This summer has definitely left us without the sun more weekends than normal. But hey– it’s Alaska and absolutely stunning here, rain or shine. So we try not to let the weather get us down. Having said that though, when Sunday showed promise of sun, we all had one trek on our minds; Reed Lakes! Finally!
Reed Lakes is a popular hike in the Valley. It’s got your mix of adventure, leisure, peril, and happy ending, making it the kind of trek worth doing!
The day started warm and sunny.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that blueberries were already ripe! The decision was made to take some extra time on (and off) the trail to do some blueberry picking. All the berries ended up in our mouths and none for home. Next time we’ll bring the buckets!
The first mile and a half of the trail is easy going. It’s an old dirt road leading out to Snowbird mine village (long abandoned and no longer standing). The views of Hatcher Pass are beautiful and the pace is an easy one for hikers of all levels.
The old dirt road comes to an end at an old mining cabin, the only structure left of the Snowbird mining village. The cabin is interesting and creepy at the same time. We love it!
And then the hike really begins to get in gear. It doesn’t look too bad, does it?
Except to say that you gain about 1500 feet in elevation in about a mile’s worth of climbing. There are switchbacks on the trail up the mountain, but with the amount of rain we’ve had this year, the trail is a mess. Most of the mountain was all about making your own way as we climbed to the top.
The view is pretty great! You can see the miner’s cabin where we started the climb. It would be the white spot in the center of the image below.
And now it’s time for some boulder hopping! This is actually my favorite part of the hike. It’s tricky and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get injured a few times while hopping from rock to rock, but that’s part of the adventure! These boulders are part of a massive rock field that chokes the valley between the two mountain peaks. These boulders are not friendly. This part of the hike is best done slowly and carefully and younger kids (or smaller dogs) probably won’t make this part of the trek.
There is no trail through the boulder field. But it’s pretty hard to get lost. Your objective is to just keep climbing up and over the field until you get between the peaks. Once you’re between the peaks, the trail opens up and life gets a lot easier.
We hung out for a while at Lower Reed lake, eating lunch and enjoying our time together. But the weather was turning faster than we’d anticipated, so it was time to head on home. A great end to an amazing day!
Until the next trip!