dogs on leash
cross country skiing
This hike is incredible! The trail begins on the west glacier trail. You can park in the lot by the skaters cabin. After the first cable incline there is a viewpoint. Turn there to find a trail that goes downhill. You follow this trail until it ends and then use cairns and ribbons to find your way to the glacier. There is one section where you have to scramble up large, slippery rocks. That part of the trail is really intense. The rest of the trail is pretty easy going. There is a section where a tree blocks the path because a beaver cut the tree down. Some of the cairns have been knocked over too, so you need to be alert. It took us five hours roundtrip. That includes stopping for lunch and geocaching. As always, make sure you bring lots of water and you're wearing proper hiking boots.
The hike is OK, the views also OK, but neither were what I hoped for. Frankly, the views of the glacier are far better from the visitors center on the east side, even with the crowds. We had much better scenery and more challenging hike elsewhere on our trip in AK.
Very easy walk, that leads to a small over look that looks out over the Knik Arm and Anchorage. This trail meets up with the Coastal Trail at an interesting intersection. Very short, very easy, family friendly that could lead to an all day long walk along the water. Go to Anchorage or to Kincaid Park, the choice is yours.
Thoroughly enjoyed our fall hike on the lightly used Skilak Lookout trail (Bear Mtn trail is a nearby 1 mile loop which we have yet to do). Hike is on the easy side of moderate. Stretches of the trail can be rather wet so it's a good idea to wear waterproof hiking shoes and expect to get a little muddy. Also bear in mind the weather can change quickly in this region. We started off peeling layers in an unusually warm afternoon and a little over an hour were later were donning them all and looking for raincoats and protection from the chilly wind.
Sep 20, 2016 - This is a very easy trail with barely any elevation gain. It's massively over-crowded, but the only way to get to the falls by foot. Rangers stopped a bunch of us to allow a black bear and cubs cross the trail. Eagles are flying around the area grabbing salmon where they can. We even saw a little porcupine. It looked like the kayaks were the best method of getting close to the glacier. There's also a trail on the other side of the bay, but we couldn't find anyone who knew about it enough to take us there. We also didn't have enough time before the cruise ship left port.
Sep 21, 2016 - You'll need to take the White Pass train to the Laughton Glacier trailhead. They will drop you off and you just need to make sure you're back to the pickup location for the train back. There's an early train (~7:30am) and a later train around 12:30. We took the latter train and didn't have sufficient time to make it all the way to the glacier base. We ended up running back the whole way so we didn't miss the train. The only train that picks you up arrives around 3:30pm. This makes a long day if you caught the early train, but it's the only way you'll have enough time at the top.
We had a few hours to kill before taking the train up the mountain to hike to Laughton Glacier, so we headed up this trail as far as we could go before having to turn around in time to catch the train. It's an easy walk to the trailhead with peek-a-boo views back to the town. We found a rock lookout at our turn-around spot that gave us some great views. It was about a mile into the hike.