Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine

On our way back to Anchorage, we decided to spend a day and night on the Hatcher Pass Road. It's a 49-mile road (mostly dirt) that travels through spectacular alpine country connecting the Glenn Highway and the Parks Highway.

The lonesome Hatcher Pass Road.

Twilight on the Chugach Mountains
You never know what you'll find at the end of the road. We were hoping for something good since this was one of those unplanned routes. It just so happened we got lucky.

We found a great little lodge that offered one room (plus loft) cabins. It sleeps four and had a little table. It had a bathroom but did not have running water. It had a chemical toilet and sink that you used creatively with your own water. It had great views and the lodge had a restaurant that served breakfast, lunch, and dinner! We were only there for breakfast and once again, it was a pleasant surprise! Maybe even the best breakfast we had all week! Very fresh and very fine ingredients.

A picture of the Hatcher Pass Lodge from the road below.

The historic Independence Mine was located just behind the lodge. Robert Lee Hatcher first discovered gold here in 1906. Over the years 83 claims was made on this land and eventually it all fell under the control of one company. The claims covered more than 1,350 acres and included 27 structures. In it's peak year it produced 34,416 ounces of gold.

This was one of the dormitories and the top floor was a school (for eight kids).

I thought it was neat that these barrels were made to travel down the tracks.

A huge engine.

A duplex that has been set up inside to look like it would have in the 20s and 30s.

I could totally see Andrew as a gold miner!

What a mess this creek is!

It's amazing they still let you touch this stuff! This wouldn't happen in the lower 48.

Up above the mine was the boomtown where the 22 families lived.
We didn't know it till we got up there, but some of it is still private property and is still being mined.
Headed up there to check it out.

Beautiful, dainty little flowers called moss heather blanketed the tundra.

Andrew and his mom waited patiently on Ted and I to finish taking pictures.

Independence Mine from above.

Beware of explosives.

Down the road the flowers were incredible. The first columbine we've this summer.

Cow parsnip

After the gold mine, we had a picnic beside the Little Susitna River and hung out for a while.

Who could resist this handsome dog?!?! Not me!

Even when he's blowing a raspberry!

"We got you!"

Now they play nice.

Boss, as we all did, had such a good day!