Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Gavan Hill Trail, Sitka

This summer in Sitka, Alaska, I'd planned to take the Indian River trail, but the info people told me there were too many bears at the moment to make it prudent to hike alone...without bear spray.  So I disappointedly decided to take the Gavan Hill Trail instead.  What a happy turn of events!  I LOVED it. 

Getting to the beginning of the actual trail was flattish and pretty (and rainy):

Then started the stairs, so humbly:

Then a little less humbly:

Then a few not-stairs:

Then some boardwalk stairs: 

And some ropes to help you:

And finally, the reward (well, in addition to the rewards of the climb itself and the beautiful greenery): 

It would have been even more stunning on a blue-sky day, but I liked the misty effect too, and my pictures don't really do it justice. 

I was going to be late meeting my party back in town, so I unfortunately couldn't go further, but next time I would love to. 

On the way back down, I tried counting stairs (and stair-like things, and stone steps).  I think I got to about 1800.  Fantastic day! 

Highly recommended trail. But...if you don't like stairs, you might not like it. 

If you go:

-Stairs.  Lots and lots of stairs.
-If you want good views, you don't really get them until you climb above the trees.  So, commit. 
-I recommend more than three hours. 
-You can access the trail via the Sitka Cross Trail and I walked with no problem right from downtown.  It's sometimes called the Harbor Mountain Trail, though if you go that far, you'll need even more time. 

For tips on having your own budget adventures in Alaska, read my travel guides:

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