This is a great valley situated within the Hatcher Pass area. The road to it is pretty rough on vehicles. However, the road makes a pretty easy hike to the actual valley itself.
This valley is rather remote compared to all the people that go through Hatcher Pass. Also, be prepared to share this hike with rock climbers since this has some of the best climbing in Alaska. There are also trails which go past Fern Mine and over the mountain to Lane Glacier. I hear there is a cabin back there which costs nothing to use. The best time to climb in this area is probably from July to September. However, I believe there are also snow sports here throughout the winter.
We didn't see any bears or any kind of wildlife of that order. And my friend, who has been here tons of time said he has never seen anything more than ground squirrels. The best information for being safe on this trail would be just to look out for the large crevasses when boulder hopping and watch out for the cars on the road.
Webmaster's note: Archangel Road may be closed in the spring during breakup to keep the ruts in the road from getting worse. It's usually opened back up the same day Independence Mine opens (June 20). Call (907) 745-3975 to confirm.
There are several technical climbs in this area. The main ones are: The Monolith, The Gargoyle, Toto, The Diamond, and Zulu wall.