This is a great ridgewalk spanning the alpine ridge of Mt Ripinsky.
It is a long day hike (8 - 10 hours) or 2-to-3-day backpack. The ridge walk takes in Ripinsky, Peak 3,920, and 7 Mile Saddle, and is the only high-elevation trail trip near Haines. It’s a beauty, with glorious views of wild peaks and valleys, ocean on two sides, and the broad, gray Chilkat River as it empties into the Pacific.
Trail starts steep in pines, many switchbacks, then up into spruce and hemlock. It opens up into brush at about 2000ft. There is a spring at 2400ft near 7 mile Saddle. You can camp here in the Saddle or continue to Peak 3920, a steep climb. After this the ridge drops to 2800 ft and the scrambling down is a bit steep and tricky. Continue to north peak of Ripinsky, but the trail is easy to lose in rocky snow covered areas. Map, compass and GPS are good to have for this hike.
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Drive west of Haines to about 0.2 miles east of the 7 mile marker. There is a small parking area just on the right side of the road. The trail starts up a short boardwalk here.
Skyline trail map is scanned from the brochure: "Haines is for Hikers" - A guide to the local trail system. This pamphlet is available to be picked up at the Haines Visitor Center on 2nd Ave, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on Haines and southeast Alaska, please check the Haines website and contact the Visitor Office at email@example.com
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Posted By: davefl
- Fri Jul 02 21:49:11 UTC 2010
UpsideBeautiful scenery, great views of the valley and nearby mountains, lots of elevation change, lots of wildlife (fox, bear, mountain goat, squirrel, birds). Challenging. DownsideLong day hike (15 hours from Haines trailhead to Saddle trailhead) if you take time for pictures, watch animals, and detour due to snow. CommentHaines to Ripinsky - trail well kept and marked, lots of uphill walking, well traveled by residents. Ripinsky to Peak 3920 - still some snow covering the trail (1 July 2010), must detour and find the trail again, one part dangerous (steep snow leading to a cliff, detour above the snow difficult & risky but possible). Bears in the area, fresh tracks of black & brown bears.
After Peak 3920 - downhill, still some snow on the trail, beautiful scenery. Some areas wet due to snow melt. Black & Brown bear tracks. Saw 2 grizzlies (no problems).
7 Mile Saddle to Haines Hwy - steep walking, some parts slippery, trail overgrown in some areas, took us 3 hours to go 1.9 miles.