On the Lakeside Trail – Eklutna Lake (May 2016)

May 16, 2016 at 3:31 pm (Alaska, Travel) (, , )

I’m afraid this blog may start to become somewhat monotonous.  Looking back, there has been a fair bit of content about mountains and water, more mountains and more water.  Every place we visit in Alaska presents scenery more beautiful than the last, and Eklutna Lake most definitely tops the list so far.

We are riding the Eklutna Lake Trail running along the eastern bank of the largest lake in Chugach State Park.  It’s a ~25mile round-trip from the main campgrounds to the old glacier viewing point south of the lake.  Even though, unfortunately, the glacier itself is no longer visible from this spot (keen hikers can make the ~1mile technical crossing to see it), the vistas along this trail are nothing short of astounding.

Eklutna 9

Eklutna 3

Just over half of the journey is against a backdrop of brilliant turquoise blue.  A meltwater lake occupying a glacial valley, Eklutna’s luminous hue is a product of the “rock flour” suspended in the glacial waters that feed it.  Rolling mountains hem the lake, their now thickly forested, green skirts skimming the water.  While snow still veils their uppermost peaks, the water levels are low, exposing striking, tiered levees and expansive gravelly beaches.

Eluktna

Eklutna 2

Eklutna 7

The ride by the lake is a leisurely one, mostly flat with steeper ramps where the walking/bike trail intersects the wider ATV route.  Not so past the southernmost point, from where, as we discover, you’re better off leaving your bike to avoid an uncomfortable leg over a loose, uneven, gravel- and boulder-strewn road.  We’re in bear country, but wildife encounters today are limited to yellow butterflies and one flight-y moose.

Eklutna 8

Our turnaround point lies beyond a forest of dead trees, their blackened branches a remnant of fires that razed the area in 2010.  The bridge here is a good location for resting, snacks and dall sheep spotting, with the milky glacial melt stream bubbling away in the background.

Eklutna 6

Eklutna 5

Eklutna 4

There are other hikes that branch out from here and from various points along the track but we’ve got the return trip ahead of us, gravel road included, and, only equipped for a day trip, the rest will have to wait for another time.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. leaf (the indolent cook) said,

    Beautiful lake and mountains!

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