These days, I enjoy taking new trips as much as familiar and well-loved trips. Alaska is so big that I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of exploring it. In fact, I can guarantee I will NEVER visit every place I want to in Alaska. Besides the places on the limited road system, Alaska has countless villages and towns that can only be reached by plane, snowmachine/4-wheeler, or boat. This state has endless amazing places to experience and explore.
My husband and I took a road trip north last weekend (we got caught behind this fire coming home), and what gorgeous weather we had! From Anchorage we drove to Byers Lake Campground in Denali State Park. Then we spent some time in Fairbanks and at Chena Hot Springs Resort (I’ll save that for my next post). But FIRST, we started the weekend with some excitement right out our kitchen window!
After a beautiful drive and tolerable construction delays, we arrived at Byers Lake. Once we settled in at a campsite and took a walk around the large campground, we covered ourselves in bug spray and sunscreen and set off for a lakeside hike. We wanted to go at least 1.8 miles to the remote campground on the other side of the lake and then back, but I was hoping to keep going when we reached that and do the whole 5.3-mile loop around the lake.
Beautiful vegetation was abundant, as you can see below! Wild roses and Siberian irises were just some of the colorful flowers sprinkling the landscape. Can someone identify the green plant in the top right corner? I see it a lot but I can't remember what it is.
We did encounter a few bear signs. We saw two piles of scat and one fresh black bear paw print in the mud. I was toting a bear bell and bear spray, and my husband was packing a .44, so with all that combined we felt decently safe. Bear bells are a pretty awesome investment of a few dollars. In general, if a bear hears you coming ahead of time, it'll wander off. It's when you surprise it that it will react. If you surprise a mama with cubs, she'll likely be extremely aggressive. Or if you come upon a bear that's eating (and therefore protecting) a kill, it might be ready and willing to kill whatever is encroaching on and threatening its meal.