Thursday, June 28, 2012

Up Snug Harbor Road: Cooper, Russian & Rainbow Lakes


 A couple weeks ago Denver and I had driven up Snug Harbor Road in search of the other end of the Russian Lakes Trail.  We were stymied a mile or two short of our destination as the road still had a foot or more of snow on it so we'd been unable to reach the trailhead.  After biking the Resurrection/Bean Trails we were ready for some mellow activity, so we headed up the Snug Harbor Road to explore.

Ten miles up the road (give or take) was the Rainbow Lake Trailhead.  It looked so beautiful and inviting we just had to stop.  We ate a snack and checked out the trail specs:  1/2 mile, 50 feet elevation gain.  We could handle this!  Out of habit we threw on our hydration packs and away we went.  The Rainbow Lake trails is a sweet, fun little hike.  The trail looks to be handicap accessible and is gravel the whole way.  The views of the surrounding mountains were beautiful.  At Rainbow Lake there was a picnic table and we chatted with the fisherman sitting there, a guy from South Carolina with the thickest accent I've ever heard!  Just down the trail 50 feet was another lake in another picturesque spot.  I have tucked these into my file of "picnic spots" that I want to go back to someday.

Rainbow Lake Trailhead, off Snug Harbor Road

Back to the car we continued up the road. A bit further we reached the Russian Lakes Trail--the other end of it.  We'd driven 2 cars on this vacation in the hope of doing a point-to-point bike ride or two.  Unsure as to whether the snow had melted and the road was accessible, we'd not come back up here to see.  The snow was melted (off the road anyways) and we saw a couple of people jogging down the Russian Lakes Trail.  If we'd done this it would be 20 miles from here down to the Russian River Falls Trailhead, more downhill than up from what I hear.  It is on my bucket list!

Cooper Lake
A mile further along, at the end of the road, was Cooper Lake.  We got out to explore, only to be greeted by some vicious dogs that seemed ready to attack us.  We backtracked hastily and found another spot to check out.  This lake is at a fairly high elevation.  It is dammed up, and I suspect that the beautiful gravel road we'd driven up was built for the purpose of building and servicing the dam and perhaps hydroelectric power as well.  We didn't actually see where the dam was, though our rafting guide had told us where to park for the 6 mile hike from Cooper Landing up to the dam (also on my bucket list).

2 comments:

Zen Marie said...

Hello! My name is Zen and I work for Alaska.org. Would love to ask you a question about this blog post. Would you send me an email? (hopefully it's included with this comment) Thanks!

MichelleW said...

Waclawskim@gmail.com