Living in Alaska comes with its perks. Top of the charts for our family is the ability to see so much beautiful scenery without even having to travel far from our home. A recent exploration of the Gold Mint Trail at Hatcher’s Pass proved yet again how true that is.
When a weekend arrives in the summer, you will find a large number of RVs hit the roads as people get out into the Alaskan wilderness. Some of our RV adventures here have us dry camping in a gravel pit while others have us at a RV park or state park. This summer, our inaugural RV trip was up to Hatcher’s Pass in the Mat Su Valley. This is an annual thing for most seasoned RV owners here as you want to make sure everything works after the winter without being too far from home in case something isn’t.
There were a few options for where to camp with the RV and we ended up selecting the Gold Mint Trailhead parking lot. It was more of a parking lot campsite with firepits and picnic tables by the spots and a pit toilet near the actual trailhead.
However, with only a handful of other campers it worked just fine for us and meant we didn’t have to move the RV to hit the trail. There is a fee ($15 per night) for camping that is paid via an envelope system with a tag to hang in your vehicle. While we were eating our lunch, we saw a park ranger come through and check vehicles for permits with tickets being issued if they were missing. If you are not staying overnight, then you need to pay the $5 day use fee or have a state park pass.
While I would not recommend this trail for someone with true physical disabilities, it is possible for most fitness levels to travel at least part of the way along the trail. We only got about half way back (2 miles) towards the promised glacier view as my exercise induced hives made an ugly appearance. (The last thing I wanted was having my husband and boys needing to carry me out if things went really bad…so to much rejoicing from my youngest we didn’t push through.)
My boys love rocks, both to collect and climb upon. There was no shortage of rocks along this trail to meet both desires.
Sections of the trail go over the small rivers with fast moving water with bridges of different designs providing hikers with an easier trek than you would experience off trail.
Before my hives had kicked into overdrive, we found a small pond with a beaver’s lodge. The setting was gorgeous and there are some large rocks that can act as benches to rest while enjoying the view.
I am thinking we’ll be back to this little corner of paradise here in Alaska. Maybe that time my older boys and husband can make it all the way back to the trail’s end and snap a few photos of the glacier for me.
Do you or your family enjoy getting out in nature to appreciate the beauty?
What’s a favorite hiking spot (or walking even) that you enjoy near your home?