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Chugach National Forest – Volunteer Vacations 2021

July 11 - July 17

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Gull Rock trail in Hope, Alaska is very scenic 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). 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 majority of the trailwork will take place within 2½ miles of the Gull Rock trailhead. There are a total of 4 native no deck puncheons (small crossover bridges) between 12 and 14 feet long that are rotten and need to be replaced with treated dimensional lumber. The lumber is on or near the worksites. Work will be strenuous at times and involve both heavy lifting and dirt work with pulaskis and shovels. We will construct the new structures and their approaches, maintain existing drainages by reestablishing and cleaning them out with hand tools, chop roots out of the trail tread, and repair and widen tread. Everyone will get dirty and tired and it will be a fun and productive week!

CURRENT COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS/REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE (Link)

Anyone entering Alaska from another state or country are advised to:

Submit an Alaska Safe Travels form through the Alaska Safe Travels App and Arrive with proof of a qualifying negative molecular based COVID-19 test or Receive a COVID-19 test when you arrive in Alaska, and follow strict social distancing until results arrive.

Venue

Chugach National Forest
Porcupine Campground, Hope Highway, Hope, AK 99605 United States

Organizer

Hiking/Access

Day hiking up to 5 miles each work day

Project Rating

Difficult

Minimum Volunteer Age

18

Maximum Group Size

6

Area and Attractions

Hope, Alaska is a 2 hour drive from Anchorage, following the Turnagain Arm and driving through Turnagain Pass. Porcupine campground is at the end of the Hope Highway road situated across the Turnagain Arm from Anchorage. 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, 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.

Travel

No aiport pickup provided for this trip. The closest airport is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Meeting times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.
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