Monday, August 22, 2016

Hiking Harbor Mountain

This weekend, the rain finally decided to take a break for a day or two, so Isaiah and I set off on a hike that neither of us had actually ever done before. We've hiked part of Harbor Mountain a couple of times, but never had time before to go as far as we went on Saturday. (I say "far", but it only ended up being about 5.8 miles out and back once all was said and done.)

Next weekend, we're hoping to actually do the entire Harbor Mountain/Gavan Hill hike from start to finish - we would have done that this weekend, but it's not a loop so you need a vehicle at both ends of the trail and we hadn't planned for that. Soon!

The hike starts at the top of Harbor Mountain Road, at about 2000 feet of elevation. Most people drive to the top, which is fun experience in and of itself...gravel switchbacks with a deep ditch on one side and the mountainside on the other, and barely enough room for two cars to pass each other. If you survive the drive, though, there are some amazing views to be seen on the way up!

Once you get to the top of the road, you hike the trail about 2.5 miles out to the alpine hut, a small wooden shelter built in the early 1990's for hikers to use. It's a great place to stop and look at the views of the surrounding mountains and Mosquito Cove below (which happens to be right next to our house!).

From there, you can either hike back down the way you came or continue on to the Gavan Hill portion of the trail. Next time, we want to keep going on Gavan Hill all the way into town, but due to lack of time (and a vehicle at the other end), we chose to just go another quarter of a mile or so, just so we could hit the first part of the Gavan Hill summit and check out the surrounding views. It was beautiful! It was sort of a foggy/cloudy day and really made us feel like we were hiking straight up into the sky.

Thankfully, there were no bear sightings this trip - just a gigantic pile of scat (bear poo) smack dab in the middle of the trail that was at least a week or two old. I didn't take a picture of that - you're welcome. The only wildlife this time around was an eagle and a couple of ravens, and I was fine with that! Although, every time we go out hiking we hope to spot a mountain goat. They do exist around these parts, but we have yet to see one in person!

Stay tuned for a review of the day pack I'm using!

In the end, it was a little disappointing to not be able to hike Mt. Edgecumbe on Saturday, but it was a beautiful day and a really great consolation hike up Harbor Mountain, and it was nice to finally get outside and into some fresh air without getting rained on. And who can complain about this kind of exercise?


  1. It looks really pretty. I also know enough to know that "looks" and "feels" (i.e. cold or windy) are different things.
    Glad you got out to hike without getting soaked!

  2. That is STUNNING. It looks like The Sound of Music. Please take me hiking one day.

  3. Angel was in the room when I was reading this post and he was drawn like a magnet to your mountain photos. But then he said, "This is Alaska? Wait, there's bears there...never mind."

    Looks like a totally different world out there.