Get Outside

Eagle & Symphony Lakes: Final Hike in Alaska

August 31, 2016

Last Tuesday was our final day in Anchorage on this trip so before we packed up our belongings for the long looong flights home, we needed to get outside one final time.

So a 12-mile hike was obviously in the books!

Betsy took a day off work to hike with us (She told us that when she told her boss she was going to take a day off for hiking, they were like “Why are you telling us? Just go.” which reminds me of how amazing it is to live in a state where it is expected to be outside when there is good weather and hiking to do)  and we drove to the South Fork Valley Trailhead in Eagle River – about a 30 minute drive from downtown Anchorage.

The day called for a bit of rain, but we ended up with a slightly overcast hike in the beginning, and incredibly warm sunshine for the way back. I was regretting a long sleeve shirt almost immediately, and ended up taking off my hiking pants and finishing the hike in yoga pants.

While out on the trail, we came across 3 other people. Three. On a 12 mile, 4.5 hour journey. I absolutely love how you can find peace and alone-time anywhere, when Anchorage is such a big and crowded city.

One thing I loved about this hike was how the views and terrain varied so rapidly. We walked across tundra, a boulder field created by the receding glacier, and we saw the fireweed about to lose all of its color. Walking in the valley between these rising peaks inspires awe, and you truly get to experience the ‘Alaska Mile‘. (The Alaska Mile is when you can’t quite gauge distance because your mental perception of the landscape contours. For example, a hill may look easy to climb, but it is actually really steep. Reflections of sunlight make things appear closer. I will think I only walked 5 miles, when my GPS watch will tell me I’ve done 9.

It’s a pretty incredible thing.

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