Deer Mtn to Silvis Lake Traverse

Finally did the classic long hike in Ketchikan, the Deer Mtn to Silvis Lake traverse.  Started out the day riding the bike downtown before the cruise ship passengers flooded town, hung out in rare silence downtown, then rode up to the trailhead and locked the bike up and started hiking.

The hike is just over 13 miles and somewhere around 5,000ft of elevation gain.  The first grunt is getting up Deer Mtn, then the trail traverses the ridge line over several peaks before descending to upper and lower Silvis Lakes.  Saw one bear in the bushes about 150ft away that scurried off when it heard me, eight mountain goats, and one human.  Great day in the mountains.

All iPhone pics, and too many pics in general.  I take a lot of pics of alpine terrain for reference for later winter excursions.............

Map of route.  If you want to download the Google Earth or GPX file, click lower "trip details".  Having the GPX file for this route is a good thing to find the "trail" during inevitable bad weather.

Early morning cruise ship arriving.

Deer Moutain at top right, with the traverse leading out to left center, towards the sun rising.

Morning fog in Tongass Narrows.

Fog covered sea, half way up Deer Mtn.

Downtown Ketchikan in the fog, from near Deer Mtn hut.

Ketchikan Lake behind Dude Mtn and Brown Mtn.

Near Blue Lake, looking back towards Deer Mtn.

Near Blue Lake looking along the traverse.

Another looking south towards Deer Mtn.

The saddle at Blue Lake, and if you look closely, you can see the A-frame hut that blew over last winter.

Blue Lake from Roy Jones Mtn.

Looking north from Roy Jones Mtn with Twin Peaks visible on the right.

Traverse to North Bird Peak.

Traverse to North Bird Peak.

Little lake NW of Northbird.

Dropping off Northbird Peak down to the saddle below John Mtn.  There are some steep sections and a fixed rope down near the saddle.  Nothing crazy, but when it's wet (always), the rocky/muddy sections warrant caution.

The final drop below John Mtn and the traverse around the cirque to the east below Mahoney Mtn (upper right).  After this rightward traverse around the cirque, it's all downhill to the Silvis Lakes.

Un-named lakes NE of John Mtn and above Upper Mahoney Lake.


  1. Spectacular. Need to do this next trip if back is up to it and the weather allows. Skis next?

    1. I hope it snows this winter, if so, then yes, that's the plan. Lots of good alpine terrain to ski here, if it snows.



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Now living in Juneau, Alaska. Trying to absorb as much of this state as we can, before our time here ends.