On the 16th day of our trip I woke up with sore muscles from the combined bike ride and hike to the 6,000-foot Bonanza Mine the day before, but today I was smarter. I walked to the shuttle stop, paid $10 for a roundtrip ticket from McCarthy, and rode the bus to the small town of Kennicott.
Dan met me at the Kennicott Glacier Lodge for coffee after riding his bicycle six miles from the campground.
I began the hike along the Root Glacier. The weather was in gold star territory. In fact, McCarthy posted the highest temperature in Alaska that day, 84 degrees.
After passing through the old mining town of Kennicott, the Trail remained fairly flat gaining only 1,300 feet in 6.5 miles. I had never been this close to a large glacier before. As I hiked the Trail, guided parties of tourists were clearly visible walking on the Glacier.
After the first three miles the Trail became rougher, requiring some route finding and bushwacking. In five miles the old Erie Mine buildings became visible high on the cliffs above me.
At the end of the Trail, there were great views of the origin of the Roots Glacier and the surrounding mountains. After climbing up higher to enjoy the scenery and eating lunch, I returned down the Trail.
After five miles, another Trail descended the ridge to the glacial moraine at the snout of the Glacier. I took the Trail and walked up onto the Glacier. The glacial pools with their light blue color and high mountains in the background provided great views.
I returned to Kennicott and took the shuttle bus back to McCarthy, a short walk from camp. What a day!