This summer has been a challenge when it comes to hiking, yet somehow I have managed to have almost more than my share of local adventure. I've been creative in my choice of places, and I'm lucky in that I can choose odd days off in exchange for working weekends. This past week I had the extra benefit of having the same day off as my favorite hiking partner, my husband Scott. I knew that if I wanted to take full advantage of good weather and a willing partner, I needed to pick somewhere special. That gave me an easy solution - Grandchild Peaks ridge.
At the last minute we picked up a friend to go with us, and she was also eager to explore what would be a new area for her, although she grew up Juneau and is an experienced outdoors person. Not many people know about the Grandchild Peaks, which was informally named by Juneau Alpine Club founders Kim and Barb Turley. The trail is not on any map, and the route is steep and difficult, comparable to scrambling up the Blackerby Ridge trail. But if you can survive the one to two hour grunt up a heart-pounding, quad-burning, muddy, rooty, trail, you will be richly rewarded with incredible views.