McHugh Creek Recreational Area is in the Chugach National Forest near Anchorage, AK. In July 2014 we hiked along the lower portion of the creek. Even though it was midsummer, we were surprised by the density of the forest along the creek and trail. It was almost like hiking along a forest stream in Southern Louisiana except for two big differences—our trail was up the side of a 3000-ft mountain, and the water in the creek was absolutely clear and very cold. This post contains photos from that hike.
At the visitor’s entrance off the Seward Highway, the creek enters a beautiful pool before going under the highway and into Turnagain Arm.
Canon EOS REBEL SL1 (18mm, f/10, 1/80 sec, ISO400)
As we hiked upstream on the west bank of the creek, we encountered a footbridge giving access to the area on the east side.
Canon EOS REBEL SL1 (50mm, f/13, 1/40 sec, ISO400)
We took the opportunity to cross the bridge to explore the other side. Below is the upstream view from the bridge as we crossed it.
Canon EOS REBEL SL1 (18mm, f/22, 1/30 sec, ISO800)
The trail leading from the footbridge took us to a more open area that looked promising at first. However, discouraged by wet ground and flying insects apparently due to a recent rain shower, we decided to return to the footbridge and the trail on the west side of the creek.
After hiking a little farther uphill, we found a portion of the creek that was somewhat wider and more accessible for photography.
Canon EOS REBEL SL1 (18mm, f/20, 1/13 sec, ISO800)
At this point we decided to turn around and hike back down the mountainside. Near the bottom of trail, we detoured to an observation point overlooking Turnagain Arm. Unfortunately, storm clouds had moved in, suggesting we hightail it back to our daughter’s house.
Canon EOS REBEL SL1 (18mm, f/18, 1/200 sec, ISO400)
The tree in the foreground of the above photo has growth only in one direction because of strong prevailing winds. “Flag trees” like this one are seen in many areas near Turnagain Arm. On the opposite shore of Turnagain Arm are the Kenai Mountains.
This post was prompted by the unfortunate news a week ago that a forest fire had started near McHugh Creek. The fire grew to over 800 acres before it was brought under control the day before this writing.
Hover your mouse cursor over a marker in the map below to reveal a label indicating which photos were taken at that location.