Saturday, April 20, 2013

the butte

Yesterday we climbed the south face of the Butte. I am seriously loving having Steve home and all to myself - it's so so so fun to do things like this as a family rather than just me, Riggs and Tutka.

The sun was out, there was no wind to speak of, and so we grabbed some water and drove the 3 or 4 minutes to the southside parking lot. Steve carried Riggs in the little backpack, I love seeing his little legs hanging down and his little eyes peeking out from Steve's back, it makes me smile every time:)

It was definitely a work out, and we stopped four or five times to catch our breath and have a sip or two of water. Tutka could have ran all the way to the top without stopping in like, five minutes. He kept running ahead and then coming back and giving us this impatient look with his head cocked to one side. Sorry buddy! We don't have four legs;)

The view was beautiful, as usual. I don't think I could every get sick of looking at Pioneer Peak. It was definitely different from the summer view though.

I loved having my new camera along to take lots and lots of pictures. And Steve was even nice enough to take some pictures of me too. It's always hard as the 'photographer' of the family because I never show up in pictures! It's like I was never there lol.

My thighs and lungs were burning like crazy by the time we reached the top, I'm thinking I need to make this a weekly habit to help with my half-marathon training and just because it's a fun, beautiful and relatively quick hike.

I always get a kick out of the fact that you can easily pick out our little house from the top of the Butte, and we point it out every time we climb up there. It's funny too because I often look out my window at the Butte on a beautiful day and think, "I wonder who's up there right now, soaking in the sunshine and the beautiful view." It always makes me smile to think of people enjoying themselves up there.


Trip Details - Bodenburg Butte

Trails | there are two different trails to reach the top of the Butte. I personally like the southside trail better, but there are definitely some steeper parts of the trail that might be too much for some hikers. I like that it's always in the sunshine and it's a faster route too. Not sure on the mileage of this trail, but I would guess it's about 2-3 miles roundtrip at the most. This trail dries out sooner and would probably be mostly dry by the beginning of April (unless it snows a foot in April, like it did this year - ugh).

The west/north side would be the best choice for young children and people who need a bit of an easier trail. It is very well maintained and has lots of switchbacks and little spots with benches and spots to rest along the way. Last summer trail-managment crews did some upgrades on this trail including some more wooden staircases. This side is also much more green and lush, but it can also be very muddy and buggy. This side of the trail is about 3 miles roundtrip. This trail is probably very snowy and muddy until at least mid-May.

Directions & Parking | there are two separate parking lots at the base of the Butte, one on the westside and one on the southside.

From Anchorage:  for the westside parking lot, you take the Glenn Highway north from Anchorage, and then turn on the Old Glenn and follow it about 13 miles, past the blinking light and past the Butte itself, and turn left on Bodenburg Loop (it's the second Bodenburg Loop). Then you turn left on Mothershead Drive and you'll see the parking-lot up on the right. I think it's something like $3 or $5 to park at this parking lot. It's often full on nice days in the summer, but there's a bit of overflow parking along the side of the road.
For the southside parking lot, you take the Glenn Highway north from Anchorage, then take the Old Glenn exit and follow the Old Glenn about 12 miles, then turn left at the blinking light on Bodenburg Loop (this is the first Bodenburg Loop). Just before the road turns to the left you'll see the parking lot on the right. It's a recommended donation of $3 to park at this lot.

From Palmer:  for the westside parking lot, take the Old Glenn south about 7 miles and turn right on Bodenburg Loop (the first one from this direction). Then take a left on Mothershead Drive and you'll see the parkinglot up on the right. $3-5 for parking.
For the southside parking lot, follow the Old Glenn south about 8 miles and turn right at the blinking light on the second Bodenburg Loop. Before the road turns to the left you'll see the parking lot on the right. $3 for parking here.

Have Fun!


  1. Great pictures Whitney. I love the nursing pic and the one right after it too.

    We just spent a week in Anchorage and had a great time. I mostly stayed at the mall and Target though (man, I wish there was one in Fairbanks) hiking for us :) I'm so thankful spring is finally here.

  2. Wow that view is amazing. Your family is beautiful. Just want to pinch little man's cheeks Haha they are precious

  3. What a WILD and WONDERFUL part of the world you guys live in. Love it!

  4. I love your blog! I have lived in Texas my whole life and I have always had a fascination with Alaska! Looking through the pictures on your blog is like a dream, it's so beautiful up there! Unfortunately, I complain if the temperature drops below 70, so I'm not really cut out for life in Alaska. But a girl can dream!!