Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Skyline Revisited

Hiking the Skyline trail near the Kenai Wildlife Refuge between Sterling and Cooper Landing is like visiting an old friend. This is one of our annual hikes--treks we make a point to do once every summer. This year saw some new side trails forged to avoid challenging sections, a development I appreciate (better footing; safer) and dislike (confusing to know which one to take). Trail use has increased greatly on Skyline since we moved here 8 years ago, and what was once a single ribbon of a trail up the 3000 or so feet to the summit now has widened as people continue to search for firmer footholds along the side of the trail on the steep, gravel-covered inclines. This trail has not seen any "upgrades" in years. About 10 steps were put in about 5 years ago in one section, but besides that, this trail seems completely untended.

The views of Skilak Lake are always a treat, as are the many smaller lakes and mountains. Once one reaches the summit it can be continued along the ridgetop and then a descent to the Fuller Lakes, making it a point-to-point hike. That's on my to-do list someday!

I love this grove of trees about 2/3 of the way up, almost to the saddle

Near the top--the area that usually is snow-covered latest in the season. No snow this year.
The "orange box" at the top for signing in the accomplishment

Aurora doing her juggling thing at the top

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