Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mt Roberts, Gastineau, and Gold Ridge Trail Guide

Two down, three to go. (Of the five peaks in Juneau)

Tanner and I (and Panda, who had to bail early to go to work) hiked Mt. Roberts today. It was much longer and more difficult than we had anticipated. But much more worth it than I thought it'd be.

Mt Roberts, Gastineau, and Gold Ridge Trail Guide
Douglas Island (left) and Downtown Juneau with Mt Roberts Tram station (center) and Father Brown's Cross (far right)
We started hiking around 9:30am. Well, I left my apartment around 9am (at sea level) and hiked up to the interns' apartment on 7th (already at 200ft although it feels like way more than just 200ft). We took the 6th Street entrance because it takes so much longer to go around to Basin Road.

No longer maintained, but not technically off limits.
There are a few landslides and downed trees that you have to traverse and the trail itself is a little overgrown, but for the most part it's an easy-to-follow trail. It takes about 45 minutes at a good pace to get up to the Mt Roberts Tram Station (1800ft). There you can refill water bottles, buy some snacks if you'd like, watch a movie about the history of the native people here, and say hello to Baltimore, a chill bald eagle rescue. This is also your halfway point to the top of Gastineau Peak, so it's a nice time for a break. 

There's also a nature center with trail maps and a helpful guide who told us there's too much snow up top so don't attempt Gastineau or Mt Roberts. We didn't believe her, but it's nice to get a guides perspective anyways. I think she could sense our blasé attitude so she asked us to please check in on our return to make sure we came back safely and didn't fall off a cliff.

Above the tram we started to see some wildlife, with this Rock Ptarmigan.

Rock Ptarmigan in Juneau
Why can't you hear a Ptarmigan go to the bathroom? Because the P is silent. Bwahhahahaa.
We also saw a bear cub scampering off. I didn't get a picture, but you can see him in the video at the bottom.


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