A view of Mount Susitna as viewed, looking to the northwest west, from Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

This is a great spot for aircraft aficionados. The airport is just to the north and you will see 747s, World War II-era DC-3s, Cessnas, and just about anything else you can think of passing in front of the mountain on approach to the runway.

As usual, this image is available at my Zazzle store.

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Mount Susitna

Mount Susitna

Mount Susitna is 4,396 feet high. It is located on the west bank of the lower Susitna River, about 33 miles northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The mountain, a prominent landmark in the Anchorage area, can be seen across the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet from most of the city.

Often called The Sleeping Lady for its resemblance to a recumbent woman, the name “susitna” is sometimes said to derive from a Dena’ina legend, in which a woman named Susitna belonging to a race of giants vows to sleep until her beloved comes back from battle, but no such legend actually exists. The mountain’s Dena’ina name is Dghelishla, meaning “Little Mountain”; in English it was simply named for the Susitna River which means Sandy River.

Mt Susitna is a roche moutonnée, a landform created when a glacier flows over a resistant, topographically high, bedrock body, creating a smooth-sided and teardrop shaped feature aligned with the direction of ice flow.

The Anchorage bowl topography has been influenced by 5-7 glaciations. Over several thousand years, thick ice sheets from the Talkeetna, Chugach and Alaska Ranges flowed down Cook Inlet. The five well documented glaciations from oldest to most recent were the Mt Susitna, Caribou Hills, Eklutna, Knik and Naptowne. The earliest glaciation in the Anchorage area is known as the Mount Susitna for the erratics and other glacial features found on the top of the mountain. This is the time period when it obtained its characteristic streamlined shape. It is dated to the late Pliocene to the early Pleistocene (2-6 million years ago).

Kincaid Park encompasses over 1500 acres of land in the Western part of Anchorage. The park is bounded on the south by Turnagain Arm, on the west by Knik Arm, and on the north by Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Noted for Nordic skiing trails, in snowless months the park is frequented by runners, bikers, hikers, archers, dog-trainers, motocross users, disc golfers, soccer teams, and rollerskiers. Other winter activities include snowshoeing, sledding and biathlon. The park was created in 1968 and in 1978 expanded to include the location of a Nike missile site.

The park is mostly forested, with birch, cottonwood, and spruce. Wildlife includes moose, lynx, bear, fox, eagles, porcupines, owls, and many others.

Little Campbell Lake offers ice-fishing in winter, boating and fishing in the summer.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail connects Kincaid Park to downtown Anchorage and provides excellent biking or skiing.