Monday, July 19, 2010
Nussman Ridge Center Trail
Every time I drive from Homer to Anchorage, I gaze at the hiking trails wistfully and wish I would spend some time camping up in that area so I could check out all the trails. I was on my own heading back home last week, the weather was good and I was itching to check out another trail so I pulled off in one of the nicely paved parking lots in Turnagin Pass (there are 2 almost across the road from each other). Coming from Anchorage, it was the one on the left, the one that all the backcountry skiers take in the winter, strapping on skins and heading for some of the greatest backcountry downhill skiing and snowboarding in the state.
As a summer trail it started off paved, turned to gravel, popped over a silty, rushing glacier stream on a beautiful bridge, and then withered down to a lightly-used single track after the stone monument with the name of the trail posted. There were boggy sections, and soon my tennis shoes were soaked. I pressed on as far as I could until the trail got boggier than I wanted to deal with, which was about 30 minutes out. From there I could see a ridge ahead of me (pictured above) and jagged peaks rising above that in the distance. It was a peaceful, comfortable hike, and if I go back muck boots would be my footwear of choice. It would be fun to see how far I could get in a day trip. The season is short, as the snow has only recently left and the blueberries were only just blooming on July 14 when I did the hike.
Caveat: I am pretty sure, but not positive, that this is the name of this trail. I couldn't quite read it positively in blowing up the picture. Argh!