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Showing posts from August, 2020

Eagle and Symphony Lakes Loop

Why I Like This Hike: This colorful fall hike through the South Fork Valley and into Ship Creek offers stunning views of alpine lakes (Eagle and Symphony), tarns and valleys surrounded by rugged, glaciated mountains. During September and early October (until the first snowfall) you will have the added bonus of vibrant fall colors.  How to Get Ttere: To get started, take the well established trail to Eagle and Symphony Lakes which starts from the South Fork trailhead parking lot. (This section can usually be hiked in October and well into winter depending on snow conditions.) For directions and details on the hike to Eagle & Symphony Lakes go here:  Hike to Eagle-symphony-lakes The Nitty-Gritty: Once you have arrived at Eagle Lake (second bridge), proceed across the boulder field to the west side of Symphony Lake where there are several camping spots if you decide to camp for the night. To take the Ship Creek loop back, you will need good weather and navigation skills. Don'

Llamas Low Environmental Impact Make Them the Logical Choice for ANWR

As a recreational user of pack llamas on public lands in Alaska for almost 40 years, I have some very serious concerns with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed regulatory addition to 50 CFR § 36.39 (k) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that all domestic camelids (pack llamas) are prohibited. I appreciate that ANWR is located in a pristine, tundra environment and understand that USFWS is mandated to protect the fragile environment, including the wildlife, in this unique refuge with a world class reputation. However, I must question USFWS’s logic (and motive) in banning the use of pack llamas within ANWR for a plethora of reasons which I will explain in my objection to this proposed rule.  For many years it has been widely recognized that llamas have far less impact on the environment than traditional pack stock such as mules and horses. Low environmental impact has long been recognized as the pack llama’s advantage over traditional pack animals. An

Hiking in Upper Ship Creek

If you want to get off the beaten path for a more wilderness experience close to Anchorage, take a  hike in the upper Ship Creek drainage in Chugach State Park. To avoid snow and harsh weather in the passes and upper reaches, I generally hike there June through mid-September although you may be able to hike into November depending on weather.  My preferred access point is the South Fork trail head  (although there is access in Arctic Valley.) To get to the trail head, take the Eagle River Loop/Hiland Road exit off the Glenn Highway just past the weigh station. Turn right at the traffic light onto Hiland and continue about eight miles up the road. Take a right onto South Creek and follow it to West River Drive and take another right. The parking lot is on your left. The trail starts out on a boardwalk for a short distance and then turns into a trail that traverses the right side of the South Fork valley as you head away from the parking area. To access the Ship Creek drainage