Summer has passed us by and our family hasn’t had much of a chance to get outdoors before the cooler weather sets in for good. My sister in law happened to mention on Facebook that she was taking her kids to hike Lazy Mountain and we decided to join her since it wouldn’t be long before fall makes its full appearance in Alaska. The Lazy Mountain Trail is located at the west slope of Lazy Mountain, a little outside of Palmer, Alaska. It’s a 5 mile hike round trip and is moderate to difficult to hike.
Our good friend, Elsie, accompanied us with her six children. It was a perfect day for hiking, not too cool and not too hot. My husband feared that it would rain and we packed rain gear just in case, but we didn’t end up needing the rain gear after all.
We took 11 children total with us whose ages ranged from 6 years to 15 years old. I took my three oldest children with me (Elizabeth, Ethan, and Liberty) since I wasn’t sure if my 4 year old, Molly, would do well on the hike and I knew for a fact that my 2 year old, Patience, would want to be carried the whole time.
At the start of the trail, it’s pretty strenuous and steep. The trail was muddy and slick and the shoes I thought would work well for the hike were disappointing and had no traction. I managed to slip many times and some of the most challenging spots of the trails had makeshift wooden steps that helped out A LOT!
I would say the most difficult portion of the hike is the first half of the trail. Once you reach the first picnic table and get out of the tree line, the trail is much more mellow and dry. Many people turn back once they get to the picnic table, not realizing that it gets much easier after that. It’s such a shame too because there’s true beauty awaiting the top of Lazy Mountain.
We were warned towards the beginning of our hike that there was a sighting of a black bear cub in a tree. Thankfully, we never did see the cub on our hike, but my sister in law did happen to spot moose in a valley close to us.
The kids had a blast foraging for berries and filling their tummies with watermelon berries, blueberries, raspberries, and crow berries along the way. If we were in the business of picking berries, we would have had quite the berry picking crew and would have come home with buckets full of berries.
Every so often we would stop for a breather and take in the scenery all around us. The view was getting more beautiful the closer we got to the top. It was neat to see the Matanuska Valley from tippy tops of the mountain. What a glorious and breathtaking sight it was to behold!
This was the part of the hike where “mommy panic” sets in and my heart starts beating rapidly. The top is pretty steep and I almost cringed at every step my kids made on this narrow way to the top and back. Like a friend on Facebook said, “The name of the mountain is pretty deceptive.”
We made it to the top (3000 feet high) in roughly 4 hours! The kids were all such troopers the entire way! It was a great accomplishment for us since we hadn’t done that much hiking all summer long. Our trip down only took us a couple hours and by that time, my body was definitely feeling the wear and tear from the difficult hike. My body aches were no match for a warm soak in the tub and some Deep Blue Rub from doTERRA. It felt so good to exercise and get those muscles working!
A couple of the kids suffered from some minor blisters on the back of their heels and it reinforced to me just how tough these little guys are. Like I told someone awhile back, they could rival adults when it comes to hiking and often prove themselves on Alaska’s trails and backcountry. They can’t wait to hike Lazy Mountain again and what a beautiful memory we made with them, our family, and some of our dearest friends in God’s majestic creation!