Reed Lakes

Reed Lakes, a gorgeous 15 mile hike in the heart of the Talkeetna Mountains, was epic! A couple we met on the North Face trail a couple days ago recommend it. It really pays to talk to the locals.  The bridge on the road leading to the trailhead was washed out so we had to park about 2 miles away and walk to the trail.  That added a bit over 4 miles we hadn’t planned. Fortunately, it was pretty flat and easy and with the long hours of daylight it really didn’t cause a problem.

The trail followed a creek with occasional waterfalls and pretty wildflowers. We passed several beaver ponds and huge boulders along the way.  The trail turned a little steeper and passed through a massive boulder field where we had to scramble and pick our way across with icy cold water rushing along in the creek to our right. Everyone scouted their own path with Matt taking the high road far above the rest of us.

The trail became steeper and pretty slippery with mud for the next few miles.  Our stomachs were growling by the time we reached Lower Reed Lake. We perched on boulders and devoured our sandwiches, chips and delicious Oreo cookies while admiring the teal water, lush green landscape and towering peaks all around.

The hike to Upper Reed Lake was nice, though muddy and steep in places.  We hiked past a huge waterfall that flowed into the creek between the lakes. As we crested the last hill, the beautiful blue-green water came into view with reflections of the clouds, peaks and boulders framing the edges. We spent some time here just admiring the view.  Dana sketched the mountains, Chandler meditated and Riley napped while Matt and I tried our best to capture the beauty with our cameras.

The hike back was much faster but still took about three hours.  As we approached the boulder field, we heard a high long whistle that at first we thought was a distress signal but turned out to be a large marmot perched high on a rock.  We met a couple who had gone to school at Wake Forest who now live in Alaska.  They offered recommendations for hiking trails we’ll have to try out tomorrow.

We stopped to watch a couple climbing a 40′ -45′ boulder beside a beaver dam. It was pretty impressive.  The longest part was the 2 mile hike down the washed out road to the car.  I’m not sure when I’ve been so happy to hear traffic noise!

We feasted on nachos, chips and loads of Mexican food before returning home to crash in front of the TV. Ahhh, so nice to get off my feet!


The long road to the trailhead



View looking back over the valley



Matt’s vantage point high on the boulders



Gorgeous Upper Reed Lake



Me and my sweetie



Wee little Chandler



  1. These photos and this scenery may be my favorite of what you’ve seen so far on this trip. How absolutely gorgeous and serene.

We'd love to hear what you think....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.