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Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

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haines, alaska
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Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Wanted to share this hike with those who enjoyed Denali and might be traveling between Haines Junction and Haines......

We hiked the trail to Samual Glacier yesterday (21 miles from the border crossing, or 61 miles north of Haines).......Just strolling the first mile of the trail there is quite an assortment of wildflowers, lots of ground squirrels. grouse, hawks and eagles, surrounded by the colorful, snow covered mountains and enjoying the quiet of the north....but we made a day of it and hiked in about 5 miles....the trail does gradually tend uphill, but is not difficult as much of it follows an old dirt road.....the countryside is wide open with no trees and very few shrubs so a safe place to hike in bear country as you would be able to see one in the distance (and he could see you) with very little chance of surprising one....the second mile the trail crosses several small streams and is surrounded by a riot of wildflowers (lupines, wild geraniums, dwarf fireweed, forget-me-nots....mother nature outdid herself on this garden !)......the surrounding countryside is mounded in hammocks and if you get down close to the tundra you can see the variety of low-lying miniature plants that survive in this harsh environment, crow berries, bear berries and even what looked like tiny blueberry plants......the terrain is a huge meadowy bowl surrounded by mountains and as you continue several glaciers come into view in the distance and that view pulls you further along the trail......about 4 miles in you come to another creek crossing (this one will get your boots wet but was an easy crossing this late in the summer)......the clearly defined trail comes to a halt about a half mile later and the trail is marked with cairns (stacked rocks) at intervals across the meadow......we had lunch here, before turning back, but to actually walk up to the glacier, I'm told that you need to camp at this point and make a day trip the next day for the final 5 miles.....(maybe next summer ??).......Take a day pack (bug spray, sunscreen, lunch, canteen), keep your camera at hand and expect to return with wet boots, a light heart and new sense of wonder and appreciation for such unspoiled wilderness......this one is our new favorite !!

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1. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Fantastic, sounds like just the ticket! Visiting the area in a couple of weeks time so will try and track down this trail.

haines, alaska
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2. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

The trailhead is not marked, but if you are coming from Haines Junction, start watching the right hand side of the road about the border between Yukon and British Columbia.......then you will see a rest stop with green outhouse and a green emergency shelter.....go by there and watch for that same type of green outhouse in the next parking lot (maybe another mile or so, on the right, as well)......

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3. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Thanks for the extra info mombear. Will be sure to take a trip down to this area whilst with staying in Haines Junction for a few days or on the day we travel from Haines Junction down to Haines.

yukon
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4. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

thanks Mombear for that, I've been wanting to do that hike but I'm always leery of bears so it was great to hear that it's not too brushy.

On my to-do list for next year for sure!

cheers,

krg

haines, alaska
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5. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Kluanegirl

We were just up on the pass picking berries last week, it was on a Saturday and stopped at the trailhead to use the outhouse....there must have been 6-8 cars at the trailhead......you may want to keep that in mind for your hike next year....we went on a Wednesday and only saw 2 other people......in my opinion fewer folks make a hike more enjoyable !!

haines, alaska
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6. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Bump.....for Places

Adirondack, New York
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7. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Thank you mombear. This hike is very appealing. Is there an actual trailhead or just a gravel pull off? Any landmarks to help us find the start of this hike? What side of the Haines Highway while traveling north from Haines?

Adirondack, New York
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8. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

I just read your answer, post #2, and to find the trailhead for this hike should we look for green outhouse on the left side of the highway 61 miles from Haines?

Edited: 12:30 pm, November 26, 2010
haines, alaska
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9. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Yep, the left side of the road......

Adirondack, New York
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10. Re: Great hike - kind of like a mini-Denali

Thank you Mombear for all your great help. Only eight more months.

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