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Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

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Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby tigerlilly » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:37 am

Family vacation in Alaska this year. :-) Woohooo Can't wait.
Mid June, 12 days.
2 kids in tow .... (11 & 13yrs)
Arriving/Departing from Anchorage

Heeeelp! I'm trying to narrow it down.

Where is a good place to see critters?....or how to get an up close and personal view of a brillant blue glacier? or to see a cool ice cave?
Would goofing around Denali be OK? or would bus ride be too long? Are there hut to hut trail systems?

I've been to Homer, Seward, Ketchikan, McGrath, King Salmon, Kotzebue
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby lcarreau » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:58 am

My spouse and I are traveling to Nome this summer ... any thoughts on Nome? Gotta bring our poles for this one.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby Tonka » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:21 am

tigerlilly wrote:Family vacation in Alaska this year. :-) Woohooo Can't wait.
Mid June, 12 days.
2 kids in tow .... (11 & 13yrs)
Arriving/Departing from Anchorage

Heeeelp! I'm trying to narrow it down.

Where is a good place to see critters?....or how to get an up close and personal view of a brillant blue glacier? or to see a cool ice cave?
Would goofing around Denali be OK? or would bus ride be too long? Are there hut to hut trail systems?

I've been to Homer, Seward, Ketchikan, McGrath, King Salmon, Kotzebue


The drive up to Healy through Talkeetna is nice. Puts you close to Denali, Fairbanks and the interior. Last time up for me I had full sun and an hours long view of Denali to the left. Rare. Plenty of short to longer hike options and there is a cabin system in Denali but probably booked. I'm sure it would be busy but it's June. Kids would love the Harding Ice field trek which starts at the Excit Glacier. This is south near Seward though.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby Tonka » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:55 am

lcarreau wrote:My spouse and I are traveling to Nome this summer ... any thoughts on Nome? Gotta bring our poles for this one.


I spent 6 weeks in Nome at the Polaris Hotel and liquor. Their slogan is a drunk cat in a Martini glass, here I'll show you a pic. If you have transport a drive all the way to both Council and Teller are well worth it. Do you drink??
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby lcarreau » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Tonka wrote:
lcarreau wrote:My spouse and I are traveling to Nome this summer ... any thoughts on Nome? Gotta bring our poles for this one.


I spent 6 weeks in Nome at the Polaris Hotel and liquor. Their slogan is a drunk cat in a Martini glass, here I'll show you a pic. If you have transport a drive all the way to both Council and Teller are well worth it. Do you drink??


No, I'll be traveling with my spouse. It will be all I can handle to observe beaver and wet a line to hook some big ones. Sorry, guess I have the wrong forum.
Thanks for the tip, anyway! 8)

Man ... the forums sure have been SLOW lately ... geez ..
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby Steve Gruhn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:29 pm

Chugach State Park abounds with hiking opportunities in the Anchorage area.

The Chugach National Forest also has lots of hiking opportunities in Southcentral Alaska. So does Denali National Park in the Alaska Range and Denali State Park in the Susitna Valley.

Without knowing your kids' experience level or whether you are looking for day trips or overnight trips, it's a bit difficult to list specific trips for you.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby lcarreau » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:41 am

Lucky kids !

When I was a laddie, the closest encounter we had with Alaska was when the paddy (or was it popsicle?) wagon delivered us some Eskimo Pies ..

In a few more years ... I would hear THIS played on FM radio ...

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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:49 am

The kids are well seasoned hikers/campers. For 13 and 11... they've done more of both than most adults.

I did the Harding Ice Field and it was one of the best hikes I've done. I really like Seward.

I checked out the cabins in Denali State Park, and remarkably some are still available. (!!) wow
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby Steve Gruhn » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:00 pm

You might consider the Crow Pass to Eagle River overnight trek, starting near Girdwood. Crossing the river can be a bit tricky if there's high water, so plan accordingly. Also, the Resurrection Trail from Cooper Landing to Hope might be up your alley. Also consider Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park and Lost Lake from Primrose to Seward.

All four of these might be made easier if you shuttle vehicles or have a driver hitchhike back to your car.

As for wildlife, well, they're wild and mobile and it's tough to make predictions of where you'll see them. But do keep your eyes open for them; they're around.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:17 pm

Thanks, Steve. I heard that you all got a lot of snow this year. So, that might make the Eagle River overnight trek difficult.

any other favorites?
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby lcarreau » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:33 am

Was hoping to see one of these when I go to Nome ... guess they've been creating havoc with people's sled dogs. I would never visit Nome in March.

Image

Image

Here's a little biddy baby Musk Ox. They look kinda cute.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby Steve Gruhn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:24 pm

I don't think the Crow Pass to Eagle River trip will be all that different from normal. While Anchorage did receive a tremendous amount of snow, it has been melting quite quickly (I only have 2 feet left in my yard) and we do have six weeks until the middle of June. While there certainly will be snow on a portion of the route (there often is through July), it shouldn't prove impassable. The concern would be about wading the North Fork of the Eagle River, but that is much more affected by recent rainfall.

A nice, short, steep hike is to hike the north face of Mount Alyeska and ride the tram down the mountain. It shouldn't take more than a couple hours, but if the weather's good, you'll have great views. You will also find good views if you hike up Bird Ridge Point, Rainbow Peak, or Falls Creek north of Turnagain Arm. These last three are south facing and are hikable right now, so the high snowfall shouldn't pose a problem.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby chugach mtn boy » Wed May 02, 2012 4:22 am

I like Steve's second paragraph suggestions. Lots of great hikes/scrambles along Turnagain Arm (some, I might say, are on SP :wink: ). The Alyeska north face one has this extra perk: they give you a free beer at the bar at the top if you tell them you walked up. But I digress from kid-friendly things...

The Crow Pass/Eagle River hike would not have worked too well with my kids when they were 11/13. There's quite a bit of interest at the Crow Pass end, but the last dozen dusty miles into Eagle River Visitor Center might not have the variety of cool stuff that kids appreciate. Depends on the kids.

Stuff I did with my kids at that age:
--Nancy Lake Canoe Trail: This is sooo fun with young people because of the constant variety, the teamwork of getting though the (short) portages, opportunities to swim, fish for easy-to-catch pike, explore ... take 2 days for the 15-lake circle, stopping at Lynx Lake #3 or James Lake cabins (or camping at Lynx). The system is located on the way to Denali. Canoe rentals very convenient.
--Kayaker's Cove Lodge in Resurrection Bay. Very, very affordable. More of a hostel than a lodge. Get there by water taxi. Sea kayaks come with yours stay. Great, sheltered waters to kayak in spectacular scenery with wildlife. For variety, there are awesome scrambles on the peaks behind the cabin, fun with kids if you are careful. Fits well with doing other Seward stuff that is kid-friendly, such as Kenai Fiords tour for whales and ice.
--Rabbit Lake/Suicide Peaks. On SP. Single overnight camping trip. However, timing is important--given this year's snow, do it at the end of your trip rather than the beginning to give things time to green up back there.
--Mt. Magnificent, camping on the ridge.
--Hook Point cabin off Cordova (beaches, seacliffs, shipwreck, amazing mountain hiking--but serious bear precautions required). PM if interested.

tigerlilly wrote: Where is a good place to see critters?....Would goofing around Denali be OK? or would bus ride be too long?
Denali does offer your one pretty sure bet of seeing bears, and the bus ride can work with kids if they are really into critters. For marine critters, go for Kenai Fiords, esp the tours that include Chiswell Islands. For moose, try biking the Anchorage coastal trail from Point Woronzoff south to Kincaid Park. Dall Sheep are on the cliffs at the Anchorage end of Turnagain Arm. The Rainbow Peak hike, also on Turnagain Arm, has a reasonably high return on a variety of wildlife sightings (bear, sheep, moose, lynx, eagles), but on some trips you won't spot anything. Binocs help, of course.

Have fun! Happy to help if you have more questions.
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby tigerlilly » Mon May 21, 2012 12:54 am

We booked kayaker's cove! looks lovely.

thinking about lost lake in Seward.
thoughts?
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Re: Good AK Hikes, kids in tow

Postby chugach mtn boy » Mon May 21, 2012 6:25 am

Gorgeous hike with meadows, lakes, views out over the fjord--usually a good bet for late June. But melt-out seems pretty far behind down there. You might watch this sensor which tracks the water content of the snowpack near the BASE of the Lost Lake hike, BEFORE the climb up onto the plateau: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/wygraph-multi.pl?state=AK&wateryear=2012&stationidname=49L14S-GROUSE+CREEK+DIVIDE I'd say you want that to have melted out completely at least a couple of weeks ahead of your hike, maybe more.

I have some friends going to Seward next weekend who might be able to shed more light on the subject ...

Oh, and if you do go up there, this cabin up on the plateau is still available a few odd nights in June: http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?subTabIndex=0&&contractCode=nrso&parkCode=dal1 It's a really sweet cabin that kids love.
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