On Friday, May 27, 2016, I hiked up Table Top Mountain, in the White Mountains northeast of Fairbanks. I tried this hike back in May 2012, not long after I moved here, but I had to abort because the trail was too muddy. Not this year!
This was a spur-of-the-moment thing, so I hiked it by myself. Going deep into the wilderness alone sounds like a bad idea, but if you’re prepared (which I was), it’s not a big deal. It was impossible to get lost; I could see my car parked at the trailhead for the entire hike. In addition to the usual trail accoutrements, I brought along bear protection and communications gear. Being Memorial Day weekend, there were of plenty of other noisy (read: bear-repelling) groups on the mountain that day, including whole families with young kids and dogs.
Table Top Mountain is a pair of mesas, deep in the White Mountains, about 70 road miles from Fairbanks. The trail itself is a three-mile loop, with a one-ish mile spur that goes to the top of the east mesa. I’m unsure who high the top is, but since a few stunted trees grow there, I’m guessing less than 3000 feet.