Saturday, September 8, 2007


Visiting Whittier is one of the cooler places we've been since moving to Alaska. The falls you see above is, as far as I can tell, an unnamed falls that drops from the cliffs right to town and then into Prince William Sound. Whittier is considered the gateway to Prince William Sound, and as you can see by the picture of the town, boats are about all there is! The town is hemmed in by mountains and water, and besides a huge 10 story or so high-rise apartment building, there are very few houses/homes. It is a military town (or was; not sure how much it is anymore), so we discovered bunkers in various places. The hiking trail you see above led to the overlook above the town. It was 2-3 miles, and probably an elevation gain of 800-1000 feet. On our map, it looks like it might be the Horsetail Falls trail, but we never found any falls. The trail was quite a treat. It was boards most of the way, flat or made into steps. Where the boards slanted, there were old nets stapled to them for traction. Berry bushes lined the trail much of the way, so we got an introduction to salmonberries. They reminded us of a cross between thimbleberries and raspberries. They were on big, bushy plants with no prickers, but shaped like huge raspberries. Some were ripe, and others still green.

At the top there were several pools of water like the one pictured here. I just wanted to stop and stay awhile it was so peaceful. The Billings Glacier pictured above was a glacier we saw from the top of this trail. They were doing some major blasting and roadbuilding in the area of the trailhead, so there was not enough room to park at another trail/creek a quarter of a mile down the road from this hike. We're saving that one for another visit!

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