Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Climbing Mt. Healy in Denali National Park

One of Denver's goals for the summer is to climb as many mountains as possible, so when we headed up to Denali for more sightseeing, I kept my eyes peeled for a climb we could make. We had a 13-hour bus tour scheduled for the next day, so I wanted some serious exercise that day. Near the visitor's center there was a 1700 foot climb up to the Mount Healy Overlook. It wasn't much, but it would do. We weren't going to make our guests climb that, but they opted to try it and see how far they got. They ended up making it up probably 1500 feet, not quite to the overlook, before the rough, rocky trail and fatigue made them opt to turn back.

View of Healy Overlook from the Visitor's Center (peak on far left)

Tiaga Trail leads .3 miles to the beginning of the Mt. Healy Overlook Trail

Snow was the first thing to greet us on the Healy trail

The lower Healy trail, nice and wide and smooth

Mid-to-upper trail before coming out from the trees. Trail crews were doing trail improvements in this area

The upper trail, just below the overlook

From the overlook, the trail appeared to continue on. We asked park employee about it. She said that the trail continued on up the ridge. Mount Healy is actually a range, and the highest peak was 6000 feet further up and out of sight. We opted to continue up the ridge to where the trail ended, I'm guessing another 800 or so feet of elevation change.

On the way back we met a group of 30+ high school kids from Michigan. Leaders have been bringing youth from their school up to Alaska for the past 25 years since they helped clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. They were spending 25 days touring around Alaska. After interviewing us for their blog, we exchanged contact info to connect when they arrived in Homer in July.

The trail continues past the overlook for those who want to climb further

The actual Mt. Healy is 6000 feet above the overlook, but this outcrop is where the worn trail ends

The view from the end of the trail

View from the peak as we headed down

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