The Road to 65, Mile 198- Southeast IS Northwest, Day 7: On Sitka’s Pinnacle


June 14, 2015, Sitka-  The fast ferry from Juneau made it through some narrow channels, in five hours.  Sitka is the premier site of preserved Russian influence in the United States.  There are other such sites, most notably Fort Bragg, CA, but Sitka was Base Camp for Governor Baranof and the Czar’s forces of occupation.  Only when financial matters took precedence, did Alaska pass out from under royal fiefdom.

I came here with a friend, met at the Juneau Hostel, and we determined to hike one of the island’s peaks, as the weather had returned to picture book perfection. The choice was Mt. Verstovia, two miles south southeast of town.

of course, we couldn’t start without first having a light lunch at a food truck.


A taxi took us the two miles to the trailhead.430

Mt. Verstovia had significance to the early Russian colonists, who heated their simple homes with wood and used charcoal for cooking.433

My young friend and her husband collect heart-shaped stones, so my penchant for coming across them piqued her interest.  Of course, being in a national forest. this stayed put.


At the 1.2 mile mark, this was the view to the west.



Most of the trail involved steps and switchbacks.  The moss made the descent a bit of a challenge- but what an unparalleled trail!


Mountaineers no doubt feel the call, when looking northward.


Once at the end of the maintained trail, the true peak of Mt. Verstovia called out, as well.  A few young men headed over to check it out.459

Most of us, though, were satisfied with Picnic Rock, and the 2480 foot ascent.


I have a long ways to go, in getting trim, but a few more like this will help greatly.


We spent about four hours on the mountain, including all the time spent gazing at the various surrounding sights.