Flattop Mountain Trail, Anchorage

What do you do for a long holiday weekend? If you are in Alaska, you probably try to get outside and enjoy the short summer months while you have them. We decided to head to one of Anchorage’s most popular hikes, the Flattop Mountain trail.

You know you live in Alaska when your Costco, (and everywhere else), has large bear spray displays. As usual, we forgot to bring ours! 

But we forged ahead anyway. Apparently the biggest bear deterrent is making lots of noise as you hike. The girls definitely had that covered!

The landscape was very unusual at the beginning of the trail.

I’m not even sure what kind of trees they were, but such an interesting look!

Then, just like that, we were above the tree line, and into wide-open spaces. 

I like this type of terrain much better in Alaska. At least you could see the bears coming! Though I don’t know if that’s good or bad….

The problem with late May, however, is you still find lots of winter. I wasn’t really prepared for ice climbing….

But the views were spectacular, from every direction.

 We even had a great view of Denali, North America’s tallest peak.

Most of the hike was a wide open trail,

some stair cases, which were almost straight up, 

and near the top was very rocky, necessitating the use of our hands. For a moment we thought we were back on Mt. Fuji!

There were also areas of small ledges with a steep drop-off, to navigate. Not my favorite.

And in Alaska, there is always copious amounts of mud. Always.

We enjoyed watching the paragliders high above the mountains. Who is wired that way, anyway? Actually, Ella is wired that way. Much to my dismay!

The higher in elevation we climbed. the more spectacular the views.

Nice place for a rest stop.

I absolutely loved the memorial plaque on the bench. What a great way to honor a loved one’s legacy!

Onward and upward. See how Flattop Mountain got it’s name?

The closer we got to the top, the more difficult the terrain. In fact, we could no longer see a “trail” at all.

After watching some people (who were much younger than us), nearly loose their dog on the steep slide of snow and ice, and still not make it to the top, we decided that we had gone far enough. (See the flag on top? Apparently the summit is the size of a football field.)

Oh well, a selfie from the almost-summit.

And with that, we began the hike back down. I don’t like leaving things unfinished though, we will be back when there is less snow!

A lot less snow….

Potter Marsh

While driving through south Anchorage, we always pass a large boardwalk area and have wondered what it was. Well, wonder no more, it is the Potter Marsh Wildlife Refuge.

Complete with amazing views, of course. Spectacular views are pretty much a given in Alaska.

Some of my favorite beauties.

We enjoyed wandering the lengthy boardwalk, watching for birds.

Found one!

And another!

We also spotted moose tracks, but no moose. They really love the marshy areas as much as the birds!

The complimentary binoculars were also a nice touch.

Lots of educational info, as well.

So now we finally know what the boardwalk area is, and we were glad we stopped!

Nothing like finishing the day at Cabela’s. All things considered, I prefer this type of wildlife the most. No bear spray needed.

A great long weekend, indeed!

 

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