Monday, August 27, 2018

Walk-About Guide to Alaska, Volume Two, the second of four hiking guides to Southcentral Alaska, journeys through the Front Range of the Chugach Mountains and across the Anchorage bowl. Rising so close to Anchorage, one can consider the Front Range and its foothills the playground of the city. On any given day of the week in any season one could very possibly find people climbing Flattop Mountain and Wolverine Peak, skiing up the Ship Pass valley, biking Powerline Trail, or napping alongside Rabbit Lake. In addition to the Front Range, the Anchorage bowl also serves as a playground for the city. Threaded by many miles of bike trails, ski trails, and hiking trails, it can satisfy almost any craving for outdoor activity. It even offers a couple of beaches—though these prove far better destinations for beach-walking than swimming.

In the four volumes as a whole, which collectively contain hikes and climbs from as far south as Homer and Seward to as far north as the Talkeetna Mountains and as far east as Glenallen one should find adventures suitable to every level of skill and fitness. As such they include flat and short trails to mountainous cross-country treks. They also include climbs on gradually switch-backed trails to scrambles up near-precipitous gullies. They even include adventures that entail crossing glaciers and fording creeks. On some of the more popular hikes and climbs one will share the trail or summit with many people. On others, however, one could very hike up an entire valley, traverse the length of a ridge, or scramble to a remote summit without seeing another person for a day or even more Then, with perhaps a few marmots, an eagle, or a moose or bear for company, one might then realize one of the many wonders of hiking in Alaska.