Hiking Bird Ridge Trail

Today we hiked the Bird Ridge Trail in Chugach State Park.  It’s about 2.7 miles up with a continuous elevation gain of 3500 feet to the highest peak.  We brought the hiking sticks we bought for backpacking last fall and they proved to be knee savers, for sure.

Starting out on fresh legs

Starting out on fresh legs

The first 100 yards was a nice, relatively flat paved path that curved along through the woods.  This quickly changed to a rugged, rocky trail that gained elevation with every step.  The weather was perfect for hiking with a cool breeze and alternating clouds and sunshine.  As we climbed higher, the wind was pretty stiff and cool, not cold, just right for keeping the bugs at bay.  The mosquitos weren’t as bad as I had feared but the flies were pretty annoying especially when the trail went through heavy vegetation.

wildflowers

wildflowers

Beautiful wildflowers grew along the trail and across wide sweeping meadows between the peaks.  We stopped in a nice spot protected from the wind to have lunch about 3 quarters of the way to the top.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with ruffles chips never tasted better.

lunch time!

lunch time!

Recharged from the rest and refueling, we hiked up the last bit into the clouds.  The views were amazing! Check out more photos in the gallery.

At the summit, finally!

Finally at the summit!

We made better time on the hike down the peak but I think it was much harder on our legs and knees and the slippery loose rocks underfoot made it impossible not to slip and slide in places.  All in all, according to my Fitbit, we climbed 351 floors and walked more than 23,000 steps.

There was no guilt when we splurged on hearty dinners, ales and desserts at Jack Sprats back in Girdwood!

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