The Great Alaskan Outdoors Series: Hiking

    Hiking the local trails in Anchorage, Alaska, is both a thrilling and serene experience, say visitors to this wondrous mountain viewing area. In fact, the Anchorage Daily News claims that tourists are drawn to hiking Anchorage year round even while it is considered a subarctic climate region with lots of snow and rain during the winter months.

    Still, there are plenty of campers, hikers and nature lovers who find trekking Anchorage to be one of the most gleeful experiences in life.

    Finding your thrill up in Anchorage

    While hiking is a very popular activity in and around Anchorage, there are also many other things to do if you are on vacation and in search of a peaceful place to enjoy Mother Nature. For example, one longtime hiker explained online that he and his family usually take a break from hiking north beyond the Air Force base – known as Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson – to simply sit in their vehicle and view the many black and grizzly bears that live in the area.

    In turn, the hiker says there are many free nature treks near both the air base and nearby Chugach State Park. There are also many daily guided hikes into the local state parks that include the famed Denali National Park.

    A review of the many daily guide hikes in the local Anchorage area features comments from visitors that are surprised about the easy access from city life to the thrilling wilderness. For example, a hiker can escape the Anchorage city life after trekking for just 20 minutes on one of the many local trails that takes one quickly into the Alaska wilderness.

    Popular hikes in Anchorage, Alaska

    When it comes to hiking Anchorage, there are many versatile offerings for both the novice and experienced hiker. For instance, there are three popular hikes offered by local guides that include:

    – The easy Anchorage hike. This trek into the deep Alaska wilderness just outside Anchorage takes about four hours when figuring the time for round trip transport from your hotel. While the hike is dubbed “easy”, there are many locals who often hike this standard Anchorage trail that is located just out of town in a deeply wooded area called Turnagain Arm.

    The trek is recommended for both young and old because it is fairly easy to hike at a gentle pace with plenty of rest stops and bathrooms along a two-mile trail that features easy terrain. The hike is about three miles round trip, and features views at an elevation of about three feet. According to locals, the hike takes about four hours.

    – The moderate Anchorage hike. This trek is designed for regular hikers because it includes walking up the somewhat steep McHugh Ridge and then down to the rocky Powerline Valley outside of Anchorage. The round trip journey will take you about five hours, say locals. In addition, the hike features various hills that will eventually lead you to upwards of 1,000 feet above sea level and beautiful views of nearby McHugh Ride.

    At the same time, the Anchorage locals who often take this trek to view the magnificent vistas outside of their town, say there is nothing on Earth as absorbing and dynamic as taking this somewhat long hike for view of nearby Turnagain Arm, the famed Alaska Mountain Range and the Tordrillo Mountains at sunset. There are warnings for novice hikers because the trail tends to get very narrow and rocky.

    – The challenging Anchorage hike. This trek is popular with young people in the Anchorage area who enjoy the famed Powerline Valley Trails that sort of wind around South Fork Campbell Creek just outside of town. In addition, this hike is necessary for photographers and nature buffs because it features lush vegetation and all sorts of delightful wildflowers, moose, birds and bears.

    The trail seems to gain elevation as you get farther from Anchorage proper with a steep upgrade of 200 feet once you pass the bathroom facilities that are also popular with serious hikers who tend to pace themselves for this somewhat difficult hike. Also, this trek usually lasts about eight to nine hours – including round trip transportation to and from your hotel – because you will be hiking up to Hidden Lake and McHugh Peak at 4,200 feet.

    There is also a lovely mountain lake at the end of the trail base, and cool places to rest that the locals call “the Ramp, the Wedge and O’Malley”.

    In addition, the local Anchorage area features all sorts of spirited hiking excursions, popular tails and resources for the outdoor fan. The website www.alaskahikesearch.com features some great tips for local hiking and backpacking. In addition, there are some cool treks here.

    Overall, there is no place on Earth that offers so much in terms of both interesting and challenging hikes as the state parks around Anchorage.

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