Monday, June 28, 2010

Lemon Creek Trail

This week the plan was Mt. Juneau which I've been looking forward to for the past three years. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast with rain in the afternoon. Don't know about you, but I don't want to be on a mountain ridge in fog with wind and rain.

The backup plan was Lemon Creek. This trail is supposed to be the gateway to the snow fields for glacier researchers. For the past 60 years students have hiked out to their research stations via this route.

Well, hm. They must have stopped using it because about a mile in, the trail was very clearly marked as, "unmaintained and unimproved from this point, hazards may exist". Obviously this trail is not as important as it once was.

We hiked up 700 feet and then back down, then meandered through the woods following the general direction of the creek. At one point, I was quite disillusioned hiking all this way only to look across the creek to see a parking lot!

Eventually we came out of the woods to find that erosion had completely washed away the trail. We worked our way down to the beach to see if there was a way around the cliff. Mr. X suggested wading to our knees, scrambling up on a windfall log and scurrying over the roiling spring glacier runoff. Um. No.

As we were returning to the car, a helicopter buzzed the trail, landing in the parking lot across the creek. I guess that answers the question of why the trail is in such poor repair. Who would hike it when you can just fly?

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