North to Alaska IV


Chapter IV

The Angel Rocks trailhead is off the Chena Hot Springs Road northeast of Fairbanks. As the raven flies, it’s probably 80 miles south of the Artic Circle.

The Trail follows the North Fork of the Chena River for a little over a mile before turning sharply uphill, passing many granite outcrops (tors) before reaching the ridge top. The tors are similar to Mt. Mitchell south of Mt. St. Helens. They are the remains of molten rock that was extruded into softer material millions of years ago. The softer material has eroded away, leaving the tors standing as sentinels (or angels as they are called on this Trail.)

After reaching the ridge top I explored the area, enjoying the crystal clear vistas. Then I took a steep, unimproved four-mile loop trail down the north side of the ridge leading back to the trailhead. A good variety of wildflowers were scattered along the trail, many similar to those found in the Pacific Northwest. And, to no surprise, swarms of mosquitoes were present near the boggy spots close to the River.

Upon returning to the trailhead, I rejoined Dan (he had been riding his bicycle) and drove the short distance to the Chena Hot Springs Resort.

We enjoyed a swim in outdoor Rock Lake, fed by the warm water from the hot springs.

Trail leading to one of the tors

Trail leading to one of the tors

Daisy

Daisy

Skip, extended great hospitality to us in Fairbanks

Skip, extended great hospitality to us in Fairbanks

The view from Angels Rocks

The view from Angel Rocks

Muskox

Muskox

Rose family

Rose family (?)

Several of the tors at Angel Rocks

Several of the tors at Angel Rocks

Moose feeding along the Chena Hot Springs Road

Moose feeding along the Chena Hot Springs Road

Tor

Tor

Odd wildflower

Odd wildflower (anyone recognize it?)

 

Categories: Alaska Interior TripTags: , , , , , ,

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