Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chilkat State Park

With the weather marching ever onward toward winter, most days here are cloudy and cool. It rains a lot more now, too. Although this summer in Haines has seen more than the typical amount of precipitation, even those rainy days don't quite compare to the rain during autumn. It is still pretty here, even without sunshine, but I miss that handful of bright, beautiful days from my first couple weeks here.

Case in point: the beginning of August, when Rigby and I were just starting to explore the area, we had a week of gorgeous sunny days and warm weather. That was when we did the Ripinsky hike, but we took the opportunity to explore Chilkat State Park, too. I didn't have the chance to go through and post those photos, but I've been yearning for some sunshine so I decided to remind myself what it was like!

Chilkat State Park covers nearly 10,000 acres, situated on the tip of the Chilkat Peninsula southeast of Haines. There are only three hiking trails in the park. The Battery Point trail, the easiest of the three, covers two miles along the north side of the park, and is frequented by cruise ship tourists. The Mount Riley trail is a little tougher, climbing nearly 2,000 vertical feet along three or four miles, depending on the direction of the approach, to a stunning viewpoint overlooking the Chilkat Inlet. The jewel of Chilkat State Park, however, is the Seduction Point trail, a seven mile hike that winds its way along the coast to the tip of the Peninsula, offering some gorgeous views of Haines' glaciers, Rainbow Glacier and Davidson Glacier, along the way.

Rigby and I haven't made it up to Mount Riley yet, but we've hiked the Battery Point and Seduction Point trails.

Here Rigby and I are on the trail toward Battery Point, our backs to the northeast, looking up the Chilkoot Inlet.

Here is the view from Battery Point. There are remnants of an old lighthouse here, but I don't know anything about the history of the area.

This is a view of the Battery Point Trail on the way back to the trailhead. Pretty, isn't it?

Not too long after we hiked the Battery Point trail, Rigby and I headed out to the other side of Chilkat State Park to the Seduction Point trail. We both enjoyed this trail a lot more than we had Battery Point. It was longer and there were fewer people using it. Plus, we had some great views of the glaciers. Here is Rainbow Glacier:

And this panoramic image shows the Chilkat Inlet on the far left, then Davidson Glacier, Rainbow Glacier, and a view up towards Letnikov Cove on the right. The water is so pretty in this area-- very blue.

Ah, those were the halcyon days, back when the sun shone and the rain was intermittent! :D

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