numbers on where to start those hikes you mentioned. Especially if they aren't mentioned in the Outside in the Interior book. It would be nice to change up some hikes!!!

    Welcome to the board, too.. HEATHEN! The more you post, the more you learn!
    Lurker.

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    Oops, sorry for the late reply. Healy is definetely another good one (either from Denali Park Entrance, or from Bison Gulch), but I've only been about half way up since I **** near got blown off... Definetely check the local wind forecast before trying that one (or Donnelly Dome). Speaking of Donnelly, some may be interested to know that the south side (standard access from the Richardson Highway) frequently blows mostly clear of snow in winter and is often much warmer than the rest of the interior (all relative of course...). I managed to get up there in the middle of the night of the blue moon last December, without a headlamp. Sounds crazy, but it was really friggin' cool.

    Yeah, the Rainbow Ridge area along the Richardson has some great hiking. I've done the hike recommended in "Outside in the Interior," and can say it's exceptionally steep (steeper than Donnelly), there's generally no path, and has a little brush and routefinding at the beginning (tip: follow the pond longer than you think you should). The views are of course fantastic once you get towards the ridge though. White Princess is definetely a climb, not a hike. The Alaska Alpine Club guys are big into backcountry skiing and the club trips are mostly in March and April, but it's definetely climbable in summer too (July - late August is probably best, after the mushy seasonal snow melts), with a character and difficulty much like moderate climbs in the Canadian Rockies or Cascade Volcanoes. Required summer gear includes ice axe, crampons, harness, glacier rope, and basic crevasse rescue gear. No technical rock climbing. The approach up the Castner Glacier moraine supposedly makes for a really good hike (I've only been as far as the toe of the glacier, in winter) though the slope up to the climber's hut is unstable and a bit dangerous.

    I still don't have mileposts, but there are three main trailheads east of the Rich that I was referring to:

    -The first (heading south) is just past the main Black Rapids Glacier viewpoint, right before Upper Suzy Q Creek. A little used 4-wheeler trail heads across the tundra just before the AT&T cell tower up there. Hiking near the crest of the creek canyon, you can stay on tundra or rocky slopes and avoid the slide alder that's common in the area. A little easy scrambling gets you past the first steep pitch to a large relatively flat dryas meadow with great views of the Black Rapids Glacier, Hayes Range, and Delta River Valley. With a little more difficult scrambling and maybe an ice axe most of the season, it looks like you can get all the way up to the main ridge dividing the Delta and Jarvis Creek drainages, at just under 7000 feet. Haven't gone that far yet though so don't quote me on it.

    -The next one is locally known as Red Rock Canyon and is (unfortunately?) somewhat popular with 4-wheelers on the weekends. 4-wheelers or not though, it's a cool place to drive to and gives clear, brush-free access to some incredible high country. Not to mention 4-wheeler trails mean mountain bike trails - hint, hint. The access road cuts off at a small gravel pit about 1.5 miles south of the second Miller Creek Crossing, a little ways before you go around the bend with that great view of Rainbow Ridge. The road's in good shape for a mile or so and then you come around a corner and enter a very impressive and unexpected canyon. The road gets kinda rough here, but decent tires and reasonable clearance will get you quite a ways (up to 2 miles) farther. Park whenever your car's had enough. There's quite a network of trails that start out on the lateral moraine of the Canwell Glacier. Google Earth has very clear imagery of this area - check it out. This is another potential access point for Rainbow Ridge (and probably a better one at that). Days worth of exploring among the impressive peaks and glaciers extending in a ridge behind the Rainbow Mountains are available back here. This area is generally north facing and is rather chilly due to all the ice around - save it for a nice late-summer day.

    -The third access point is somewhat well known, though I've never seen it published anywhere but Stan Justice's climbing guide. To reach it, take the road just past Richardson Monument (Isabel Pass) which is also the access for the Arctic Man Snowmachine Races. Again with a bit of clearance, you can take this road several miles and then start walking. A glacial creek crossing just past the trailhead keeps the 4-wheelers out and offers one of the coolest features of the hike: a rickety old wild-west style suspension bridge, complete with rotting, missing boards over a raging river! RAD!! Anyway, a visible trail leads all the way to the toe of Gulkana Glacier. Off trail rambling is possible in this post-glacial moonscape, but the big cobbles are hard on the feet (voice of experience).

    -There's another access point, just past McCallum Creek, but this one had an AT&T gate across it last time I was there. I don't think it was locked but you might want to give them a call if you want to head back that way. Be prepared for some minor brush and a lot of tundra side-hilling.

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