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Katie Eberhart - Writing & Observations


Beautiful Scenery is Encountered on the Rigorous Hike to Reed Lakes*

July 3, 1999
...Click an image to enter the slide show...     Map
Some Other Hatcher Pass Area Hikes

Along the Trail to Reed Lakes Talkeetna Mountains below Reed Lakes Trail to Reed Lakes
Views along the trail as you climb to the Reed Lakes in July after the snow has melted. You'll find broad valleys, steep hills, the noted "boulder scramble"...
Along the trail to Reed Lakes View above Lower Reed Lake Lower Reed Lake has a rich turquoise color

... mountain streams and boulder strewn ridges... Lower Reed Lake is a rich turquoise color. Hike to the head of the lake for a waterfall spectacle and continue up the mountain trail to reach Upper Reed Lake.

Map Showing Approximate Location of Trail to Reed Lakes

Even getting to the Reed Lakes trail is not for the faint of heart. After passing the Little Susitna Road House (now the Mother Lode Lodge) and heading up the mountain towards Hatcher Pass, turn right on Fern Mine Road. This road is typically very pot-holed with a small stream to ford. You'll have more peace of mind if your car has some clearance.

The Fern Mine Road drops into a valley and you cross a one lane wooden bridge. The parking lot for the Reed Lakes trail is to the right just past this bridge. The parking area is at about 2,400 feet elevation.

The first part of the trail is wide and easy walking, climbing slightly and lined with alders and willows. On reaching the long abandoned Snowbird Mine village, the trail angles to the right and there is a small bridge over a stream. This eliminates a lot of excitement of crossing this particular stream without a bridge, especially if there are children along. After crossing the stream, the trail is very steep (so bring plenty of water if it is a warm day) and is especially rigorous if you find you're carrying a heavy backpack. Make it up this part and you'll be faced with the famed boulder scramble where you work you're way across, over and past a field of granite boulders settled between two ridges.

Once you've made it past the boulders, the trail becomes quite a bit easier. It follows a stream, passes a small lake. On a clear day the scenery is gorgeous. This is a high mountain area so it is important to carry appropriate clothing in case the weather conditions change.

Lower Reed Lake, at 3,800 feet elevation, makes a wonderful destination for the foot-weary to instantly chill their hot feet and rest. The more energetic can continue the climb to the spectacular waterfall at the head of Lower Reed Lake and on up to Upper Reed Lake at 4,200 feet elevation. The entire hike can be done as a day hike, bringing along lunches and water. Or, it makes a great backpack-camping trip with entire mountain sides of camping spots to choose from!

Best time to hike to Reed Lakes: July and August.

This page last updated June 22, 2011


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