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Chugach National Forest, Alaska – Seward Ranger District – Volunteer Vacations 2022

July 31 - August 6

Trip Navigation

Hope Point Trail and Gull Rock trail are both located in Hope, Alaska along the Turnagain Arm. Gull Rock trail offers many scenic views as it parallels the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet (well above high tide). The trail passes through diverse vegetation: birch-aspen woods; alder-choked gullies; spruce forests; tundra with tiny spruce, mosses, and low cranberry bushes; hemlock forests with a carpet of moss. Many breaks in the woods offer views of Turnagain Arm, the shoreline, and Denali (on clear days). Hope Point trail begins in a birch/spruce forest with a thick under story of grass and devil’s club and continues with switch backs into alpine meadows lush with wildflowers. This trail has an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet and offers fantastic views.

Volunteers will camp in the Forest Service campground near the Gull Rock trail. This campground is about 2 miles beyond the main street in the town of Hope, Alaska and overlooks the Turnagain Arm at the edge of a bluff. The project will take place on both the Hope Point Trail and the Gull Rock trail; both can be accessed from Porcupine campground. Hope Point was reconstructed in 2015 and needs maintenance to reestablish the backslope and ensure water is draining properly. Gull Rock has many roots in the trail from trees that are no longer alive and a lot of out sloped trail tread that is becoming increasingly more difficult to travel on. Work will be strenuous at times and involve hiking with tools, heavy lifting, and dirt work with pulaskis, shovels, and picks. We will maintain existing drainages by reestablishing and cleaning them out with hand tools, chop roots out of the trail tread, and repair and widen out sloped tread. Everyone will get dirty and tired, and it will be a fun and productive week in an awe-inspiring location.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Dënéndeh and Dena’ina Ełnena peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, and those who continue to steward these lands today. AHS invites all volunteers to join us in our commitment to support and amplify the work of Indigenous communities as they work to dismantle the systems of oppression that these communities continue to face today.

Host

Forest Service

Accommodations

Car Camping Tent Sites

Hiking/Access

Day hiking up to 7 miles each work day.

Project Rating

Difficult

Minimum Volunteer Age

18

Maximum Group Size

6

Area and Attractions

Porcupine campground boasts an impressive scenic overlook of Turnagain Arm. The Turnagain Arm is a branch of the Cook Inlet, the waterway that divides the Kenai Peninsula from the mainland of Alaska. Beluga Whales can often be seen in these waters. The town of Hope is considered the best-preserved gold rush town in the region. Campers can head to town to explore the quaint historic streets and try their hand at gold panning. There are a couple of restaurants open in the summer season as well as a small general store just outside of town. Popular activities include fishing in Resurrection Creek, hiking the nearby trails, whitewater rafting with a couple of local companies, and gold panning. Both the Gull Rock Trail and the Hope Point trail are easily accessed from the town of Hope and begin at the same trailhead within walking distance from Porcupine campground. Resurrection Pass North trailhead is several miles outside of the Hope town center and this trail system travels 38 miles south to Cooper Landing. Palmer Creek Road is a 13-mile gravel road climbing from the Hope area to a high valley containing past and present mining activity. Gull Rock Trail offers some enthralling views as it extends for 5.7 miles along the south shore of the Turnagain Arm from the end of the Hope Highway to a rocky peninsula. It travels over gradual hills with occasional steep sections and has one of the least changes in elevation on the Seward Ranger District, providing a unique hiking experience on the forest. At the end of the Gull Rock trail is Gull Rock, which is on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Land. It protrudes into the Turnagain Arm and offers many nooks and crannies to explore. Hope Point trail, which leaves from the Gull Rock Trailhead, makes a great day hike and adventurous hikers can fan out to other summits in the Kenai Mountains. The trail is scenic with outstanding views of Resurrection Creek Valley, Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, Fire Island, and the Chugach Mountains. The trail starts in a birch/spruce forest with a thick under story of grass and devil's club and continues with switch backs into alpine meadows lush with wildflowers. This trail has an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet and is more strenuous than the nearby Gull Rock trail. Wildlife in the area includes moose, bear, white beluga whale, and many birds. Whether it be a scenic drive, hike, relaxing meal, or historic mining exploration, there is no shortage of activities in the Hope area.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will camp in car camping tent sites at the Porcupine campground. The campground is surrounded by a mostly birch forest and sits beside Porcupine Creek on the south coast of Turnagain Arm. The campground boasts an impressive scenic overlook of Turnagain Arm and is connected to the Gull Rock/ Hope Point trail by a 1/4-mile connector trail. Firewood is sold on-site, and the campground provides an accessible vault toilet, drinking water from a hand well, fire rings, and picnic tables. There are both nonelectric RV sites and tent sites available, with a limit of 2 vehicles per site. Group cooking supplies such as pots, pans, stove, and fuel will be provided by the Forest Service. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag/sleeping pad, cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils, and personal gear. It is a 2 mile walk into town where there is a small convenience store and pay showers available.

Travel

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the closest major airport. Airport pick up and drop off is available for volunteers and will be arranged upon confirmation of the trip.

Location

Porcupine Campground
Hope, AK 99605 United States + Google Map
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