If you find it to be 40 degrees and sunny in the middle of March, my best advice for you would be to sniff out any nearby trails to hike. March 13th was the perfect set up for a day hike with such conditions and so four of us set out with our gear and plenty of snacks (admittedly, my favorite part is eating berries and nuts like a squirrel). Our goal: To summit Twin Peaks (5.5 miles one way). Twin Peaks overlooks Eklutna Lake and is located in Palmer, AK. There are several scenic stops along the trail that overlook the lake and with every 10 steps we took, the view became more expanded and magnificent. This trail is a difficult trek and is uphill the entire way, this is not for beginners!
The trail wraps around the side of the mountain creating blankets of shade on its backside. When we were on this side of the mountain for just even five minutes it caused us to layer back up. A hikers dilemma is constantly getting too hot under layers and then needing to re-layer in shady spots on the mountain. It’s truly a delicate balance!
After hiking for 3.5 hours we arrived at a large flat overlook- which was stunning. Para gliders were launching off just over or heads and then suspending over Eklutna Lake. It was a beautiful sight observing them float through the air out in front of us. We caught our breath, dropped our packs and stood in awe looking out as far as we could see, taking in the beauty Alaska presents and watching the blue sky roll out into infinity.
See what I mean here? #thisisnotapostcard (but it should be!)
We explored the overlook but were racing the clock for daylight to trek back down the mountain. We spent ample time overlooking Eklutna (although we had not summited Twin Peaks) we took in views, ate snacks, rested and even took an array of engagement photos! (Of course, it was the perfect backdrop) There were several patches of crow berries growing wild on the mountainside. They are safe to eat, we did try them… and no they were not sweet or good. (Prime harvest would be during the fall anyhow) These berries might taste acceptable when mixed in with a multi-berry jam as cooking them also increases their sweetness.
It was a rather quick descent for some of us as the ladies decided to slide down the mountain in record time. Using only a Fred Meyer plastic bag we put it to good re-use and wore them like your grandmother’s undies over our thermal wear. We then waddled like grannies over to the mountain side and off we went! Needless to say, we had a blast trying this!
Our descent was nearly half the time it took to climb and we celebrated at the bottom on Eklutna Lake with a bottle of champagne and our friends. It was an amazing hike that we will have to re-hike in order to summit Twin Peaks- which I am looking forward to perhaps this summer.
Thank you for reading, more adventures to come! 😀