Autumn is fleeting in Alaska, so you need to take advantage of those few beautiful fall days when you have the chance. We decided to spend one gorgeous September day, hiking at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska (about 45 minutes south of Anchorage).
In the wintertime, Alyeska is a world class ski resort, and in the summer months you can hike or bike the trails. There is also a large tram to take you up or down the mountain, which we took full advantage of on the way down!
But, first, the climb to the top.
It's hard to fully relax and enjoy the moment when you are constantly thinking about bears. And I've seen the bears with my own eyes! I KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE! That is when you give it to God, and forge ahead.
Proper bear etiquette says to make sure that you make a lot of noise while on the trail, and the bears usually run away. They can hear human conversation from about 350 yards away, and even the click of a camera from 50 yards away. So. I kept reminding myself that they don't want to eat me. But, given the chance...
We had not yet invested in any bear spray, which I hear only works from 8 feet out anyway, but Matt joked that Eva was his bear repellent. She talks a LOT.
Sometimes you even forget about predators for a moment to take it all in.
Higher and higher we went,
and were rewarded with some pretty spectacular views for our efforts.
We hiked the North Face Trail, which is about 2.2 miles and is considered very challenging. But, hey, we made it to the summit of Mt. Fuji, so everything else is a piece of cake in comparison!
Near the end of the hike was a series of rocky and steep switchbacks, which got more challenging.
We enjoyed watching the tram sail by, and it seemed like we were so close!
Victory at the summit!
Another thing that I loved about this hike was that the trail ended at a very nice ski lodge.
And the best part? Enjoying a cold iced tea, with a fancy lunch and a view. Ahhh! I can handle outdoor-ing with this as my reward! Are all Alaskan adventures like this?
There was a spectacular view of the Cook Inlet from the lodge, as well.
And finally, the tram ride down was relaxing and worth all of our climbing efforts.
With so many sudden amenities, I almost felt like I was back in Japan (but minus the heated toilet seats, of course).
Back at the base, the girls were trying to figure out the bear proof garbage cans. Apparently they are kid proof, too.
And one final warm up by the fire at the Alyeska Hotel, which is very nice, I might add. Can't wait to return for ski season!
We came, we hiked, we had a nice lunch and kept the bears at bay. I'd call this a win!