What to do: Hope

What to do: Hope

The former gold-mining village of Hope is found nestled against the Chugach National Forest, and although it may not be as metropolitan a destination as Anchorage, the small town offers a welcome summer respite from the Kenai River, fish-related tourism.

What started as a mining camp for Resurrection Creek in 1896 has grown, maybe not in size, but in offerings. There is a selection of local businesses, specializing in everything from a quick bite to eat to fine art.

“We have a number of good restaurants and so many different activities,” said Diane Olthuis of the Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum. “Instead of a day trip, you might even think to make it an overnight.”

The town also has a selection of motels, cabin rentals and RV parks, as well as plenty of available camping.

“We have Coeur’d Alene campgrounds, which is just a tent campground,” Susan Anderson of the Hope Library said. “People go and stay up there all the time. It has a lot of great scenery, because it’s a unique valley, and a few hiking trails up there.”

The campgrounds are located along Palmer Creek road, which leads to Twin Lakes Trail.

“It was an old gold mining road, so there is some remnants of that up there,” Anderson said. “You have to hike up, ending in that beautiful valley with a waterfall coming out of it and a zigzag trail going up to two lakes.”

Trails are a big draw for Hope, with the Resurrection Pass Trail starting, or ending, in Hope. The 39-mile trail travels between Hope and Cooper Landing and offers day or multiday hiking or biking backcountry excursions.

“There is also Gull Rock Trail at the end of the paved road,” Anderson said. “It’s a five-mile hike and the trailhead is just prior to the gas station. You can do Gull Rock from there, or Hope Point, which is a zigzag trail up the mountain that leads to great views.”

From the peak of Hope Point, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of Turnagain Arm and a bird’s eye view of Anchorage. Hope also offers an array of historical entertainment, centered at the Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum, which opens its doors on Memorial Day each year.

“We have a whole shed of mining equipment. There is a main museum building, where we talk about the gold rush and the great Alaska earthquake. … We even have the old schoolhouse from 1904,” Olthuis said.

The museum shows insight into just how influential a role gold played in the creation of Hope, and in bringing settlers to Alaska.

“Just come and enjoy the natural beauty of the place,” Olthuis said. “Hope is full of great inspiration for photographs, painting or sketching. There are quiet moments, where you can listen to the birds, look out at the wildlife and be content.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

With Turnagain Arm in the background, a dog breaks to pant while acending the trail to Hope Point on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Hope, Alaska.

With Turnagain Arm in the background, a dog breaks to pant while acending the trail to Hope Point on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Hope, Alaska.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show