Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hiking Up Alyeska (And a Free Tram Ride!)

We were heading up to Anchorage with some of the Homer High School cross-country runners to drop them at the airport for a flight to Oregon to Steens Running Camp and decided to take in a hike at Alyeska on the way. At first we were going to hike to the hand tram but then decided at the last minute to hike the 2.4 mile trail up mountain and catch the tram down. I didn't realize the tram is free from the top, so we were earning our free ride. The chair lift was also running; not sure if that was just for the fun of it or maybe is a cheaper option than the tram for getting to the top.

The tram operator said the tram is just over 2000 feet, so that is the elevation of the hike, which is a pretty good climb. The trail starts out as a gravel road, then higher up narrows to a single track trail. It is steep in a few areas, but it is easy hiking--in other words, not scrambling or climbing over rocks. I'm going to put this hike on my "keeper" list as the views from the top are gorgeous!

A chain embedded in the rock in one section of the trail up Alyeska

View of Alyeska Resort from about halfway up the mountain

The tram runs every 15 minutes, shuttling bikers, hikers, sightseers and diners

The tram building near the top of the mountain

View of Turnagain Arm from the restaurant/tram area (which isn't quite at the top of the mountain)

View of the trail winding up the mountain

A couple parasailers who took of from near the top of the mountain

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