Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cottonwood Creek - Scout Ridge Trail and Overlook



The trail to the overlook (at the marked trailhead) is stroller and wheelchair friendly and a very short hike. There's a sheltered overlook at the top that looks out over the Palmer Hayflats. It's so expansive and awe-inspiring that it was impossible to capture on my camera. If my phone wasn't dead I would have attempted a panoramic photo but I don't even know if that would have done the job properly! :) There's a nice, sheltered overlook with a bench to enjoy the view. Hiking the whole loop was 1.25 miles and a fairly easy hike (there was one short, steep-ish hill). The upper trail that goes along the ridge was mostly dry but the lower portion of the trail was extremely muddy (the picture of my daughter in the pink vest at the edge of water and ice? The ice and water is the actual trail). There wasn't enough ice that I would recommend grippers though. If you decided to skip the lower portion you'd miss the little lake but it might be worth coming back later when it's dried out a bit.

I don't usually attempt directions here but unless you're local you might have a hard time finding this one. The page I link to (the only info I could find) makes it seem like it's a few short turns off the highway et voila! No. Take the exit for Fairview Loop and then carefully watch the road signs as you have to make a few turns to stay on Fairview Loop. After the second left hand turn onto Fairview Loop stay on that road (even though the signs make it seem like it changes names) and go 8-9 miles. You'll come to a T-intersection with a sign pointing the way to the Cottonwood Creek trail (it's left). After being confused about where in the heck we were I finally just entered Hayfield Road (Wasilla) into Google Maps and it helped.

For more information on Cottonwood Creek and the Scout Ridge Trail click here.

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