May 9, 2014

Scout Ridge & The Palmer Hay Flats at Cottonwood Creek

In early March I took a couple of hours to walk around one of my favorite areas here in the Valley: the Palmer Hay Flats. The weather was perfect.... It was sunny & warm enough that I didn't need any heavy clothing. In the summer this area can be swampy, but in the winter the ground is completely frozen and great for walking on.

You can access this area by traveling down Fairview Loop and onto Hayfield Road. A map link is here....
Once your turn off of Hayfield road, you'll drive a short way down a narrow gravel road. There's an upper parking area for accessing Scout Ridge and then a hill down to the lower parking area for accessing the flats.
A recently installed pedestrian bridge provides easy access over Cottonwood Creek. In the summer, salmon swim up this stream on their way to the spawning grounds. Unfortunately at this point the stream is full of glacial silt and the fish would be hard to spot.
  On the other side of the bridge they've installed geotiles for a hundred yards or so... This provides for stable walking year round. If you are in the area and looking for some beautiful vistas, you can walk out a little way without your feet getting too wet.

High above the flats is Scout Ridge. A viewing platform provides the perfect place to sit and take in the scenery. It's easily reachable from the upper parking area.
So the next time you are looking for beautiful vistas, rugged mountains and everything that is Alaska, swing by the Cottonwood Creek access point. You won't regret it...

No comments: