I didn’t plan to do a long or difficult hike today. The weather forecast was for 50% chance of rain. I have done too much hiking in the rain lately and really didn’t want to get in the rain again today.
Well, in the morning, when I saw the sunlight, I decided to hike a short trail before the rain. Since Chugach State Park is close to Girdwood, I drove to one of the trail heads (Bird Ridge), without knowing anything about it. I was going to turn back as soon as the weather became bad.
It turned out to be a really nice day today. It only drizzled briefly early in the morning.
The information at the trail head is very misleading. It seems like a very short trail. It turns out not too short, or at least it doesn’t feel short. The trail is really steep. It keeps on going straight up and up the rugged mountain, endlessly. Since the weather is nice, I had no excuse, so I kept on climbing higher and higher as well.
I did ask a couple of people coming down the mountain about how long the trail is. The first lady said it is 3 mile and the second one said it is 5 miles. Even online, I checked after the hike, the number varies. No matter how long the trail is, though, it is tiring. It has over 3500 feet elevation gain.
I was also a little concerned about bear as well. The hikers coming down the mountain said they saw three bears along the way. I felt a little better when I saw a young couple hiking in front of me. It turns out that they just moved to Alaska from Florida. Hiking is their new hobby. Lucky for them! There are countless places here in Alaska for them to venture into their newly found activity.
Although strenuous, the reward of the hike is the spectacular view of Turnagain Arm and the surrounding valleys and mountains. For more than hour, I didn’t see anyone up on the ridge. As far as I could see, I was surrounded totally by nature – mountains, valleys, clouds and sky! It felt incredible!
(The trail starts at the water level)
(It gets up)
(Views from the ridge)
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html