Honestly since moving up to Alaska I haven't done much hiking. Bears scare the shit out of me and I don't really have hiking buddies up here. And by don't really I mean I just don't. But I finally got over the initial fear and started hiking again. Most recently I hiked up Lazy Mountain in Palmer. Mainly because I liked the name and it wasn't a million hours away.
There are two ways you can hike this-take a left or take a right. I chose to go up the more difficult path (left) and quickly came in tune with the reality that I am not in hiker shape anymore. The trail is all up hill. No lulls. I felt it. And I felt it for the next few days. Somewhere along the way you reach the first picnic table where all the people I had met on this trail were turning around. At this point the two different trails up meet and turn into one. Turning around at this point would have been the biggest disappointment. Alaska has a lot of unbelievably beautiful places that blow my mind and the trail up to this point was not one of them. Pretty damn average by Alaska standards.
The view doesn't start to get crazy until you walk up past that first table. Before you reach the top, you'll see a second table. This portion of the hike was a lot easier than the first bit. You're constantly going up, but not quite as much. Going down was worse. Didn't feel great. Once I finally made it to the top where the American Flag is I hung out for awhile and ate my snacks and gave the dog water. Overall it was worth it, but only if you keep on going. And side note-while I didn't see any bears, there was a moose out in the forest on my way hiking up. Thankfully he didn't mind Patrón (the dog) and I.