Hidden Creek Backpacking trip

September 4th, 2010 by

A backpacker hikes up the valley of Hidden Creek, in the Wrangell Mountains. Fall colors glow on the tundra. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Backpacking up the valley of Hidden Creek, in the Wrangell Mountains. Fall colors glow on the tundra. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a photo from our trip last week up Hidden Creek and over to the Lakina River. What a great trip this was. The weather was amazing; huge sunny skies, bluebird days, warm afternoons, crisp cool nights and that great fall air.

The landscape – well, incredible doesn’t touch it. Jaw-dropping scenery at virtually every turn marks this route, and we lapped it up. The views of Mt Blackburn the first day were simply unsurpassed. The view from my tent the final morning in a high alpine pass, with fresh snow (“termination dust”) on the soaring jagged peaks of the Wrangell mountains, reflecting in the glassy water of the tarn (lake) was more than anyone could ask for.

Last summer I hiked this route as part of a longer route, from Nugget Creek to Kennicott, and the weather wasn’t so friendly. Not terrible, but for this section, definitely not great hiking weather. This year the tables turned and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

The folks on the trip, the Ball family from San Antonio, TX, had a blast. They were returning here after an infamous trip we took in 2006, where they set the record for the worst weather of any backpacking trip I’ve ever done. It was so fun to see their smiles and hear their joy as we didn’t have to set up the cook tent for each and every meal. A stark contrast to their previous hike!

This route, though not too far in terms of miles, offers a lot of exploring and side-hiking along the way, and we took advantage of that as often as possible. Some of the waterfalls we found, clear lakes and streams, as well as intense fall color in those high alpine passes were just too cool. And the herds of Dall sheep and mountain goats on the hillsides nearby were the icing on one helluva great cake!

I shot some video on this trip, as well, and will try to edit that and get it posted online in the fall. I’m looking forward to this hike again next year; hopefully the great weather will return and the hike will be as rewarding as this year.And the company will be as much fun as the Ball family. Thanks so much to Rob, Deb and Saundra for coming out again.

Cheers

Carl

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