After our repairing our flat tire on the way out of Whittier, we arrived at the Alyeska Hotel, a gem in Girdwood. The hotel is really beautiful and nestled in the mountains with various trails nearby. We spent the day hiking on another clear and warm day in Alaska.
We began with a roughly 7 mile hike to Winner Creek. There were some incredible rivers and lush forests in Chugach State Park. It was an easy hike with gentle rises and falls in elevation to the river.
After returning from the Winner River hike, my wife and daughter went back to the hotel and I decided to tackle the North Face hike. This is a roughly 3 mile hike (if you count the road before the trail) that goes straight up the side of Mt. Alyeska. That is a 2000 foot climb in a very short period of time. It is extremely challenging if you are doing the climb rather than the descent. You can ride the tram up the mountain and walk down. If you choose, as I did, to climb the mountain, the tram ride is free coming down. I did this hike three years ago and it kicked my middle-aged rear end. This was a hot day and making it to the top was a chore. Unfortunately, I just missed the little shop selling sodas and cold water but a fast tram down soon allowed me to buy plenty of drinks. The views from the top however cannot be beat.
This is bear country. While I did not buy Bear spray on my last trip to Alaska, I did so this time since I was hiking with my wife and daughter. It is advised on this particular hike. I spotted plenty of bear prints and scat on both hikes.
It was a great day but I got back to the room dragging from the North Face hike.