Outbound Collective logo

Road Trip Chronicles: The Seven Sisters and One Road To Nowhere

By: Eric Murdock + Save to a List

Quick recap: The 2 Subaru's have now split up, one staying in Seward AK, and the other trudging on ahead to Banff Cananda, where hopefully they will reunite. 

The leg from Seward to Banff was going to be hands down the longest leg of the trip, at 3,500 km and no major stops inbetween, it was going to be a test of endurance and coffee consumption. For those of you reading this, that is the equivalence of driving from the Southern tip of Florida to the NW corner of Washington. 

The majority of my memory from this leg is the stunning alaska scenery wizzing past me as I eagerly pressed my face closer against the car window in order to get a better look, along with waking up in the middle of night to Tanner slamming on the breaks as we narrowly avoided a moose.

There was however one special stop along the way - The Seven Sisters. 

This was on my radar when I was doing the trip planning. It was a location that was only discoverable when zooming in very closely with Google maps. A natural preserve that was so remote and hard to get to that it made it onto the list of inteded stops, because who else was really going to go there. 

The Seven Sisters refers to the consecutive peaks that thrust out of the country side, with only rolling hills to compete for miles around, it towered dramatically over everything. The Sisters came into view as we descended in elevation from afar, slowly working our way towards their base. 

Stopping at a local fruit stand, only to find a scarce selection of tomatos and some pamphlets for atheism and the end of the world, we continued on. It didn't take too long to realize that the Sisters were more remote and more inacessible than we originally thought. There were no signs, no trail heads, no parking lots, no nothing. Thus began plan B: find a dirt road that leads toward where we thought we might want to go, and head down it. This as it turns out, would give us more than we gambled for, and would push the Subaru harder and further than she had ever gone before. 

The road was innocent enough starting off, a fairly typical forest access road that one might encounter back in the US, but the more we pushed on, the more she revealed her true colors. It was a narrow two track dirt road, with the median showing knee high plants and shrubs it only half managed to fight off the encrouching forrest around it. This was increasingly showing the further we went, the shubbery began to get higher, scraping against the chassis of the car, and the trees began to stretch their unforgiving fingers into the road on each side, mercilessly scraping the sides of the subaru. 

After an unknown amount of miles, lets say 70000, because that's what it felt like, I made an executive decision to stop the soob and venture ahead on foot to see what else lay in store for us. By this time we had traverrsed more than our fair share of chancy terrain, and I feared for what more the Soob could endure. 

Taking off on foot, me and steve and bret set off to see what we could see. A brisk walk very quickly lead into a jog, narrated by no other than Steve himself. Trying to keep up with the runner man, we stopped after about 2 miles to remind ourselves what oxygen felt like. Already having crossed several formidable areas on the trail, we decided it wasn't in the cards for the Subaru and turned tail back. 

Arriving back at the Soob, I decided that sitting on the wayside was to painful on the way up, and promptly instructed Tanner to hand over the keys so that I could see us safely back down. This required about 3/4 a mile of trail traverssing in reverse, until finally coming across a broadening of the trail that was minutely open enough to incorperate an Austin Powers 28 point turn around. 

Now moving forward in a safe direction, there was still a jungle in-between us and pavement.

Several scrapes and bumps later, we finally arrive at the junction, 20 feet to our left was sweet sweet pavement, and directly in front of us was another side trail, of which went underneath the remote highway bridge, and lead to who knows where. Out of instinct I said straight was defintely the way we needed to go, and boy was I right. 

Not more than a couple hundred yards down this new path, we encountered perhaps one of my favorite campsites of the trip. 

The road was embedded rive rock. Slowly creeping the Soob along, caressing each rock with her AWD as if they were meant to be there. 

We came to a tributary, the small mountain stream that graced its way down the mountain met the formiddable curving river whose name was unbeknowst to us. at the point of this junction there lied a pile of fresh pile of firewood which was accompanied with a sign which emplored us to make ourselves at home. 

At a loss for words, and borderline gibbering with exctiement, I found myself surprised that I was surpised that we had stumbled upon a place that was so far out of the way that there was literally almost zero chance that any group of friends from any further away could have possibly discoverd what we just had.

basking in the trail magic, we eagerly constructed a campfire to warm our road trip weary bones. As the fire was being tended to by a joint group effort, Tanner decided that our quick turn around in the morning called for some hammock camping, a decision to which we all soon decided to follow suite. With a perfect circle of trees spaced within an ideal radius around the campfire, we soon four hammocks setup in a square around the fire. With it stoked to its absolute amplitude, we sought the comfort of our hammocks, letting the fiery blaze cast permeate its warmth into our comfortable cocoons for the night.

It didn't take long before all of us had surrendered to a temporary nirvana induced sleep coma. Indulging in all the comforts of the outdoors, it wasn't long till we awoke to all its discomforts. WIth the campfire still a near memory, it was to find oursleves being rudely woken up by sleight raindrops, penetrating our dream induced state of false reality.

And thus began day 12...

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.