Up in Paradise

Up in Paradise

I went up into the hillside area above Anchorage yesterday evening to take advantage of the good light and bursting fall colors.  I was on another mission for the Great Land Trust to photograph properties they are working on acquiring to create more public access points to Chugach State Park.  The first is a plot near Bear Valley that would help to provide easy access from a parking lot off Rabbit Creek Road.  The second is in the back end of Paradise Valley, off a crude road one property owner built into the mountainside.

The first location offered some great views of the hillside homes reaching up to and abutting the border of Chugach State Park.  It was a perfect illustration for me of my “Wild Anchorage” project, showing the accessibility of wild places to the urban Anchorage environment.  Yet, many of these homes would certainly not be considered to be in an urban setting by most Lower 48 standards, as several homes lie outside of the fire service area in Anchorage.

On our way over to the Paradise Valley property, we passed by a garish McMansion subdivision that looked horribly out of place on the side of the mountain.  As I hiked the crude road to the back of the valley to photograph the proposed property area, I was treated to some of the best views of the Cook Inlet and south Anchorage coastal areas that I think can be found in town.  I found the views in many ways to rival those from Flattop Mountain.  The road itself also led into some spectacular scenery.  I hope that the land deal goes through, as it would give Anchorage residents superb access to McHugh Peak and nearby ridges to expand into and explore the park.

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