Section A of the Shoup Bay Trail runs from the trail head to Gold Creek bridge. This scenic tract transverses the West Mineral Creek flats, running through an alder forest. It then opens out onto the grasslands after 8/10 a mile. Many wildflowers and interesting prospects can be seen for the next 2/10 of a mile until the trail starts to climb.
After crossing 2 small streams (caution: water levels change with weather conditions) the trail begins a steep ascent offering views of Valdez to the east and Valdez Bay to the south and west. A steep descent brings one onto Gold Creek and ten to the camping area and bridge. The trail to the left before the bridge leads to a camping area with a firepit, restroom and food lockers.
During 1914, the Budd Mining Company was making preparations to start hydraulic operations in the basin above the falls as it was believed that gold placers existed in paying quantities. However, during the summer of that year, work was stopped owing to a proposed change of ownership.
The trail starts from the parking area located on the left at the west end of Egan Street. The track is wide and easy going with a few bridges and boardwalks in place. After about 1.2 miles, a short side trail leads down to the beach. The main trail, now being back in alder growth, starts a steep ascent to break out after a while and offer good views. Then a steep descent to the Gold Creek Bridge and camping area.
TIME & DISTANCE:
TIME: 4 hours round trip. DISTANCE: 6.5 miles round trip.