Mt. Roberts Trail – Juneau AK

I almost bit off more than I could chew.

I had arrived at the Mt. Roberts trailhead full of anticipation, but without much of a clue about what I was getting myself into. 
Had I known, I probably would have started up the trail at a hiking pace, rather than at a run. Nevertheless, I set off, eager for adventure and exercise, and basking in the joy of having shed my business suit and donned my running gear.

At first, the trail wasn’t too different from what we have to offer in central Virginia.

Before long, the trail got steep, and and my run soon turned into a hike. Every now and then I’d get a break in the trees and gain some perspective on the elevation change.

The cruise ships didn’t look so big anymore.

While I wanted to keep moving, I couldn’t help stopping from time to time to soak in the scenery.
juneau-mt-roberts-trail-020.jpgjuneau-mt-roberts-trail-007.jpgjuneau-mt-roberts-trail-019.jpg juneau-mt-roberts-trail-015.jpg

A few miles miles in, I came to this sign:
I didn’t have water, and that concerned me a bit.  I resolved to knock my pace back, and kept going.

How could I not?  The views were breathtaking, and each one was better than the next.  I had to make it to the top.

I pushed on, but I was getting dehydrated and was starting to fade. I came upon two hikers who were sprawled out in a grassy area, soaking up the rare Juneau sun. I noted their backpacks, gaiters, trekking poles, and other gear, and felt woefully unprepared. Some Eagle Scout I am. One of them, apparently reading my mind, said “Hey, you’re traveling light. That’s the way to go. Until you need water. Or food.” I mustered up a laugh and told them that I was going farther than I had originally intended, but that I was fine and wouldn’t do anything dumb. Their silence told me that they thought I already had.

I rounded the next bend and, making sure I was out of sight of the hikers, scooped up a handful of snow to eat. I kept heading up.

Before too long, the trail forked and I was at a literal and figurative crossroads. To the right was my intended destination – Gastineau Peak.

Or, I could go left, to Gold Ridge.

I turned left. The line between seeking a challenge and being foolhardy is sometimes a blurry one, but I felt pretty sure that tackling that snowy ridge in running shoes wasn’t a risk that I ought to be taking.

I headed up to Gold Ridge. Here’s the view from the top:

Definitely a good afternoon.


7 Responses to Mt. Roberts Trail – Juneau AK

  1. gomomyourock says:

    Hmm. I’m thinking you’re pretty lucky. Looks beautiful. Glad you were able to make the hike. Kind of makes a business trip worthwhile, well that and maybe some good business. Counting down here…

  2. […] trip.  For now I’ll have to savor the memory of my Mt. Roberts Trail adventure. I can also look back on the photos of the amazing mountains and glaciers that I took on […]

  3. Will Robison says:

    Do you know whether you can take the tram up to the “top” and then take the trail back down? I’m going to be on a cruise there in June and I want to “hike” the trail, but my older Dad wants to go as well – so I thought I’d compromise and we’d hike down the trial. Is that possible?

    • kayakingk says:

      No, the tram does not go to the top.At least when I went. Hiking up to where the tram ends and go a little further you will be able to play in the snow. To reach the summit, You have to hike it and bring a pic ax and crampons!

  4. Wags Outside says:

    I believe you can take the tram up and then hike down. That said, the majority of the hike that I wrote about in my post was on the Wilderness Trail that went on beyond (above) the tram station.

    Have a great time!

  5. Mike says:

    Well your lucky, cause when i went it was in the summer, yet there was overcast and rainy. My dad and i had no water and a bag of popcorn but we pressed on till we got to that point but had to turn around to met the ship before it left us. But it was indeed worth every step and the clouds let up every now and then to where i could get some good shots.

  6. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting this with the cool pictures. This is an excellent way to show people who haven’t shared in the wonders of Juneau a neat hike.

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