Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve – Vikings Lodge

A few years ago we headed out to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve for Labor Day weekend.  We hiked three miles into the Caribou Creek Cabin and it was beautiful! So naturally, as we discussed where we wanted to go during Labor Day weekend this year our memories of the gorgeous trip to Wrangell-St. Elias came to the front of our minds.  This time around we opted for a shorter hike to the Viking Lodge.

All six of us (Liza, Chris, Lindsey, Jed, Dave and I) headed out on Saturday morning and were blessed with beautiful weather and views throughout the 5+ hour drive. Of course we had to stop and take pictures of Matanuska Glacier. During our pit stop the trunk came up and a beer came down. It hit the pavement just right to open the cap but not break the bottle. We were pretty lucky that Dave stepped up and offered to drink the remaining beer – thanks for taking one for the team Dave!

P1060178After the gentle 10 min. stroll we arrived at the Viking Lodge. The cabin wasn’t as empty as others we stayed at in the past. Instead we were greeted with what looked to be a very lived in cabin, including a couch (that may or may not have had a mouse living in it). Despite the warn in amenities the overall cabin was great and huge! Not only did it fit all six of us but two four-legged friends as well – Miles and Benz.

After settling in we were off to explore the area. We found a creek a few 100 yards from the cabin and great views.

Soon hunger found us and we headed back to the cabin to eat some rice and beans, thanks to Liza and Chris! After dinner we took advantage of the rain-free weather and enjoyed some lovely drinks by the fire.

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The next morning the men headed to Grayling Lake to hike and fish.

Meanwhile, the ladies stayed at the cabin to put together a puzzle and pick blueberries. The puzzle was 750 pieces with 101 colorful bunnies represented! We thought we only had 749 pieces until the last day when we cleaned out the cabin and found the last piece on the floor!

The next morning, Dave headed out early to capture some great pictures of the frosted flora.

We said our goodbyes to the Viking Lodge on Sunday afternoon and headed down to the end of Nebesna Road. We were lucky that the creeks/rivers were low enough that the car could go right through them without too much of a problem. At the end of the road lies Rambler Mine, an old Gold Mine. We hiked up to check out the old mining equipment and the wonderful views then we headed back to Anchorage- so long Wrangell-St. Elias, until next time!

 

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