Juneau, Alaska hiking opportunities

Juneau, Alaska hiking opportunities

Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:53 pm

September 14th, 2005, 2:47 am #1

Alaska Airlines (http://alaskaair.com/) started service at DFW yesterday and they're having great deals flying out of Dallas/Ft Worth for the coming weeks. We decided now is the time to fly to Juneau - we may never see these prices again.

The Juneau Visitors Bureau sent some great information on nearby Mt Juneau, Mt Roberts, the Perseverance Trail and trails over around Mendenhall Glacier.

Any recommendations on these or other hiking opportunites in the Juneau vicinity?
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

September 14th, 2005, 3:06 am #2

Why pick Juneau during the horizontal rainy season?

You will have to plan your hikes so that you can complete them early. Juneau is in the far eastern portion of the Alaska Time Zone and this time of year the sun sets rather early (6:00 to 7:30 by late September/early October).

There are some trails around town. I recommend sticking to the trails because the off-trail hiking is through thick brush on steep slopes in the temperate rain forest.

Try Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts.

You could try Mount Troy or Mount Ben Stewart on Douglas Island (it's connected to downtown Juneau by a bridge). Access is from the Eaglecrest Ski Area.

There's also a nice trail up Gold Creek toward Olds Mountain. The road to this trailhead leaves from the northeast portion of the downtown area.

Without knowing your background and abilities, I am a little hesitant to recommend anything on the Juneau Icecap or other steep climbs, like Thunder Mountain, which already claimed the life of one tourist this year.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:53 pm

October 12th, 2005, 1:01 am #3

Alaska Airlines (http://alaskaair.com/) started service at DFW yesterday and they're having great deals flying out of Dallas/Ft Worth for the coming weeks. We decided now is the time to fly to Juneau - we may never see these prices again.

The Juneau Visitors Bureau sent some great information on nearby Mt Juneau, Mt Roberts, the Perseverance Trail and trails over around Mendenhall Glacier.

Any recommendations on these or other hiking opportunites in the Juneau vicinity?
Juneau is a great place to go hiking.

Because of the rain, we didn't do alot of long distance hiking. We hiked Mt Roberts up to the tram starting from the 6th Street trailhead.

Another day we did the short flume trail starting from Basin Road. We didn't have any information on this trail but we came across it by chance when we took an alternate way back to town when we were coming down Roberts. When we saw the water coming out of the flume and saw there was a trail on the other side of the water, we said we'd go back and do that another time. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the end of the trail brought us back into Juneau over onto Evergreen Street. The Flume trail was short and sweet but was great for us because we didn't want to do a whole lot of strenuous hiking that day.

Today we went to Mendenhall Glacier and did the East Loop Trail in spite of all the rain. It is a 3.5 mile trail that loops back to the trailhead but we headed back doing a little more than 1.5 miles. We were happy that we got to see Nugget Creek and figured that we saw all that was to be seen. Happy too that we saw the glacier better than had we just looked at it from the visitor center. I should have read the rest of the hiking book's description of the trail because it mentioned it a dam further up the creek as well and remnants of an old flume there that used to provide power to the mines on Douglas Island across the channel.

Every hike provided great scenery.
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

October 18th, 2005, 12:02 am #4

Why pick Juneau during the horizontal rainy season?

You will have to plan your hikes so that you can complete them early. Juneau is in the far eastern portion of the Alaska Time Zone and this time of year the sun sets rather early (6:00 to 7:30 by late September/early October).

There are some trails around town. I recommend sticking to the trails because the off-trail hiking is through thick brush on steep slopes in the temperate rain forest.

Try Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts.

You could try Mount Troy or Mount Ben Stewart on Douglas Island (it's connected to downtown Juneau by a bridge). Access is from the Eaglecrest Ski Area.

There's also a nice trail up Gold Creek toward Olds Mountain. The road to this trailhead leaves from the northeast portion of the downtown area.

Without knowing your background and abilities, I am a little hesitant to recommend anything on the Juneau Icecap or other steep climbs, like Thunder Mountain, which already claimed the life of one tourist this year.
Wheres the billion $ bridge, that I've heard so much about in the pork laden spending bill, going to be located?
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

October 18th, 2005, 1:31 am #5

There are two proposed bridges that are in the public eye currently. The first is the Knik Arm Crossing between Anchorage and Point Mackenzie. It would span Knik Arm, a northern extension of Cook Inlet and home to the second highest tides in the Pacific Ocean (the highest are in Turnagain Arm, an eastern extension of Cook Inlet and also in Anchorage). Knik Arm also freezes periodically in the winter, so high tides with large chunks of ice can exert forces on a bridge that can result in high costs to overcome them. The proposed route would serve as a commuter route into Anchorage from Knik-Fairview, Point Mackenzie, and Big Lake. It would also shave off about an hour and a half of travel time between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska's two largest communities.

The second proposed bridge would be in Ketchikan, Alaska, our fourth or fifth largest city (depending on whether it is larger than Sitka this week). Ketchikan is on Revillagigedo Island. Residents of this island, which also includes the town of Saxman, currently must take a ferry to the local airport on Gravina Island; the only other way of the island is via boat. Part of the high costs for this bridge have to do with making the bridge high enough for large ships to travel underneath. This proposed bridge would also connect Pennock Island with Revillagigedo and Gravina Islands; thus, the proposal is really for two bridges.

The money for both of these bridges comes from federal gasoline taxes and is earmarked for transportation purposes. The money also comes out of Alaska's allotment for highway funding. Alaska, despite having more than twice as much land area as the second largest state, has the least amount of roads of any of the 50 states. Many of our communities lack road service and, as a result, basic amenities, such as goods and serivces, must be flown in, thereby increasing costs. Consequently, Alaska would like to increase its infrastructure so that it can bring modern services to its residents that currently don't have running water, something that I'm sure the truly patriotic citizens of the United States wouldn't begrudge them.
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

October 18th, 2005, 3:38 am #6

All we hear on the news is a blurb about a very expensive bridge that benefits only 50 people. I guess thats what I get when I watch the news, read a newspaper, etc. Thanks for the info.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

October 18th, 2005, 4:59 pm #7

I think those accounts probably refer to the proposed Gravina Island bridge(s). While only 50 people live on Gravina Island and only about 90 on Pennock Island, some 10,000 people live on Revillagigedo Island. While I'm sure this is not a lot by East Coast standards, I think that all objective observers would agree that the press is not being accurate when media reports state that the bridge would only benefit 50 people.

Beware of biased "news" accounts or 30-second sound bites by people with axes to grind; it is always worthwhile to do your own research. Very few things are as simplistic as they are made out to be.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:53 pm

October 18th, 2005, 6:56 pm #8

All we hear on the news is a blurb about a very expensive bridge that benefits only 50 people. I guess thats what I get when I watch the news, read a newspaper, etc. Thanks for the info.
This same story happened to be in The Juneau Empire (I want to say in the Friday, October 7 edition) while we were up there. It was good to read the Alaska side of the story.

It pointed out what you mentioned that it would allow Ketchikan residents access to their airport without having to take the ferry. It mentioned too that Ketchikan has no room to expand on its island and the bridge would be a plus to its future growth.

The headline to this story was the locals wanted to rename the airport to honor their Congressman in Washington that's spearheading the effort to bring federal money to build the bridge.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:10 pm

October 18th, 2005, 7:08 pm #9

I think the problem is these earmarked funds get included into the big bills with very little review or oversight. I'm sure all of the projects are valuable and meaningful to those people who need them. I agree that reducing each case into a 2-second sound byte fails to tell the story and even gives an incorrect slant to it. It's not as though the money goes into a vast hole- it supports workers who in turn contribute to the economy. But it is a huge bill and the objection was more toward how the projects were vetted, if at all, not necessarily what the projects entail. It's probably true that a percentage of these pork projects would not have made the bill if it had some review process in place (or actually used). The city of Tempe (where I sit as I type) has their stick in the fire for a footbridge for its Tempe Town Lake Park. That one probably should not be there.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

October 18th, 2005, 7:39 pm #10

This same story happened to be in The Juneau Empire (I want to say in the Friday, October 7 edition) while we were up there. It was good to read the Alaska side of the story.

It pointed out what you mentioned that it would allow Ketchikan residents access to their airport without having to take the ferry. It mentioned too that Ketchikan has no room to expand on its island and the bridge would be a plus to its future growth.

The headline to this story was the locals wanted to rename the airport to honor their Congressman in Washington that's spearheading the effort to bring federal money to build the bridge.
Actually, Alaska's senior senator, Ted Stevens added to the bill a provision to name the proposed Gravina Island bridge and the Knik Arm Crossing after Alaska Representative Don Young. Some locals like the idea while others think it is imprudent to name a structure after a sitting politician.

Imagine if the City of Buffalo had named a bridge after O. J. Simpson or if the State of Maryland had named a bridge afer Spiro T. Agnew. I bet some folks would feel rather sheepish upon reflecting on the later events of the lives of these two people.
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