Alaska Circle Drive #1 (with more to come!)


We took our first “circle drive” during our time in Alaska today. As many of you know, this has been one of our time-honored traditions while living in Colorado so we figured we would give it a try here.

We drove just northwest of Wasilla through the communities of Houston and Willow and took Willow-Fishhook Road which became Hatcher Pass Road.

Hatcher Pass Road is a scenic 49-mile rugged mountain pass in the Mat-Su Valley. It definitely was a “hidden” escape in south central Alaska. It zigzagged through alpine meadows, and followed the Little Susitna River. It is a beautiful drive with rivers, wildflowers, and mountain peaks. The road over the pass is not paved so it was a tad bit treacherous and bumpy, but well worth the journey…we were surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery on three sides.

We were also able to find a neat mountain lake (Summit Lake). This lake was near the top of Hatcher Pass and was above the fog line…the water was beautiful…green-blue in color, and super-clear! We figured the puppy deserved a swim break…he sure did not have a problem getting wet (no surprise there!).

We had hoped that we would see some moose or bears (or any wildlife) but no luck today. However, we did see some vibrant, wonderful colors even though it was an overcast, chilly, and foggy day. Such an incredible place to explore!

We saw a ton of people dry camping on the Little Susitna River and it looked like a lot of fun. The paved road reappeared near the Independence Mine State Historical Park (we did not stop but it would be fun on a warmer day…this was a big area for gold mining once upon a time). We headed back toward Wasilla to end the journey.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we plan to head to Denali National Park, home of Mount McKinley. It is roughly 195 miles from Wasilla to get there so we are going to go up and see what we can see.

We do not have any images to post on the blog but have posted some video and picture images at our Facebook fan page at Go check them out!

Let’s hope we can get some good shots tomorrow!

by tim

show hide 3 comments

08.01.2010 - 6:43 am

Cassie Nice post! Your videos looked great and I am glad to hear you are getting up to Denali. Have fun and take lots of photos! 🙂

08.04.2010 - 9:23 am

Lauren J Have fun in Denali National Park! My husband, Roy, attempted to summit in May and his pictures are spectacular! He said it was one of the most breathtaking views, seeing 14,000ft mountains and right in the middle was a 20,000ft one. Your trip is amazing so far, and I’m so excited to keep reading! Thanks for sharing!!
– Lauren

08.04.2010 - 10:31 am

Tim Thanks for following along Lauren…it has been an incredible journey thus far!! We moved our trip to Denali to this week sometime…too overcast that day.

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