Lane Hut – A Trail Everyone in the Family Can Enjoy
by Diane Rose
Our family moved from Palmer, Alaska, to a neighborhood near the entrance to Hatcher Pass when I was 11 years old. I consider these mountains, valleys and trails my backyard and have had many adventures in this area rich with mining history and artifacts. Here’s a quick look of the hike to Lane Hut in Hatcher Pass.
Lane Hut Trail: At the end of the Archangel Road, there are multiple trails to explore—Fairangel Lakes Trail to the right and the short Fern Mine straight ahead. On this particular day, we were looking for Lane Hut. It is an easy hike, only four miles round trip. Reaching the parking lot at the end of Archangel Road can take a while as the road is rough; a truck or other high clearance vehicle is recommended to reach this area. The path to the hut skirts the Fern Mine and climbs gradually up to the valley beyond. It winds past small ponds and creeks so clear they reflect the blue sky and clouds and magnify their blue green depths simultaneously. The jagged rocky gray mountains rise sharply on both sides of this relatively flat valley. The birds and ground squirrels were busy in the sun and our terrier got her exercise trying to make friends with all of them!
Soon more mining relics began to appear and the hut could be seen at the end of the valley. The hut itself is often used for weekend parties and as a shelter for campers, and it is strewn with remnants of this use. Its walls are a guestbook of sorts. We concluded we would prefer a tent. Looking down the valley, the views from the hut site are striking, and the climb beyond the hut looks intriguing. This hike can be extended with a climb over two passes to the Snowbird Glacier overlook, but we have not attempted that yet. On the return, we stopped at some of the many sandbars along the creek to sit in the sun and enjoy the views. We saw other groups playing and even swimming in the water. This hike is a good family day activity.
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