Thursday, May 26, 2016

Resurrection Pass Trail

Recently, Todd Laflamme, Jane and I spent a fantastic afternoon exploring a nearby hiking trail. On this May day it was 70 plus degrees out, it wasn't raining, the bugs hadn't emerged from their winter hibernation, and the river was closed to king salmon fishing (until July 1st).  Everything screamed, "let's go on a hike!"  And hike we did.

Todd is the El Capitan of our hiking unit and he said he'd like to hike a trail he's never been on; the Resurrection Pass Trail. This trail is located in the Chugach National Forest and it stretches from the town of Hope on the north side to Cooper Landing on the south side.  In all, it covers just over 38 miles.  Because this is much more than a day hike, the National Forest Service has constructed 8 cabins along the way.  In addition, there are 19 camping sites.  We weren't ambitious enough to stay over night on this day, but, who knows, maybe the next time we will.

The south side trailhead is closest to our cabins and is a 45 minute drive away (mile 53 of the Sterling Highway). We parked the car, grabbed our packs, and began our hike. We were only a few minutes from the trailhead and this was the first site that caused us to pause. A crystal clear, babbling brook that begged, "please take my photo!"

Overall, this trail was in great shape and well maintained.  I can't say that about all the trails I've hiked in Alaska. Many are glorified moose and sheep trails that are a bit rough.

Half way through our hike Kenai Lake came into view.  Where the two points come together is Snug Harbor, and just below that is the Sterling Highway bridge.  This is where the mighty Kenai River begins it's journey to the ocean.

The pie'ce de re'sistance, the cre'me de la cre'me of the hike was this, Juneau Falls.  We could hear the cascading water as we hiked and thought the trail would lead us right to it. It didn't. If it weren't for El Capitan Todd deciding to veer 50 yards off the main trail, we would have missed this spectacular site.  Nice job, Todd.

For the day, we hiked for 4 hours and covered nearly 10 miles round trip. The elevation change was just over a thousand feet with plenty of switchbacks.  It took a little effort for the "over 50 crowd", which was all of us, but in the hiking world, this would be considered an "easy" hike.  Oh my, I may not be aging as gracefully as I thought....

I highly recommend this hike to anyone who wants to get out and see Alaska beyond the road system. If anything, this hike reminded me why I choose to live here.  Resurrection Pass Trail is a great representation of all things Alaska.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service


Dave Anderson said...

Ever walked the Crescent lake trail to the outlet of Crescent Lake. Very similar and scenic. Just near Coopers Landing itself. It was years ago but I made it to the top.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

No, but I plan to some day. Crescent Lake is one of the better grayling lakes on the peninsula and I'd like to give it a try.