Falls Creek Trail (in Both Directions)

Falls Creek Trail, Chugach State Forest, Alaska
Falls Creek Trail, Chugach State Forest, AlaskaI regret hiking this trail. Mainly because I thought I was on another trail. One that didn’t go five miles straight up a mountain and then five miles back down. I was ill prepared for the journey, lacking both the water, and to my surprise and disappointment, the fitness. The trail I thought I was on was about two hundred yards up the road to the north. That trail was supposed to be relatively easy and meander along somewhat level ground through a sheep meadow. This one didn’t do any of those things. It was very tough. And there were no sheep. But I was rewarded with amazing views at the top. These two photos were taken nearly there. In the top photo, I am looking back down upon where I came. In the second, I’m looking at what I had left to climb. You can see the creek which gives the trail its name. Most of the trail was a muddy, rocky, thickly forested slog along that creek. It finally opened up and dried out as the trees disappeared and the trail moved to higher ground. It wasn’t until the next day, legs barely working, that I noticed the trailhead I was supposed to have taken. I did end up seeing a few of the white dall sheep I was after along the Falls Creek Trail, but they were all over on the adjacent mountain. As they say, next time. But the colors of the tundra plants and flowers were at their autumnal best, so it was worth it for that. Kind of.
Top Photo — Nikon D810 with Nikkor 17-35mm lens (at 17mm) ISO 400, f/18 at 1/200th of a second
Bottom Photo — Nikon D810 with Nikkor 17-35mm lens (at 17mm) ISO 400, f/18 at 1/160th of a second

This entry was posted in North America.


  1. Michael October 9, 2017 at 12:06 am #

    Yeah it was worth it… beautiful shots. I had to laugh though- I have made this same mistake numerous times hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains, once convincing my wife “we’re almost there…” 12 miles later…

    • Sean Crane October 9, 2017 at 7:12 am #

      Thanks Michael. Surely you can relate.

  2. Sue October 9, 2017 at 12:38 am #

    What an unreal and beautiful place Alaska is. Considering it’s “vastness”, your 5-mile hike, Sean, strenuous as it was, was a mere dot on Alaska’s map. Wonderful images!

    • Sean Crane October 9, 2017 at 7:11 am #

      Thanks Sue. But make that 10 miles (five straight up and the much more difficult five straight down). I’ve always been an endurance guy but the old legs aren’t what they used to be.

      • Sue October 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Okay, so math is not my strong point. Make that 2 dots!

    • Sue October 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

      I stand corrected. Make that a dot and a half!

  3. Shardae October 9, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    Sorry it was so rough on you, but these shots are BEAUTIFUL! And I’m jealous you were in Alaska. It’s at the top of my list of places to visit.

  4. Peter Butterfield October 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    —– Mountain parable
    —– No regrets for where we’ve. been
    —– Zeal for that to come .

  5. Susan. Rubeo October 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    The view was well worth the hike you must have told yourself the next day
    You will never forget this one every time you view these photos

    Aunt Sue

  6. Rachel Bellenoit October 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

    Hitting the age of 68 next Monday and I’ve noticed over the past few years that I can’t hike like I use to distance wise and steep wise. I remember when I could hike several miles in 1 day and not be sore the next day. Those days are gone. Unless you’re a true athlete you have to adjust. I admire your tenacity and enjoyed you sharing your experience. And, by the way, you got GREAT shots!