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Return to Misty Moorings - Trip Tic V-2

Flight Flight-Seeing Destination: Seward, AK

Route Notes

  • This Scenery is for "Return to Misty Moorings" only.
  • Suggested Altitude: 3000 Feet
  • Landing zone is: Tarmac
  • GPS for destination: N60 7.80 W149 25.35
  • Distance approximately: 105 Miles (52 Minutes)
  • Download PRINT-ABLE copy HERE
  • Flight-Seeing Flight Plan Map HERE
  • Flight-Seeing Flight Plan HERE

Flight-Seeing Plan from Wasilla to Seward, AK

There is a safer water route to Seward, but what fun is that? Your passengers will read an ebook instead of looking out the window. So this flight takes you low and slow back through the beautiful mountains between Wasilla and Seward. You can fly the route on autopilot ... just be careful of altitude at two points, they are marked with a red NOTAM. You will be flying over several airports, so you have time to land and have a snack or refuel often if you like.

NOTAM: ORBX SAK is needed for this Trip Ticket.

If you have Misty Moorings Taxi Service Anchorage, you can position yourself at the MMTS Terminal at:

N61 34.28 W149 33.07 on a heading of MAG 288

Misty Moorings Air Taxi, Wasilla, AK

Flight-Seeing VFR Plan

FROM : PAWS (Wasilla)
Starting Point: N61 34.28 W149 33.07 Mag 288
TO:67AK South Hollywood Airport

Flight Overview: This is a flight-seeing trip. The objective of this flight is to let you see, up close, the beauty of this particular area of Alaska. You should fly at 1200 feet unless you are told otherwise by a red NOTAM in the plans below. You can put the aircraft on autopilot to fly the entire route so you can enjoy the trip yourself. Just be careful to change altitude when necessary. Notice on the flight plan below, the numbered waypoints between the named waypoints are simply course corrections.

Leg:Wasilla (PAWS)t to 67AK South Hollywood Airport
Initial Course: 216
Leg Distance: 4.3 Miles
Safe Altitude: 1200 Feet

You begin at Wasilla Airport, PAWS. The South Hollywood Airport is your next waypoint and will be found on a course of 216 direct from PAWS.

History of Wasilla

  • Glacial ice sheets covered most of the northern hemisphere during the last glacial period, between 26,500 and 19,000–20,000 years ago, until they disappeared between 10,000 and about 7,000 years ago. The Matanuska-Susitna valley Early humans moved through the area and left evidence of their passage. The Matanuska-Susitna valley was eventually settled by the Dena'ina Alaska natives who utilized the fertile lands and fishing opportunities of Cook Inlet. The Dena'ina are one of the eleven sub-groups comprising the indigenous Athabaskan Indian groups extending down Canada's western coast. The area around downtown Wasilla was known to the Dena'ina as "Benteh", which translates as "among the lakes". Russians occupied Alaska from 1741, including strategic trading posts in Lower Cook Inlet, until Alaska's sale to the United States in 1867. Near the mouth of the Matanuska River, the town of Knik was settled about 1880. In 1900, the Willow Creek Mining District was established to the north and Knik thrived as a mining settlement.
  • In 1917, the U.S. government planned the Alaska Railroad to intersect the Carle Wagon Road (present Wasilla-Fishhook Road) which connected Knik and the mines. Knik businesses and residents rushed to purchase plattes and the town declined. Wasilla Station was named for the nearby Wasilla Creek. Local miners used the name "Wassila Creek", referring to Wassila, a chief of the Dena'ina. There are two sources cited for the name, one being derived from a Dena'ina word meaning "breath of air" while another stating Dena'ina derived it from the Russian name "Vasili." As Knik declined into a ghost town, Wasilla served early fur trappers and miners working the gold fields at Cache Creek and Willow Creek. More than 200 farm families from the Upper Midwest were moved into the Matanuska and Susitna valleys in 1935 as part of a U.S. government program to start a new farming community to counteract this trend; their linguistic influence is still audible in the region.
  • The area was a supply base for gold mines near Hatcher Pass through World War II. Until construction of the George Parks Highway around 1970, nearby Palmer was the leading city in the Matanuska Valley. Wasilla was at the end of the Palmer-Wasilla highway and the road to Big Lake provided access to land west of Wasilla. The Parks Highway put Wasilla at mile 40–42 of what became the major highway and railroad transportation corridor linking Southcentral Alaska to Interior Alaska. As a result, population growth and community development shifted from the area around Palmer to Wasilla and the surrounding area. Wasilla was incorporated as a city in 1974. All non-borough municipalities throughout Alaska are designated cities.
  • In 1994, a statewide ballot initiative to move the capital of Alaska to Wasilla was defeated by a vote of about 116,000 to 96,000. About that time, the Matanuska Valley began to recover from an economic collapse, beginning a sustained boom that involved dramatic population growth, increased local employment, and a boom in residential and commercial real estate development. The local real estate market slowed in 2006. In 2008, suburban growth and dwindling snow forced organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to bypass Wasilla permanently. The race had its start in Wasilla from 1973 to 2002, the year when reduced snow cover forced a "temporary" change to Willow.

Over 67AK, turn to 147 degrees

Leg: South Hollywood 67AK to Birchwood PAVB
Initial Course: 147
Leg Distance: 8.5 Miles
Safe Altitude: 1200 Feet

South Hollywood airport is one of literally hundreds of tiny airports that dot this area of Alaska. People here travel often by private plane, many communities have landing strips in community sub divisions. 67AK is a larger airport (not a community strip).

Turning to 147 over South Hollywood, you are heading for Birchwood, PAVB. You will fly over the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet. there are two arms, the Knik and the more southern Turnagin Arm (see the Cook Inlet Map below)

You will see an airport on the far shore, this is Birchwood PAVB. Fly to it and prepare to change course to 165. Birchwood is a borough of Anchorage. Over the airport, change course to 165.

Leg: Birchwood to Highland 47AK (Highland, Eagle River)
Initial Course: 165
Leg Distance: 8 Miles
Safe Altitude: 1200 Feet

As you make the turn at Birchwood coming to 165 degrees. Below you will see the dual lane Glenn Highway leading to Eagle River. Ahead, you will see a mountain ahead sloping down from left to right. This is Mt. Magnificent. You want to fly to the lower slope of the mountain and then trend to port around that ridge. There you will be crossing over the community of Eagle River, nestled up the lower slope of the mountain. You will then cross Eagle River. As you ease to port, As you come to heading 138, stop the turn and go straight to 47AK, on the side of the starboard ridge ahead.

Leg: Eagle River to Hardee Field, 1AK7
Initial Course: 079
Leg Distance: 4.7 Miles
Safe Altitude: 1200 Feet

We will be following the valley ahead. Turn to 079 to fly to Hardee Field 1AK7 this is only a 4.7 mile leg. Follow the valley to 1AK7. The river below you is the Eagle River ... this is the Eagle River Basin we are following. IAK7 will be on the port side of the valley.

Leg: Hardee Field to Crow Pass Cabin
Initial Course:
Leg Distance: About 10 Miles with several course corrections
Safe Altitude: NOTAM 4200 Feet

Begin a climb to 4200 feet. We will continue to follow the valley with several course corrections to stay in its center. Watch for a small lake coming up slightly to port with a glacier beyond it. That is the Eagle River Glacier. You will see a cut in the mountains to starboard, fly through that cut. Follow the valley up to the glacier ahead. You will cross over above the glacier on a heading of about 163.

Leg: Crow Pass Cabin to Girdwood AQY
Initial Course: 163
Leg Distance: About 5 Miles
Safe Altitude: NOTAM 2500 Feet

As you cross over the ridge, you will see a small lake just to starboard, there is also a sharp small cone shaped peak just to port. Crow Pass Cabin is a tiny A-Frame that is to the port side of the little lake. You flight path takes you directly over it.

Continue straight toward the upcoming valley ahead you can decrease your altitude to 2500 feet.

Ahead you will see a deep valley ahead of the mountain. You will be descending into the valley and turning sharply to port, then back to starboard, follow the valley which flattens and widens. Follow it to Girdwood AQY, in the center of the valley.

  • Girdwood, originally named Glacier City, was founded as a gold mining town at the turn of the century with several gold claims being staked on Crow Creek and the Virgin and California Creek drainages. As the number of miners increased, a supply camp arose that also supplied a trail stop on the route between Seward and Ship Creek which is now Anchorage. James Girdwood was an Irish immigrant and linen merchant with four gold claims on Crow Creek. He later became the namesake for our mountain community.
  • Though founded as a mining town, the development of Girdwood was spurred by railroad construction begun by the Federal Government in 1915. The little town boomed with new businesses. Mining in the upper Crow Creek area continued into the late 1930's when mine closures by a World War II presidential order made Girdwood a near ghost town. In 1949, Girdwood again flourished as construction began on the Seward Highway connecting the seaport of Seward to Anchorage. In 1954, eleven local men formed the Alyeska Ski Corporation along with the beginnings of the hard-earned dream of a first-class ski resort. In 1960, the first chair lift and a day lodge was built. Francois de Gunzburg, a Frenchman and a member of the Rothschild Banking family managed to secure a used chair lift from France that was dismantled, shipped to Alaska and rebuilt at Alyeska.
  • Then, tragedy struck. On Good Friday in 1964, an earthquake with the magnitude of 9.2 dropped the coastal edges along the Turnagain Arm 8 to 10 feet! Consequently, the townsite of Girdwood moved two and 1/2 miles up the valley to the present location. Three years later, the resort was sold to Alaska Airlines and the present General Manager, Chris von Imhof, then the Director of Tourism for the State of Alaska, was hired to run the resort. The Nugget Inn, the original hotel, was built and a second chair lift was constructed on the upper mountain.
  • Finally, in October 1980, Seibu Corporation purchased Alyeska Resort and invested heavily in its development. Seibu built a new high-speed quad chair, a fixed quad and a 60 passenger aerial tramway. In addition, The Westin Alyeska Prince Hotel, a luxurious 307-room hotel, was opened in August of 1994, a mountaintop facility with a fine dining restaurant and skier's cafeteria was also included.
  • Present day Girdwood consists of a diverse population of outdoor enthusiasts, local businesses, services and Anchorage commuters. Girdwood has much to offer the Alaskan visitor all year-round. Complete with a mercantile, a post office, a variety of B&B's, restaurants and bars, boutiques and shops, Girdwood can supply any need any time of the year.

Leg: Girdwood to Lawing
Initial Course: 187
Leg Distance: 50 miles
Safe Altitude: 2500 Feet
to 1200 Feet

You can maintain an altitude of 2500 feet. Ahead you will come to a wide waterway. This is the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. At the water's near shoreline, turn to a heading of 121 and diagonally cross the arm. You will see a point of land coming out from starboard toward the end of the arm (before it turns into a basin of rivers). Turn sharply to starboard and center on the valley.

You will see a highway running the center of the valley. That is the Seward Highway, follow it until you see it taking a turn to starboard, you will turn to port and follow the valley ahead on a bearing of about 125.

The valley will curve to starboard and you will see two lakes. The first, larger lake, is Bench Lake, the smaller lake beyond it is Johnson Lake. Fly over the lakes and maintain a rough heading of 190 following Johnson Creek. (Center to the valley).

Lawing Area Information

  • Lawing was once named Roosevelt. “Alaska Nellie” purchased a cabin there in 1923 and later married Billie Lawing of Seattle. Together they ran a lodge and trophy museum that became a featured stop for Alaska Railroad passengers. Nellie loved to tell stories and her guests enjoyed her tales of daring and adventure on the Last Frontier.
  • Alaska Nellie's Homestead, located at Mile 23 of the Seward Highway in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, is the former homestead of Nellie Neal Lawing. Neal Lawing had migrated to Alaska in 1915 and ran a number of roadhouses for the Alaska Railroad before settling at the Roosevelt roadhouse on Kenai Lake in 1923, where she built her homestead. She planned to marry Kenneth Holden after settling, but he died in an industrial accident before their marriage; his cousin Billie Lawing then proposed to her, and the two married. A post office opened in the area in 1924; Nellie was the first postmistress, and the post office was named Lawing in her honor.
  • Nellie was a wildlife expert and trophy hunter, and she kept her hunting trophies, which included three bears, in the roadhouse. She was also known to keep pet bear cubs outside her home. The homestead became a popular lodge due to Nellie's wildlife lectures, and it attracted guests such as Will Rogers, Alice Calhoun, and Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. [2] After Billie died in 1936, Nellie continued to operate the lodge and roadhouse until her death in 1956.
  • The roadhouse was destroyed in the 1960s, likely by the rising waters of Kenai Lake after the 1964 Alaska earthquake. The homestead was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975; at the time, only the homestead and a number of outbuildings still stood at the site. The homestead was used as a tourist shop in the 1970s and later became a bed and breakfast; however, it was eventually vacated. In 1998, the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation listed the site as one of the ten most endangered historic properties in the state.

You will see Trail Creek coming in from Port along your route. Continue to follow the valley. Trail Creek feeds into upper Trail Lake. The lake forks to port and starboard. Turn to port and fly over the port fork of the lake. You will see the Seward Highway following the starboard shore of the lake. Follow the valley and the highway.

You will be flying directly to the Lawing Airport, you are on the runway heading, this is a nice place to stop or do a touch and go. Your route continues straight ahead to Seward.

Leg: Lawing to Seward
Initial Course: 156
Leg Distance: 15 Miles
Safe Altitude: 1200 Feet

Leaving the Lawing area, you are flying over Kenai Lake, which ends with river tributaries coming into it in about 3 miles. The Seward Highway is now on the port shore. Then the highway will cross under you and move to the starboard shore. You are flying over the Snow River that is runoff from the Sargent Ice Field about 5 miles to port.

Bear Lake will come up under the port wing, continue to follow the highway and railroad and center on the valley ahead.

  • Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,016.

  • It was named after William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In 1867, he fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska which he finally negotiated to acquire from Russia.

  • In 1793 Alexander Baranov of the Shelikhov-Golikov company (precursor of the Russian-American Company) established a fur trade post on Resurrection Bay where Seward is today, and had a three-masted vessel, the Phoenix, built at the post by James Shields, an English shipwright in Russian service.

  • Mile 0 of the historic Iditarod Trail is at Seward. In the early 1900s the trail was blazed in order to transport people and goods to and from the port of Seward to interior Alaska.

  • The 1939 Slattery Report on Alaskan development identified the region as one of the areas where new settlements would be established through Jewish immigration. This plan was never implemented.
  • Seward was founded in 1903 and became an incorporated city in 1912. Named after, Secretary of State, William H. Seward who purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million dollars or 2 cents per acre. Newspaper editorials of the day called the acquisition of Alaska "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox" and considered it a waste of taxpayer's money.  In the late 1800's gold was discovered in the Klondike, the interior of Alaska, and in Nome. 
  • The historical Iditarod trail starts in Seward at mile 0 of the Seward Highway or downtown, yes Seward has a downtown. The annual 4th of July Mount Marathon race started out as a bar bet about 90 years ago, according to local lore, and has become one of Alaska's oldest foot races and North America's toughest endurance marathon. In 1926 Benny Benson, age 13, of Seward's Jesse Lee Home; won the contest for designing the future state flag. Alaska was a territory until 1959, becoming the 49th state, hence the term lower 48 (used to describe the continental United States).  

You are now entering the Seward Area. Prepare for landing at PAWD. Welcome to Seward, hope you enjoyed the flight.

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc

(Created 10.12.2014)