chasing kids, chasing waterfalls

Jul 29, 2015

We couldn't very well call it a weekend around here if we didn't throw in a hike. Kids have a lot of energy, it is a parents duty to expel all that energy. For us, hiking is the best way to do that where Chris and I get some enjoyment out of it as well. Now, lets throw in a beautiful waterfall and you have a recipe for a..... parents of toddlers anxiety filled soap opera. 
We heard about this waterfall hike a while ago, but everyone that talked about it said that it wasn't very "kid friendly". Then I saw that someone posted on instagram that they had taken their kids there. Their children were a little older than mine, but I happen to think we have some pretty good hikers on our hands, so we said what the hell? Lets go! 

Virgin Falls is a waterfall tucked away in a little town south of Anchorage. We drive down and around Girdwood all the time, so this gave us a chance to explore something that we have clearly missed each time we go. After reading a little bit about the trail I was so excited that it was described as more rain forest like than anything! I mean mixing the Alaskan woods with a little rain forest flare? Can it get better? 
The hike to the waterfall was so quick! Like we walked right passed it because we were thinking, this can't be it, we haven't even hiked half a mile yet. We got on the trail pretty early in the day so there weren't any people around. Instead of stopping we just kept climbing higher and higher. The trail went from somewhat noticeable, to almost non existent. We were just climbing over fallen down trees, jumping over huge holes. Hoisting one child after another over some pretty sketchy terrain. Chris kept saying, "I guess this is what they meant by not kid friendly". So true, we were sweating buckets. Not only was the hike working us out, but the sheer anxiety we had while climbing with the kids, was exhausting!
We hiked for about a mile and stumbled upon this site! I mean, amazing!! The water was so cool, the mist coming down from the water hitting the rocks was so refreshing. The kids loved how loud the water was, and the fact that they could yell so loudly and barely hear each other. We kept a very firm grip on Pierce because well....he's crazy. Avalon was in the backpack at this point because her legs were getting tired from trying to climb over all the exposed tree roots. 

By now we were thinking, yep, back there when we saw that waterfall.....that was probably THE waterfall. So we decided to turn around. If it were just Chris and I hiking we would have probably kept going up the mountain, because eventually it connects with another cool trail. But with kids, it was just getting a little too scary. 
We hiked right back down to the spot we passed from the get go. Only this time there were some red flower petals sprinkled all around, and a bunch of  girls running away in towels???? Interesting.....cool photo shoot location though! 

We let the kids play down by the waterfall for a bit. It was nice to take a break as well. I would have liked to take more pictures during the hike, but I was too panicky watching all the kids, while trying not to trip with Odette on me. I did document as best I could on snapchat. 
Afterwards we picked up a pizza down in Girdwood and headed to Moose Meadow to let the kids run around a bit more before we headed home. 

I would totally recommend this hike to my fellow Alaskan dwellers. If you don't have kids and want an amazing hike with great views, take the trail or lack thereof, to the top of the mountain! If you have small children, put them on a leash! Or just walk to the falls, which is super short and easy! 


9 comments:

  1. You guys are my role models. And heights with toddlers makes my heart stop. I value their life too much. And your snapchats always kill me. So funny.

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  2. That waterfall is absolutely stunning! I love nature. :)

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    1. It was truly so amazing up close! Love all the hidden gems in Alaska!

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  3. It's beautiful and totally looks anxiety worthy. And your title seriously made that song "don't go chasing waterfalls" pop into my head- so funny.

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  4. I think I know the answer but I'll ask any way... any chance of going swimming? I assume the water feels frigid like ice water. :)

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  5. I love reading the stories about you guys being out and about. We just moved to JBER in June with a 5 and 2 yo. I'm 7 months pregnant, so there are a lot of similarities. LOL Where are some places that you would recommended since our kids are similar in age?

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    1. Well welcome to the tundra!!! There are so many places to take the kids in the summer. A great and easy place to let them explore is the Eagle River Nature Center! Potter's Marsh is also a fun and again easy walk around. The Wildlife Conservation Center down near Portage is one of our very favorite places to go! As far as indoor play, the rec center in Eagle River has a fun turf time area set up. I can mildly stand Bouncing Bears for an hour if I have to, LOL! And even on base at the Arctic Oasis there is a playground, a rock wall, and some mini golf going on :)

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  6. This is absolutely gorgeous! What are the temps like in the Summer?

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  7. Chris looks absolutely deflated in that last pic like "DAMMIT! I literally JUST missed an American Beauty themed photoshoot." And the kids are such troopers! I imagine them scattering into the woods like mad upon exit of the car, but man -- such beauty on that hike! It makes me want to come visit even more!!!

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