There was a good chance of rain in the park today so I chose an easy
hike where I wouldn't be any farther than a mile from the truck if the
sky opened up.
Although it was raining on the way out to the river and I could see
rain to the south while I was hiking, I didn't get wet.
The riverbed quickly narrows
downstream from the road. The rock formation on the left
is the first (or last) one that
hikers climb on the Savage Alpine Trail loop.
The biggest problem was the stiff wind, which was almost as bad as it
was yesterday when I was hiking the Savage Alpine Loop in the same
vicinity but up several hundred feet higher.
I did this riverside hike in both directions at least twice when we
were here three years ago so I was familiar with the terrain and
scenery. Some different flowers were in bloom this time since we're here
a few weeks earlier in the summer but otherwise, everything looked
similar to my previous hikes.
I parked on the far side of the river again and did the loop
clockwise, ending with a walk on the long bridge across the broad riverbed.
Despite recent rainfall the multiple Savage River channels are not very
full. This picture looks upstream from the bridge:
I wonder if all the gravel bars are ever covered with water? If the river
gets that high, most of the trail I hiked today would be under water.
The river is also fairly low where it narrows to a few feet wide
about a quarter mile downstream from the park road and through the canyon
at the far end of the trail loop:
After half a mile the placid river -- which looks more like a
creek at that point -- gets rockier and loses elevation
more quickly, causing small rapids.
The trail also becomes a little
rougher as the terrain morphs from wide valley to more narrow canyon:
It's about one mile on either side of the river to the little bridge above.
When we were here three years ago I hiked a faint trail
to the left of the bridge that continues above the river through the
canyon. It goes for another half mile or so before disappearing in the
View of the river as it flows
into the canyon; photo taken from the little bridge.
Today I just crossed the bridge and returned to the road
on the other side of the river:
I had the trail mostly to myself. There weren't very many other
hikers and I didn't see any caribou today. One of my hikes three years
ago was very memorable for the
caribou feeding by the river.
This little Arctic ground squirrel was the only critter I saw along
the river today:
This is a good little hike that people of almost any
ability can enjoy.
Next entry: miscellaneous photos from the Murie Science
Center, park visitor center and bookstore, and Nenana Canyon bike path
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil