Saturday, August 29, 2015

Elfin Cove and Juneau Alaska Easy Hiking Trails

Isa came up to visit and we played (and worked) a lot! We did three hikes: Brotherhood Trail, the Flume Trail, and Mt Roberts (to the tram). Isa also took a side trip to Elfin Cove to visit her dad who was fishing there with some clients at the time. Here's a recap of her visit:

Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei (Brotherhood Trail)

I've wanted to see this view for a long time and never knew where it was until this season.

Fireweed and Mendenhall Glacier

It's super easy to get to if you have a car, which we don't, but not hard on the bus either. From downtown (Federal Building), the Route 4 Mendenhall bus took about 35 minutes. Just go out past Safeway and stop as soon as you cross the river. There's a little parking lot there and this view of the fireweed and Mendenhall Glacier is literally from the parking lot.

Isa in the Fireweed

The trail is paved and flat. Nice for running, biking, walking, wheelchairs, or whatever. We just meandered for a while chatting and catching up (we'd been apart for a few weeks).

There are side trails all along the paved one, so we ventured off on a few of those.

Boardwalk through the Forest

Some of these trails lead off to Mendenhall River.

Fireweed, Mendenhall River, and Mendenhall Glacier
Fireweed, Mendenhall River, and Mendenhall Glacier in the background

Others lead deeper into the woods.

Brotherhood Trail

After walking around for a couple hours, we walked over to the airport (about a mile from the trailhead). Isa had an afternoon flight over to Elfin Cove to meet up with her dad.

Elfin Cove

Isa took the camera over to Elfin Cove to try her hand at vlogging. I'd say she did pretty well. :)

Flume Trail

The flume trail follows Gold Creek and is super easy to access off Basin Road, just past the parking lot for Mt. Roberts trailhead. It's mostly flat and wide, either gravel or boardwalk. It's really nice for a leisurely walk.

Isa on the Flume Trail
Isa decided that we need more posing in our pictures.

Isa with Flares on the Flume Trail
She wanted flare. I went a little overboard.
We wandered off the trail a few times in search of adventure, but all the side trails end up hooking back into the main one.

The trail pops out in the community behind JDHS, so we wandered around until we found ourselves back in our neighborhood.

Mt Roberts (just up to the tram)

Isa had never been up to the tram, so after working a full day, we decided to go up there. It's only 45 minutes or so from the 6th St trailhead* to the tram, maybe an hour if you take your time.

Waterfall on Mt Juneau

*Note: The 6th Street Trailhead used to say "Do Not Enter" because a few landslides made it a little dangerous. But somebody took the "Do Not Enter" sign down so you totally can now. And the landslides aren't that difficult to get around. It's a much quicker way up than circling around to Basin Road and going up that side.

Gastineau Channel, Douglas, and Juneau from Mt Roberts

We checked out Lady Baltimore (the eagle) at the top and measured our wingspan against hers.

Isa's Wingspan

The eagle is always bigger. I measured up to a Canadian Goose.

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