Temptation Peak has been on the ‘must-climb’ list for Adam & I this summer. Last weekend, we got the opportunity to hike with our friends Stacia and John and cross it off!
Right behind the front range of the Chugach Peak, Temptation is a great hometown hike. There are two approaches – through Arctic Valley or over the Dome and peaks behind it. Depending on your abilities and desires, you can tackle Temptation in a long day hike or an overnight. At 5,350′ Temptation is only 7 feet taller than Mount Marcy, the highest peak in NY and the Adirondack Mountains.
I’m having a hard time finding any maps or solid write ups of the route we took, so bear with my vague description and please comment with questions. Leaving Saturday afternoon, our crew took the Dome route. Starting in the Stuckagain Heights neighborhood, we made it up to the top of the Dome in about 90 minutes. From there, we went north east and bushwhacked into a valley to the left of Kanachee and Knoya Peaks and ultimately came to a pass, looking down on Snowhawk Valley.
From where we came onto the pass we could see the Upper Snowhawk Cabin, Temptation Peak and back north toward Arctic Valley. There wasn’t an established path down, so we opted to sideways walk toward the back of the valley and cabin. Eventually we bottomed out, crossed a creek (only one wet foot out of 8 I think!) and climbed some gentle rolling hills to the cabin.
Although we carried tents, the cabin was unoccupied and we decided to stay there. It’s a modest size – 4 single bunks, a small table with 4 chairs and some shelving. No stove, and the outhouse is seriously slanted – like, tipped over! From start of hike to cabin, where we called it a night, was 5 hours.
The next morning, we were up and hiking by 9 AM. It was a gorgeous day! Snowhawk Valley splits just behind the cabin, we followed the left fork and began gaining elevation toward Temptation. We left the trail description from 50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach back at the cabin, so we relied on a topographic map and general route finding skills to get up to the summit.
The climb to the summit was pretty straightforward, with a brief scramble at the very tip top. We hung out for about 15 minutes, taking pictures, eating snacks and marveling at the clear 360 views! Stacia has a blog as well and posted the gorgeous pictures here: Afoot & Lighthearted. The header photo of this blog is also from Stacia and our hike – I love the colors of the sun and tundra that day.
On the way down, we found the route we should have taken up. We passed a cool hidden tarn, saw some goats or sheep on the hillside and made our way back to the cabin to collect our gear and roll out. Coming back below the pass we sideways walked down, we saw a clear trail and were able to follow that easily and quickly to a shoulder that took us up to the pass and back behind the Dome. After some soggy bushwhacking, we popped out below the summit and marched back to the car. We were in the car and en route to Long Branch for burgers around 6 PM.
If you’re going to hike Temptation, bring maps, a description of the route and be sure to give yourself enough time to accomplish the hike safely. It can be a long one! And, as always – use your best judgement when planning and making any sort of hiking trip. This post is simply a recap of our experience for your reference, not a proper guide!