Hemlock Knob Walkabout

Let's take an easy-paced hike on the scenic foot trails around Hemlock Knob in  Chugach State Park. We'll be going 4-5 miles on gently rolling terrain with about 1,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. This might be a good intro hike for reasonably fit members who are new to Anchorage or new to winter hiking. Plan to be out about 3 hours.

Although these trails are hiked regularly, they may be a bit sloppy from the recent warm weather. The trees will provide a fair amount of wind protection, but there are frequent open vistas of the distant mountains. This area has no avalanche danger. 

Suggested gear: Daypack and non-cotton clothing layers so you can add/shed layers as needed. Wind/rain protection, gaitors, traction devices (Kahtoolas, ICEtrekkers, studded boots, etc), hydration and snacks.

Driving Directions: From corner of New Seward Hwy and O'Malley Rd: go toward the mountains (east) on O'Malley Rd; right (south) on Hillside Dr; left (east) on Upper Huffman Rd, left on Sultana Dr.

Trail Map: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/chugach/hillsideblck.pdf

Parking: State parks sticker or $5 day fee required.

Dogs: OK. Please have a leash handy for control if/when needed, and be prepared to clean up.

Warning: There have been recent trailhead break-ins, so don't leave valuables in your car!


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  • Chuck F.

    very nice day. Good to get out and see everyone. Cool taking the back roads. Would have got lost without greg and cassie leading the way.

    January 19, 2014

    • Cassie T

      Great for me to have some company on my "back yard" trails, Chuck. Thanks too to Greg for organizing. Hope to see you all on another trail soon.

      January 20, 2014

    • Greg P.

      Cassie, thanks for the local trail knowledge. You are fortunate to live up there! ;)

      January 20, 2014

  • Janetta

    What a great day for a hike. It was nice seeing old friends and meeting new ones along the trail. Thanks for hosting Greg,

    January 19, 2014

  • Jana L.

    What a great day...and a really fun group to hike with! Looking forward to another one soon! :-)

    January 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had an amazing time on this hike! So great to meet everyone and many thanks to Jana for taking me up there! Hope to see everybody on the next one!

    January 19, 2014

  • Cassie T

    I live in the trailhead neighborhood and will meet you all in the parking lot. We got an inch or two of snow up here on top of icy surface yesterday. The roads are in pretty good shape -- parking lot will probably be the most slippery place for walking.

    1 · January 19, 2014

  • Ali

    I'm leaving from downtown if someone needs a ride. no snow tires :)

    January 19, 2014

  • Jana L.

    Karen, I'd be happy to give you a ride. I'm not familiar enough with the area though to know where the bottom of Upper Huffman Drive is. I can pick you up at a Fred Meyer or Carrs that's closest to where you live. Let me know if that works for you. If it does, you can decide the time to meet, too, since you have a better idea on driving time to the trail head.

    January 18, 2014

    • Janetta

      Jana.. Do you have room for 1 more? Would you mind if I jump in with you? If so, where and when are you guys meeting .

      January 19, 2014

  • Greg P.

    We will be heading out on the Silver Fern trail. It starts by the information kiosk where the fee station is.

    1 · January 18, 2014

  • Greg P.

    I hiked part of our route today. The trails are in very nice hiking shape! DNR plowed the parking lot late in the day, but a snow squall hit around the time I left.

    January 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I decided to test my vehicle out today and drive to the trailhead and, well, I did make it, but the parking lot is definitely a no go for my car. Almost got stuck :-P Is anyone willing to meet me at the bottom of Upper Huffman Drive and give me a ride to the trailhead? Thank you in advance and I hope to make it to this hike as the views were definitely spectacular when I was up there!

    January 18, 2014

    • Greg P.

      LOL, I put my Subaru into FWD today and made it up there. Then I got stuck in the slushy parking lot and had to restore AWD to break lose. Perhaps a FWD would be OK with studded tires.

      January 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Jana! Thank you! You are so kind. I will send you a private message with my number and where we can meet! I think there was a Fred Meyers closer to Upper Huffman Drive, so I will find out exactly where that is. Thanks again!

    January 18, 2014

  • maureen

    after all this wind and snow I'm gonna stay down low.

    January 18, 2014

    • Greg P.

      My thought too. Max elevation on this hike only 2,000 feet.

      January 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I actually can't come but have guest visiting from Telluride, Ashley Boling, who will be joining you.

    January 18, 2014

  • Greg P.

    Upper Huffman Drive may be a challenge for 2-wheel drive vehicles. I have an AWD, so I tend to forget about that issue. I'm driving up there tomorrow, so I'll check it out. I expect it will be heavily sanded by now, but if necessary we can arrange car pooling.

    January 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are there any steep-ish hills while driving on the way to the trailhead? Yes, I know it's kind of stupid that I don't have 4 wheel drive, but I just moved here and didn't want to give up my 2 wheel drive SUV, since it has survived pretty bad weather conditions and is totally fine driving around town, but, unfortunately, it can't handle hills covered in ice. Would love to do this hike!

    January 17, 2014

  • Bernice and C.

    Just wondering what time this event is, as e-mail states 12 noon and this one states 1 pm.

    January 17, 2014

    • Greg P.

      Oops, I had a glitch with that. I've now corrected the event time to 12:00 PM. Thanks for pointing it out! ;)

      January 17, 2014

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