Distance: 3.3 Miles
Elevation Gain: 462 Feet
Location: Eagle River Nature Center, Eagle River, Alaska
Albert Loop isn’t necessarily a long hike, it just takes a while because of how often you find yourself stopping to look around or take a photo. There’s also something to be said about the fact we went in January after it just got a few more feet of snow… That could've played a part in taking 4 hours for 3 miles. We got there pretty close to sunrise which at the time was about 10:30am. After slipping the Wilson Boots into some microspikes we set off.
It starts off pretty gradual. The trees are bare of leaves but covered in fresh snow. After about an hour the clouds started clearing a little and visibility really opened up. You cross several smaller bridges and do your best to stay on the wooden pathway that's under 2 feet of snow, compared to the 5 feet of snow on either side. At the time, it’s really hard to imagine what this pathway looks like in summer.
You eventually make it to Eagle River. We were able to walk right out to the middle. It’s pretty surreal hearing the river running under your feet.
We finished up this loop and then headed a couple miles down the road to Barbara Falls. Make sure to have chains on the tires for the hills in the neighbourhood getting there.
The waterfall at this time is also mostly frozen over. The trail is about 15 feet to the side of where you can see the creek running up the hill, between you & that is ice and snowpack that definitely cannot hold your weight.
Overall this was a beautiful way to spend the day. The spikes are needed & bring handwarmers… or go in the summer.