"20130724_YUCH_RockOutcrops_KenHill" by National Park Service, Alaska Region , public domain
Angel Rocks Trail
Guide to Angel Rocks Trail at Chena River State Recreation Area (SRA) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.
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Guide to Angel Rocks Trail in Chena River State Recreation Area Trail Access: Mi. 48.9 Chena Hot Springs Road. Allowable Uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding Distance: 3.7 mile loop Elevation Gain: 900 feet Difficulty: Moderate Trail Description: Special Features: Allow 3-4 hours to complete the loop hike. From the Angel Rocks trailhead, the trail parallels the North Fork of Chena River through mixed spruce and birch, before reaching a junction. Head right on the Angel Rocks Trail (the trail on the left is the Angel Rocks loop trail and a possible return route). The angel Rocks trail crosses a boggy area on a boardwalk before beginning the ascent through the forest. The trail turns sharply uphill for a short distance before coming to Overlook Rock (the first tor). It starts a moderately steep ascent, passing by many tors before emerging onto the ridge-top. At this point you have four choices: 1. Return on the same trail. 2. Head left and continue down the steep and rugged Angel Rocks Loop Trail; it travels through the tors on the North side of the ridge and down to the base of the hill. Look for trail markers. Once at the bottom of the ridge the trail leads back to the junction with the Angel Rocks Trail. 3. Head right to hike up the hill to the treeless alpine ridge for views of the surrounding mountains. 4. Continue on to the Chena Hot Spring Resort from the alpine ridge mentioned above (see Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail Guide). This 3.7 mile loop trail leads to 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. Hikers will also find some interesting plant communities along the trail, especially in July. Look for broomrape and witches-broom near the first part of the trail, and purple and yellow violets along the stream. Sage, poppies, arnica, and dogbone can be found on steep, south-facing slopes. On north-facing slopes, you’ll find completely different vegetation. Plants such as moss campion, saxifrage and bunchberries thrive in the damp coolness found there. These plants are remnants of the vegetation that covered the interior 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Safety and Considerations: Portions of the trail are steep and rocky, and can be treacherous. Wear suitable footwear. Weather can hamper visibility and make it difficult to find trail markers. Park Rules: 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