"20130724_YUCH_RockOutcrops_KenHill" by National Park Service, Alaska Region , public domain
Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail
Guide to Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail at Chena River State Recreation Area (SRA) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.
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Guide to Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail in Chena River State Recreation Area Trail Access: The trail begins at the Angel Rocks Trailhead at mi. 48.9 and ends at Chena Hot Springs at mi. 56.5 Chena Hot Springs Road Allowable Uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding Distance: 8 mile traverse (one-way) Total Elevation Gain: 1900 feet Difficulty: Moderate/strenuous Trail Guide: Minimize your impact on the area by camping away from the trail, packing out what you pack in, and burying human waste away from the trail. The shelter cabin is located 4.8 miles from the Angel Rocks Trailhead. This cabin cannot be reserved and is on a first come first serve basis. Cabin Coordinates: (W146° 12.967’ N65° 0.690’) From the Angel Rocks trailhead, the trail parallels the North Fork of Chena River through mixed spruce and birch before reaching a junction where there are two options. Head right for the more-traveled and shorter route. Head left for a less-developed and longer route. Both ways pass by tors. Avoid cutting switchbacks to protect the easily erodible soils. Both trails meet again East of most of the tors (for a more detailed description of the Angel Rocks Trail & loop see “Guide to Angel Rocks Trail”). The trail towards the hot springs climbs a forested ridge and passes the last tor before emerging above timberline. The trail on the alpine ridge is faint in places and is marked with cairns. It eventually passes through two saddles as it descends into forest; the Angel Rocks Trail Shelter is located in the third saddle. The trail then continues the descent to another saddle with a junction. The shortest and easiest route heads right and is known as the Hillside Cut-Off Trail; expect several boggy areas. Go left at the junction encountered mid-way on this route. The Ridge Trail (to the left) gains more elevation and is longer, but is drier; there is also access to the boggy Bear Paw Butte Trail which offers modest views. The trails eventually converge again and lead to Chena Hot Springs. Safety and Considerations: Park Rules: Special Features: This route provides access to alpine tundra, views of surrounding mountains, and unique rock outcroppings called tors. The tors formed millions of years ago when molten rock pushed upward and cooled before it reached the earth’s surface. The surrounding earth slowly eroded, exposing the less erodible rock pinnacles. Camping: Portions of the trail are steep and rocky, and can be treacherous. Wear suitable footwear. Above timberline weather can hamper visibility and make it difficult to follow the trail or locate cairns. Portions of the trail and the North Trailhead are on private property; please be respectful. Disturbing or gathering natural materials is prohibited in the Recreation Area, except for berries, mushrooms, and similar edibles for personal use. Vehicles including mountain bikes are prohibited. For a complete set of park rules visit: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/chena/chenareg.htm Alaska State Parks Northern Area Office 3700 Airport Way Fairbanks, AK 99709 (907) 451 - 2695