Eklutna Lake and Anchorage

May 19th, 2008

Me soaking in the Chugach view

Eklutna and ChugachThe Glenn Highway comes down the Matanuska Valley - famous for it’s gigantic vegetables - through Palmer and into Anchorage. We turned off the road before Anchorage to spend the night up in Chugach State Park by Eklutna Lake. It’s a reservoir, but a very scenic one. It was unspeakably nice to be finished with the long drive and stretch our legs up in the mountains. We had arrived in Alaska!! We camped that night just above the lake and decided to go for a hike in the morning, which was clear and beautiful. All of the peaks around the lake were still snowy, but we picked one with the least snow (it might be called Goat Mountain?) and started our ascent. The tree line is really low at these Lake Eklutna latitudes so the tough bushwhack up to the tundra was thankfully short. It was still a steep climb even on the tundra, but the sheep and goat trails helped. We actually saw some sheep (or goats?), including a little baby! We powered up the 4500′ of vert in a few hours and in no time were drinking in the incredible vistas from the top. It was a great hike in some pretty unbelievable mountains, and was the perfect welcome to Alaska. The hike was only a few hours so with the rest of our endless daylight we drove into Anchorage to get more supplies and had lunch and brews at the Beartooth brewery. Poring over maps of the Kenai peninsula we decided to start our tour in the town of Hope to do a bike ride up the Resurrection Trail. On the way we drove around the Turnigan Arm, checked out Alyeska ski resort (it’s pretty big, I was impressed) and tried to do a little sport climbing on the cliffs by the road, but were turned back by wet rock and suspect rusty bolts. We didn’t see any of the Beluga whales that live in the Arm, and the tides are too low for a good Bore Tide (a small tidal wave that shoots up the Arm), but the views were amazing and our drive was awesome because, well, we’re in Alaska. :)

Twin Peak, I think, looking toward AnchorageOur steep climbDrew and some mountain sheepAlaskan sheep and babyDrew climbing up from EklutnaDrew and Eklutna LakeAlaska is sweeeeetDeep into the ChugachSheep skullAnchorage

Sick curl we found

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