On the verge of green at Angel Rocks

Posted by lwpetersen | May 5, 2014 | hiking

Over the weekend the birch trees greened up here in Fairbanks, a bit early this year. It probably helps that we’ve had a few days in the 70’s already. The mosquitoes have also come out in an awful way already. Luckily, the first batch of the year are these giant Jurassic Park type of mosquitoes – they’re huge, slow, don’t bite too much, and are really easy to kill. In about a month a different species comes out that are small and have some kind of steel shell that prevents you from killing them even after multiple hits.

On Sunday Kate and I took the dog out to Angel Rocks to go for a short hike. Angel Rocks was one of the first places we went hiking after moving to Alaska – it’s nice because it’s not far from town, about 50 miles out on Chena Hot Springs Road. The trail is steep in places, but it’s a fairly easy walk and well travelled. On the way out we stopped on Chena Hot Springs Road for a moose.

Moose along Chena Hot Springs Road

It always feels special to get to watch these giants so close to home. After watching for a while we continued on to the trailhead and started on the trail. We were the first ones there, but a few others arrived as we were packing up. It follows the North Fork of the Chena River for a while before breaking off uphill. The backside was pretty muddy and still had some ice and snow, so we went back the way we came from the top instead of finishing the loop. It was a really gorgeous morning for a hike, but got to be pretty hot as we were hiking down. I’m glad we went early in the morning. Here are some of the pictures.

Looking up the North Fork of the Chena River

Looking up the North Fork of the Chena River

birch leaves opening

The foliage is a couple of days behind out here

You get a good vantage of the towers at the first set of outcroppings - at Angel Rocks

You get a good vantage of the towers at the first set of outcroppings

looking out over the valley - at angel rocks

Looking out over the valley

Arriving at the backside of the Angel Rocks loop trail

The back side of the Angel Rocks Loop Trail

A raven was fascinated by our trail mix.

The back side of the first tower at Angel Rocks

The back side of the first tower

On the trail through an old burn area - Angel Rocks

On the trail through an old burn area

On the trail at Angel Rocks

Kate and Moose on the boardwalk

Sparse taiga at Angel Rocks

Looking at Angel Rocks from over a tributary to the Chena River

Looking back up at the rocks as we get near the North Fork again. Beautiful Day!

The full gallery from the day is here: https://photos.lwpetersen.com/Date/2014/May/2014-05-04/

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