Wanderlust Wednesday: Mount Healy, Denali National Park, AK

Mount Healy Overlook Trail

Denali National Park, Alaska

June 2014

wanderlust wed - Copy

Part two of the Alaskan hiking adventures features the STUNNING Mount Healy Overlook trail in Denali National Park.

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I’d heard many great reviews of this day hike from numerous websites and hiking books, so I forced convinced my dad to go on the adventure. Like our hike in Girdwood, we were nervous about the rain, but we had faith in our trusty rain gear! Thankfully, it didn’t start pouring until the end of our hike, so we lucked out!

Before I being, here’s some stats about the Overlook trail from a sign at the Visitor’s Center:

1-mount healy trail info

We took a bus from our hotel to the Visitor’s Center around 7am (nice because the sun rose at 3am for summer solstice haha). After consulting our maps, we began on the Taiga trail near the Visitor’s Center. At the beginning, there was even snow!! We wound our way through the dense birch and pine trees until we made it to the Mount Healy junction. It was foggy and drizzly when we left, so my dad and I made sure to sing annoyingly loud to ward off any Sasquatch, rogue moose, or grizzly bears haha The path started out gravelly down by the Visitor’s center, and eventually led into a dirt path that was fairly easy to follow.

 

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The grade got really steep REALLY quick, and despite the 40-50*F temperature, we were on fiya! The rain let up and a nice, cool breeze took it’s place.

Eventually, we made it above the clouds and trees and got to rocky switchbacks.

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After making it to the top, I think the endorphins were getting to me because the pictures got really hilarious, really fast 😀

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The landscape was shrouded in clouds when we initially made it to the summit, but whenever a mountain would peek through, it’d take our breath away. After hanging out at the top for a snack, we noticed a few sister hills nearby and we decided to hike over to them.

Our eyes deceived us a bit–they were farther than we thought and fairly steep. I had a “dig deep” moment as I was climbing the final peak. Everything in my brain was telling me to stop: my quads were screaming, my dad was asking if we could take a breather, and I was tired, but I told myself I was going to make it with no breaks. I overcame my mind and conquered the deceivingly steep hill. As I realized this, the fog and clouds blew away to reveal the majestic valley and mountains in the distance. It was incredible!

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While I was being a paparrazzo and stuffing away almonds like a ravenous chipmunk, my dad decided to hike over to another peak (which was a lot farther than he though as well haha) and I got some cool pictures of him when the fog rolled away!

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I couldn’t leave without a few more pictures of the landscape 🙂

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On our way back down, we finally saw some other people hiking, but besides that, the trail was very calm and serene. We didn’t see any animals, but we were okay with no bears haha

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We continued to hike another 6 miles that day in and around the valley, but Mount Healy was definitely something we won’t forget. Killer views, peacefulness, and landscapes that make you wonder if you’re inside a postcard make the strenuous hike worth every moment. I encourage you to check it out if you’re in Denali!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Wanderlust Wednesday: Cathedral Mountain, Denali National Park, AK | The Globetrotting Guppy

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