Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fuller Lakes Trail

This is one of the few views on the trail, looking out over Skilak Lake.

We ended up doing the Fuller Lakes Trail as a day hike. It is a 5.8 mile (round trip), 1400 foot elevation gain hike up to the upper lake. Once again, it was raining, and we had our rain gear on as we started the hike, and just as we began hiking the rain stopped. What luck!

This trail is one of the nicer ones we've been on. There was relatively little erosion, few plants hanging over the trail, and the grade was comfortable with no very steep parts. The only downfall of this trail was that it was a bit muddy from the recent rains and so was a bit slick in places.

We reached Lower Fuller Lake first and where it crosses the outlet stream there was a beaver dam both just below and another just above the log bridge. We saw a momma duck with 8-10 fuzzy ducklings swimming around the edge of the lake, and another duck out in the middle, but that was the extent of our wildlife viewing for this hike.

After we got back to our cabin that day I read some literature about where to view wildlife, and the Fuller Lakes Trail is billed as the trail to go on to see brown bear. We saw only one bear scat, at the Lower Lake. The other people we met on the trail all had guns on them (one strapped to his chest, another in a hip holster), and we had our .44 as well (in a leg holster since we had our fully loaded backpacks on). Of course we never hope to have to use it in self-protection, and we have safety in being in a group, but it is the sensible thing to do hiking in this country.

Just as we were nearly to the Upper Fuller Lake (middle picture) the trail became a boggy mess. We would have had to bushwack through the alders to reach the lake, and since we didn't have any real reason to get there, we decided to head back. Round trip, with fully loaded packs, we made the hike in 4 hours. The suggested hiking time for the trail is 4-6 hours, so we were right on. It seemed like an easy hike even with our packs, but now, two days later, we are still recovering and sore! Only 5 days till we start the Chilkoot Trail!


Shelley said...

I think being in Alaska you can't help but get in shape w/ all these beautiful hikes to go on!

Michelle Waclawski said...

Plenty of Alaskans don't get out and hike, but the beautiful scenery sure provides a lot of incentive for us! (:

Christy said...

Alaska must be such a beautiful place. All of the untouched or seldom touched nature out there to explore. I understand the safety precautions it is definitely a smart thing to do.

Pattie said...

Hi Michelle -

I just stumbled upon your blog, and I'm thrilled to find it: we're coming to the Kenai Peninsula for a two-week visit this September. We’ll be staying four nights in Homer, and can hardly wait!

I loved reading your prior posts, and the information you've included about the easy hikes you've discovered (we're not up for the harder ones!) :-)

Thank you for sharing all your experiences. I look forward to your future posts.

Take care.

Michelle Waclawski said...

Very awesome! I am glad you enjoy the blog. You'll be here during berry season, if you like currants, blueberries, blackberries, crowberries, cranberries, etc. etc.!

Have a great trip!! If you have questions I'll be happy to answer what I know.