Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trail Report: Perseverance Trail - Juneau, Alaska

July 30, 2013

I know my blog is called "Hike New England" but how can I not write about one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited!  Alaska really is the last great frontier.  This place is a haven for anyone that loves the outdoors.  My last visit to this beautiful place was in 2004, I had a great time, but I wasn't into hiking back then, I was more of a scuba diver at that point in my life (a sport I plan on returning to at some point).  Nine years later I am returning.

I don't want to get off track but the reason I was in Alaska was that my brother took a job with the state and he asked for my help with moving him there.  It was a wonderful journey.  Hudson, New Hampshire to Petersburg, Alaska then to Juneau, Alaska.  We drove 4000 miles, 11 states and 4 Canadian provinces in 4.5 days.

GPS track of our road trip

Perseverance Trail is one of three historic trails in Alaska.  This trail is the first road ever built in the state back in the 1880's.  At 3.5 miles and only 1000' of elevation gain this trail is very popular with the the locals and with visitors.  I found a lot of runners on this trail and I was told by some locals the further out you go the less people you will see.  This was true as after the 1.5 mile mark I really didn't see anyone.  You can walk to the trail head from downtown Juneau,  this adds another couple of miles to the trip but it was worth it.  I actually didn't walk directly to the trail head, a local told me to hike over to this stream down the road and follow "the flume trail" all the way to Perseverance.  As I don't know the area I was a little nervous but I eventually found my way to the trail head.

Even in the summer the mountain tops are covered in snow

Stream crossing on Gold Creek Flume Trail

Gold Creek

Gold Creek Flume Trail

After a couple of miles I made it to the trailhead

An abandoned mine from the 1800's
The cold air coming out of this was amazing

This is as far as I could go in the mine.  It was locked.

Trail map

Second warning

Third warning

One of the first views

Info along the trail

I believe that is the summit of Mount Juneau
Yes that white spot is snow.
It was 85 and humid during this hike

Lots of water falls and streams here

These views are nothing compared to what
I would see near the end of this trail

More trail history

This was the spur trail to the summit of Mount Juneau
Because my knees were still sore from the Katahdin hike,
I chose not to summit.  My next trip to Alaska I will be summiting
for sure.

The streams here are crystal clear and ice cold

Instead of following Perseverance to the end and back I decided to take all the spur trails to make a big loop

Mount Juneau to the left
There is a ridge trail at the summit that loops
back to Perseverance trail

A glory hole in the middle of the woods?  Who would have thought!
I had to go visit!

On the way to the hole I saw some fresh bear poop
I didn't bring bear spray so I needed to be on my guard

A view on my way to the hole

More trail history

The Glory Hole!
(not what I was expecting)

Another nice view

Another bridge/stream crossing

More history

Time for a break

You get this view from that bench

I continued on past this, but after I got to the end of Perseverance I did come back here to visit the old mine camp ruins

Me @ Perseverance trail end

Perseverance trail ends here

The hike up to the old mine camp ruins was rough
This was by far the steepest section of the trail I have seen

 View on my way up to the ruins

Not much left at this old camp from the 1800's

Old chimney at the ruins

View from the top of the ruins
Mount Juneau is about center

I didn't take this trail.  It was time to head back to the hotel

The water is so clear it is blue in color


Last view before leaving the trail

The road back to Juneau
Total hike time (round trip)..:5.5h
Elevation Gain.....................: Unknown, I'm guessing around 1200'
Distance (round trip)...........: Unknown, around 10 miles
Trails: Gold Creek Flume Trail, Perseverance Trail, Red Mill Trail, Glory Hole Overlook

I forgot to write down the stats so I'm not certain of the total gain and distance.

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