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Mt. Prindle

May 30, 2011

Mount Prindle is a granitic mountain in the Yukon-Tanana Uplands. It is located a very close 45 miles north-northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska making it a great day hike or easy overnight. The geologic features of Mount Prindle are Late Cretaceous or early Tertiary, but these features intruded older Precambrian to Paleozoic Metamorphic rocks. Mount Prindle exhibits classic glacial landforms, unlike most of the surrounding Yukon-Tanana Uplands. It is in the Circle Mining District and many of the surrounding creeks have been or are being mined for placer gold.  The area has also been prospected for tin and rare earth minerals. Mine roads and hiking trails provide access to the mountain. A 900 ft (270 m) granite wall on an eastern spur of the massif is an attraction for rock climbers.

Mt. Prindle is a 4,931 foot mountain marked by some amazing granite tors. These granite statues line the ridge all the way to Mt. Prindle. Providing some amazing scrambling and bouldering rocks along the hike as you approach the summit.

The walk in to Mt. Prindle is very easy and flat, as you walk up the valley between the ridges. This walk is open and uncovered with some nice views of the ridge as you walk along. There are plentiful blueberries and another orange berry (that I can’t remember the name of-dragon berry?) along the hike. They have a little bit of a tart taste and are not the best blueberries you will find in Alaska, but still a nice addition.

We hiked in Saturday night to camp in the bowl underneath Mt. Prindle. This gave us some nice views of the tors and was a fairly nice camping spot. During that afternoon I decided to check out a nearby summit along with one other in our party. We made the trek up the summit and found another awesome feature of the Mt. Prindle hike. On the other side of the summit was a herd of Dall sheep! There was a herd of about 20 of them roaming the mountains, with their young making a living.

We woke up in the morning to this! Several of the Dall Sheep had ventured down into our base camp. When we poked our heads out of our tents we saw several Dall sheep with young grazing around our tents.

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