Friday, August 5, 2016

Mile Hi Saddle

 This isn't a super difficult hike, as in I was able to take five children by myself on it. However there were some difficulties. The trail that goes through the birch forest is tilted to one side so wear good, supportive shoes. I imagine if the trail gets wet footing would be very difficult. It is also a relentlessly "up" trail. There's a little bit of a break when you hit the saddle but then it's right back to walking right up a mountain. Once you get to the saddle you can hike up the mountain to your right (Iron Nipple, those who have seen this mountain from downtown Eagle River will instantly know which one this is) or to your left, Mt. Tucker. Going straight heads to Mt. Magnificent which was a little too much for us to take on that day. I wish we would have picked Iron Nipple but we decided on Mt. Tucker. We didn't get to the top but we found a LOT of blueberries. No complaints.

And a little random, but if you've ever been curious about what baneberry looks like in person this would be the trail for you! The area surrounding the first part of the trail is crawling with baneberry (second photo down). I had never seen so much in one place. It's mixed in with the high bush cranberries so unless you are very knowledgeable in Alaskan berries I would discourage picking any berries along that part of the trail. I'm pretty good at identifying berries and even I didn't dare. I also had the (perhaps irrational) thought that the baneberries and cranberries might have hybridized. LOL. Once you hit the alpine tundra the baneberries disappear so go get those blueberries!

For directions on getting there click here.

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