We took a couple days after our Donoho Basin trip to explore the Kennicott area and take some scenic flights. The next day we planned to fly into Bremner historic mining district where we would be camping for the next 3 days. We were concerned about getting stuck without a good weather window, out so we packed to spend a few extra days out there. So we brought everything including a case of beer. We had a late arrival due to our plane breaking down just before takeoff (That’s not what you want to hear about your plane before you get in it). So when we landed we spent the remaining time exploring the area around camp and hit the sack.
The next day we woke up and explored around camp for a short while before heading up to the Bremner bunkhouse and checking out all the historic garbage. When I say garbage I mean artifacts including buildings, a powerhouse, cars, tractors, stoves, tools, etc. All very cool, very heavy stuff. It’s crazy they were able to get everything out to this remote spot. The stuff is so cool in fact that they hire volunteers to live on site and make sure people don’t steal anything. We met the volunteers, and their dog companion, and had a great time chatting about their experiences so far. The wildflowers were also still blooming despite a rather dry summer so I was excited to see all the familiar faces.
From the mining camp we headed up to one of the area tarns that was used as an aqueduct for the area water. Along the way we saw some nice waterfalls, cool animals like ptarmigan, pika, and marmots, and some great views of the mountains. Once we were done we headed back to the bunkhouse and made a plan to hike with the volunteer couple the following day.
The next day we woke up to the entire valley covered in fog. We took the old mining road up to another site where they used to mine for gold. As we went up in elevation we hike out of the fog and the sun was burning off what remained. Immediately when we made it into the cirque basin I noticed more pika, ptarmigan, and marmots. The ptarmigan were everywhere in fact. We noticed that the rock ptarmigan at higher elevations were not as skittish as the willow ptarmigan at lower elevations. In fact they seemed to like us. We even had a few chicks walk right up to us and scope us out.
After a beautiful day of hiking we headed back to camp and waited for the plane to pick us up. Once we were back in McCarthy we headed out for dinner to celebrate another great backcountry trip!
Trip notes: We didn't really have an agenda for this area, so we mostly meandered. We still ended up hiking around nine miles total. This was also my first "backcountry" trip being flown in. It was really nice to be able to camp heavy and still have the backcountry feel. Obviously this method is cost-prohibitive, but if you get the chance to do it, this was a cool trip, and I also hear that Skolai Pass area is beautiful. Thanks for reading!