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Outdoor notebook: Salmon Creek Trail

Posted: August 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Featured trail: Salmon Creek Trail.

Length: 6 miles roundtrip.

Location: Across Egan Highway from Douglas Island Pink and Chum Fish Hatchery. Trailhead acessible via Egan Drive headed north, right turn after the cement retaining wall, park uphill of utility buildings.

Users: Hikers, runners, mountain bikers, fishermen(women), dog-walkers, kids

About: This trail was once an access road for workers for Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. Today, it is still used for utility vehicle access, but the vast majority of users are recreationalists out for a simple stroll in the wilderness. The trail is steep for the first 1/4 mile, heading straight uphill. Once past the water storage tank, the trail levels out and winds through the rainforest like an abandoned country road. Users can enjoy the sounds of the adjacent Salmon Creek and have the opportunity to see wildlife such as porcupine, black bear, Sitka black-tailed deer and song birds, to name a few. Once past the powerhouse, the trail turns into singletrack and climbs up from the valley floor toward the dam itself. There are some slick portions of boardwalk and a few slime-covered bridges, but after a dry spell these are not for concern. This year, AEL&P vastly improved the stairs on the latter, and very steep portion, of this trail by completely rebuilding roughly five sets of steps. Hikers are rewarded at the top with vistas of the head of Sheep Creek valley and an impressive view of the Salmon Creek dam.

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