Just when I thought August was a month of changes, September rolls in.
We had bluebird days, overcast days, snowy days and rainy days. And boy did we have rainy days. We almost set a nearly 100-year-old record, in fact, for the most consecutive days of rain (18). Not quite what we were all hoping to have during the fleeting days of “summer” (which had already felt more like fall, anyway).
Despite the wet, dreary weather, though, we were still able to get outside for the few days in between it stopped raining. And it was worth it.
Biking in Bicentennial Park
There are a ton of bike paths and trails in Anchorage but Bicentennial Park is one of the closest and one of the best. We’ve ridden many of the trails and they’re a little different each time.
This one (I think it was the Viewpoint Trail) was still mostly green but the undergrowth was starting to red and man, was it pretty!
Hiking up Wolverine Peak
Back in Colorado, you can do a few hikes in the foothills (what people refer to the smaller hills near the city) but to really get up to the rockier peaks you have to drive quite a distance into the mountains. Not so in Anchorage.
The Chugach Mountains are the eastern backdrop for the city and access to rugged mountaintops is literally in our backyard.
We hiked up Wolverine Peak for the first time recently and it was wonderful. The skies couldnt’ve been bluer and visibility was amazing. It’s not every day that you get a view this awesome of Denali and its shorter neighbor, Mt. Foraker. They may look kinda small to you in this photo but Denali is about 250 miles away – that’s pretty far.
Once we arrived at the top of Wolverine, we had excellent views looking east, deeper into the Chugach.
A Day at the Beach
Okay, so it probably doesn’t count as a real day at the beach for most of us, but this is as good as it gets in Anchorage and it’s actually pretty good.
One clear-ish day we made our way to Kincaid Park and then walked down to “The Beach” from there. It’s not sandy, warm or particularly beachy, but it’s actually quite pretty and peaceful down there. You get views of the Chugach, the Cook Inlet and even Anchorage if you head east along the beach.
Hiking to Reed Lakes
This past weekend we hiked possibly my new favorite hike in Alaska.
The hike begins near Hatcher Pass, which is not too far from Palmer and Wasilla, towns to the north of Anchorage by about an hour.
The hike itself was fairly moderate and the elevation gain wasn’t too bad. But the views were outstanding. There were layers of mountains just waiting to be unveiled after each step, crystal-clear waters, snowy peaks, wide, colorful valleys and the sound of silence. It was truly a wonderful hike.
Here’s a shot taken about 2 miles into the hike. I seriously don’t remember the last time I’ve seen water this clear.
And this shot of Lower Reed Lake was taken another mile or so up the trail. Ridiculously beautiful, right?
Now that fall has officially arrived, the trees seem to know it. They’ve turned a golden hue and have been slowly fluttering to the ground. The peak hiking season will soon be over and snow will begin to stick. The air is considerably colder and the morning chill nearly takes my breath away.
I’m not ready to start bundling up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but sometimes we just have to deal with it anyway (though I won’t stop being a little bit jealous of those of you still enjoying 70-degree weather! ;).