Bella and I tried this loop solo last year. A nagging injury turned me around, and I really wanted to give it a try this summer. I was psyched that Jonathan was game, for the company, the lighter pack, and because sharing adventures is pretty fun.
All smiles on the way up Hope Point Friday evening. photo by J. Rupp.
Looking back toward Turnagain Arm on Saturday morning. We hiked up and past Hope Point on Friday after work, starting right after a thunderstorm rolled through. Photo by K. Strong.
Saturday morning sheep trails. We saw loads of sheep, one caribou, and a black bear with cubs on this trip. The low spots on the ridges are full of wildlife highways, used by wolves, bears, and all sorts of other animals. It’s pretty neat. Photo by K. Strong.
Early Saturday morning sunshine. Photo by J. Rupp.
The route passed a few alpine lakes, but we were melting snow for water just about the whole way. I think water sources might be a challenge on this hike later in the season. Photo by K. Strong.
After Saturday night dinner, we watched a black bear with two tiny cubs walk up the valley below us, and then about a minute later a rainbow arcing over the ridgeline came out. Not too shabby, Alaska, not too shabby. Photo by K. Strong.
Sunday morning, the weather was a little more moody than I expected, but it made for some really neat cloud watching. Photo by K. Strong.
It was sunny and hot in Friday before we left Anchorage. I was happy to have ignored that, and kept all the rain gear. Photo by J. Rupp.
Photo by K. Strong.
I was super proud of how well Bella did on this hike. She was a bit timid on the rock fields and the few scrambly bits, but got more confident as the trip went on, which was really cool to see. Photo by J. Rupp.
We left the west side of the ridges that frame the Resurrection Creek valley and walked down through an old burn. Photo by K. Strong.
We crossed the Res Pass trail near the Caribou Creek cabin and stopped for a snack. It was hard to think about diving into an uphill bushwack when sitting on a trail, and I insisted we start moving or I’d completely lose motivation and want to bail to town. Happily, it was less like a bushwack and more like a walk through a mossy forest. Photo by K. Strong.
And, we gained the ridge on the other side. Hooray! Looking across the way at part of our route. Photo by K. Strong.
tired pup. Photo by J. Rupp.
Navigating a particularly rocky section of ridge. Photo by J. Rupp.
I had hoped to stay up high all the way around the Palmer Creek basin, but time was running short, feet were getting sore, and snow conditions on the east side of the valley were, well, snowier. So, we dropped down to the Palmer Creek road as soon as it made sense. Walking the road was way quicker, but it was still a late night. We had vague hopes of hitching a ride, but we seemed to have the valley to ourselves. When we were a few miles from town, a truck passed on its way up. About a half hour later, on its way back down, they offered us a ride. Our feet were hurting enough that we gladly took it. Turns out the road was closed and they’d driven around the gate, explaining why we had the valley to ourselves for so long. I put aside my sense of rule-following, and was grateful for their belief that they should be allowed to drive up the road whenever they please. They kindly went out of their way to bring us all the way to the trailhead. Photo by K. Strong.
Sidehilling is hard on more than just the soles of my feet. Photo by K. Strong.
Our actual route. I’m definitely interested in coming back to try the ridges above Palmer Creek!