One of my favorite parts of our Alaskan adventure was a 5 day backpacking trip to Turquoise Lake. There were no real trails around Telaquana Lake so there was lots of bushwhacking to be had, at least until we reached the alpine zone.

As a side note, I confirmed that I really like hiking in alpine environments because it means no bushwhacking and you can see everything! Alaska, I love you but I think Colorado is a better fit…Also, Colorado has no bugs. I rest my case.

We started the hike bushwhacking through dense spruce trees and alders. I haven’t pulled out the bold function for really anything, so hopefully that can impress upon you the density of the brush. I’ve bushwhacked in lots of areas of the US and Alaska takes the cake for vegetation growth. I guess that’s what 20 hours a day of sun will do! The first picture below is me emerging from hell. I mean, a mosquito-infested jungle labyrinth with bears ready to leap out at any moment. I’m dramatic. Rant complete.

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
This smile had a tinge of grimace.

A few miles later we are freeee! And it’s beautiful:

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
I love this.

We hiked approximately 5 miles. We could camp pretty much anywhere, it was a dream:

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Night #1 campsite.

The next day we made some friends:

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Hi guy.

And we hiked along Trail Creek for a while trying to find a place to cross.

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Trail Creek.

When we got up even higher we were among the clouds. I managed to get one mediocre pano phone picture of our camp.

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Pano of night #2

The next morning we made our way up to the Turquoise Lake pass.

Backpacking Alaska's Turquoise Lake

We hiked on some snow:

Backpacking Alaska's Turquoise Lake
Snow in July.

Here is a view of Turquoise Lake. It was kind of unimpressive. That sounds pretty snotty, but there you have it.

Backpacking Alaska's Turquoise Lake
View of Turquoise Lake from the pass.

We were running low on food at this point so we turned around. That night we had the best campsite of all the nights:

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
What a view.

That little bear canister in the above picture holds approximately a week’s worth of food for one person, so in our case, 3.5 days of food for two people. Trying to go for five days was a stretch.

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Trail Creek and some excellent views.

We finally got within view of Telaquana Lake and I almost cried. It was so beautiful. And I was also so hungry. But barring being out of food, I could have spent several days in this spot:

Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Trip highlight.
Backpacking Alaska's Telaquana Lake
Dan + Telaquana Lake + bug hat.

We saw two planes land on the lake to drop off backpackers. We found out from our park volunteer friends it was a guiding service on a 10-day trip to Twin Lakes. I looked it up later and the trip costs $3,650 (including the bush plane, gear, food, and the guiding service). In case you, dear reader, want to backpack through some fantastic scenery…

The end.


1 Comment

  1. Amazing pictures as usual. I thought I would see a picture of you guys covered in mosquito nets while bush-whacking. 😁 Congrats on the successful migration to a self-hosted site.

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