Fall colors are creeping from the peaks and alpine tundra of the Chugach Mountains down into the Anchorage bowl. It won't be long until the snow gives chase. Until then, Arctic Valley is a bright and beautiful place to enjoy autumn. About a dozen cars made their way to the end of Arctic Valley Road for a morning of hiking and berry picking on Labor Day, September 3. Though the skies were gray, the ground cover seemed to glow blueberry bushes, fireweed and false hellebore in varying degrees of red, yellow and orange.,
For berry pickers, early fall is peak season for blueberries, cranberries and crowberries. Bailey Mark and three of her friends were after the latter, with which they'll make jam. Many other hunched over pickers and frolicking dogs dotted the slopes nearby. Adam McCullough brought his eight-year-old daughter Lily to Arctic Valley to hike the drainage toward Rendezvous Peak, a four-mile round trip that rewards hikers with it's panoramic view from 4,100 feet.
The Anchorage Ski Club leases the recreation area at Arctic Valley and operates the ski area that it becomes in the winter. The non-profit charges a $5 per vehicle user fee to help fund its year-round maintenance. Much more information about Arctic Valley can be found on their website here.
(Note: Remarkable Places is an occasional series highlighting unique nooks and special spots in our area through photos. Click here to take a look around the Port of Anchorage Boat Launch.)