Here I have the sun rising to my back and the red early morning sun is adding extra color to Barometer Mountain. This shot is taken right from the parking lot at the Buskin Beach. The trail up the mountain runs right along the left side ridge in the photo.
In late October to November you can watch the Bald Eagles and seagulls feeding on the last of the Silver Salmon. They are the latest running of the Buskin River Salmon so they are the last to die in the river. The Eagles and other birds come out to feed on them. It really is all part of the cycle of life that the salmon are a big part of. A good spot to see this is at the last bridge just before the Buskin Lake. This is locally known as Bridge 7. It is located just before the US Coast Guard Communications Center. But you can also see this on other parts of the river.....
You can spot fox in the Buskin area as the feed on the trash left by campers (Please don't make a mess and leave it) and the fish carcuses near the river. We have several kinds of fox here. This one is called a Cross Fox. It seems like it is the most common type that we see here. There isn't any hunting or trapping allowed in the park!! The only thing you can shoot them with is your camera!
At the peak of Pyramid Mountain you will find a Glass Jar with a paper in it. Most people that make it to the top sign it and place it back in the jar. It is interesting to see that it's signed from people all over the world! In the photo you can see out new found friend Josh and my sign Hadji preparing to sign it.
The start of the most popular climbing trail for Pyramid Mountain is located at Milemarker 5.7 on the Anton Larsen Bay Road......so you go past the golf course just a couple of miles. You can't miss it as it's the highest point on the road and there is a big parking lot there. The 2420 foot mountain is quite a popular climb. The last couple of hundred feet are the most difficult as it gets quite steep and there is loose rock! The trail going up is quite easy to follow. Bring drinking water and a snack. If you do the hike in July or august there will be an abundance of Salmon Berries along the trail!! That is what usually slows me up is the stopping to eat salmon berries along the way!! hahaha The views from the top are just awesome!! you get a full 360 degree panorama of the area and you can see mountains in the Katmai Range that are across the Shelikoff Straight on the mainland part of Alaska!! Be prepared for weather changes!! A beautiful sunny day of 70 F can quickly drop to 54 F and be pouring rain!! I've seen it happen many times! A good hiking shoe is recommended too. Don't forget your camera!!
Sometimes in the early morning you can spot Sitka Black Tailed Deer right along the road. But the usually move away from the traffic areas by mid morning. I've seen them crossing the river a couple of times. There is quite a large population of them in the area. It is the only deer that lives on Kodiak Island. There is a hidden heard of Caribou at the south end of the island and there are Roosevelt Elk on some of the outer islands near Kodiak.
The Buskin River State Recreation Site doesn't have a ton of trails as it is a very small park but there are a couple of nice walks to take. There is one that is located near the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and a couple of others that run along the river. ( You will either want rubber boots or get wet feet). Just back up the road about three-fourths of a mile you will see a small lake.....it's called Boy Scout lake and right there at the parking lot you will see some boulders across an old road. Well, out in this are are many old roads and trails that are very popular with day hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts!! You can get to the beach from here after about a 45 minute walk on old roads that are hidden in this ancient spruce forest.
You can get an easier overview of the park from the top of Pillar Mountain. It's located directly behind the city of Kodiak and there is a road that goes to the top. Unlike Barometer Mountain which you would have to climb to get the views. The Green area of the photo is basically the boundries of the park. The mountains are not included in the park but some of the mountains in the back of the photo are within the boundries of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge which is home to several thousand Kodiak Brown Bears!!
If you enlarge this photo you can see that the Buskin River State Recreation Site is actually quite small in land size. It is basically the upper one- eighth of the photo is all it is. In the photo we are climbing MT Barometer which sits directly behind the airport and is a great climb to do in Spring,Summer or Fall.....Winter is too dangerous unless you have proper ice climbing equipment!! Hadji hasn't fallen......he is just exhausted from the climb!! haha
When the tide is extremely low like this the fisherman move upstream as the salmon have a hard time to come into the river as the river is only a few inches deep at the wide points. But it's a nice time just to sit and listen to the birds and watch the Bald Eagles swoop down and snatch salmon from the river as they try to come up.
As you turn on to the Buskin River State Recreation Site access road (In Summer) you will see a huge field of Daisies!! It looks quite nice as there is a little bit of Lupine mixed in with it.
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