The other day a friend of ours invited us to go to Campbell Creek Estuary with her. My husband, David, had lived in Anchorage since he was 12 and had never been there. Of course, the park was not opened until 2013. It is the newest park in Anchorage. We decided it would be a fun way to spend a Saturday.
We met our friend, Renee, for breakfast and then we headed over to the Campbell Creek Estuary. Renee had told us that this 60 acre homestead was donated to the city because the sheep farmers that homesteaded it didn’t want some investor coming in and building high end condos. I think this is such a wonderful idea. By doing this they have saved some delicate wet lands besides making a wonderful place to visit and do some birdwatching.
We didn’t see many birds or wildlife but the trails were nice and it still was a beautiful day for a walk. I call this a walk instead of a hike because the trails were well maintained and there were places to sit to enjoy nature.
Check this page out if you are a birdwatcher because I read that this is where the first and only sighting of a Lazuli Bunting was made.
The Campbell Creek Estuary is one of few public access points to the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. It is the most intact ecologically functional watershed in Anchorage, and attracts bald eagles, sandhill cranes, river otters and five species of salmon, among other wildlife. Campbell Creek winds through the mud and grasses on the flats. Sometimes belugas chase the salmon up the creek. From the edge of the flats, you can see up and down the majestic coastline.
If you are ever in Anchorage, Alaska you should stop by and take this peaceful walk to enjoy some wildlife.
This was going to be our last road trip of our vacation. I decided we needed to go to another geothermal bath. I knew I had read about one so I located it and marked our route on the map. This time I didn’t have to find back roads because that is what you had to take to get there. I packed us a lunch and had in may mind this nice private place to enjoy our last soak.
we took about a two hour drive down gravel roads some of which are called F roads, which weren’t as bad as some we have driven down in Alaska, not sure what the F stands for. You can imagine though we did have fun with it. We were saying things like I will drive down any F-ing road I want. We finally reached Fjallabak Nature Reserve where the hot bath is supposed to be that we are going to. Off we go to drive down another F-ing road.
Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The Nature reserve is 47.000 hectares and is over 500 meters above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes.
I have to say that on our road trip so far we had only a couple of cars that passed us. Then we hit the top of a hill and around the corner there were several other cars stopped to take photos. We did the same and while we were there even more cars came and stopped. I am starting to thing these people had the same idea I had about getting away from the people and having a nice soak.
We made it too Landmannalaugar in the Highland. I was in for a big surprise when we got there. The place was packed. There were cars and buses all over the place. I was thinking it was a whole river that you could use but it was just a small spot where the hot water mixes with the cold.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.
This makes it sound so romantic. I wouldn’t call it that because to get the warm water you have to be in the area where the river runs into the small pond. This is the point that everyone gathers. It was a beautiful setting though.
When we got there the first thing I had to do was hit the toilet. It was becoming urgent. We got to the bathroom and we saw a sign that you have to get a day pass to use it. After paying our 500 Krona or $4.68 and getting our wrist bands I could have some relief. We enjoyed our picnic lunch outside at a picnic table, a first for us because we had been eating on the road. You could eat inside a clear plastic, covered area. We then noticed that if you wanted to shower after your soak you had to get a ticket to scan which was another 500 Krona. We decided we were going to go for that too, so our free soak cost us a total of 1000 Krona or $9.36. We changed and headed for the bath down the wooden walkway.
At the end of the walkway was a platform where you can leave your things while in the pool. Some of the people were changing out there, so if you want to save the 1000Krona you can do without the toilet and shower. We climbed down the few stairs to the water which was very clear, cold and had a gravel bottom. If you have tender feet like David you may want to wear water shoes. The water was about thigh deep. it is just a short walk to the where the warm water flows into the cold pool. We sat amongst the people who were from many different countries. We enjoyed listening to the many languages. As people leave you move closer to where the hot water pours into the cold. You can feel when the heat comes up from the ground because the stream will get hotter. I have to admit that the scenery is beautiful. This is not one of our favorite hot baths but it was unique and well worth going to.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.nt countries. It was fun listening to all the different languages. As people leave you move closer to the hot stream. We enjoyed it but we would not call it the best one we had ever been too. It was the cheapest though.
There were some beautiful flowers and some cute little birds in the creeks.
After our shower we headed home a different way. The way we came home was quicker but I could see why they recommend a 4X4. There were a couple of water crossings but nothing bad. I do imagine that in the spring it can get really bad. I now see why there are so many trucks with the big tires on them now. They must spend time in the highlands.
Road in Iceland
It started raining on us again on the way home. We got up in the clouds as we climbed over the mountains back to civilization. We stopped in Selfoss to get to get some supper and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.