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Heitman Mountain

Stunning views abound as you follow the ridge-line to the summit.

Kodiak has some of the most epic alpine experiences in the world. The alpine zone drops lower the further north you latitude you travel. In Washington state you might exit the tree line at 6 or 7000 feet, here in Kodiak you leave the trees behind sometimes as low as 800 feet. The Heitman Mountain trail puts you above the 1000' mark within the first mile and a half, filling the remaining three miles with non-stop views. Don't get completely distracted by the panorama, Kodiak in June means wildflowers and there is no shortage of delicate beauty to found at your feet.

The trail is straightforward and generally easy to follow. There are places where you will find the trail has become a braided mess. These "alternate" paths are mostly the result of hikers avoiding standing water or mud. In most weather keeping an eye at the long view will reveal the way back to the main trail. Fog or low clouds could present a challenge to navigation if you follow the trail with your feet instead of your eyes.

The first mile up to the lake winds through alder and other common Kodiak vegetation including salmonberries, pushki, and tall grasses with the occasional Sitka spruce dotting the path.

Hiking with friends diminishes your chances of surprising a Kodiak brown bear.

Leaving the lake you pop up quickly to fantastic views of the Kodiak community including the Coast Guard Base.

Once on the ridgeline, the summit appears to be far off.

Nearing the summit the ridgeline narrows becoming an edge for a small stretch.

The exposure increases to steep meadows on either side.

It always feels good to reach the top.

Mind your step on the way down

In your effort to get up and down don't miss the subtle beauty along the way.

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