Since we had limited time in Milford Sound, we decided to do a day hike just outside of Milford Sound. We had done some research the night before and found that Key Summit was a medium level hike that should take about 3-4 hours which was perfect because we had to be at the Milford Sound airport for our helicopter ride by 1PM.
We woke up around 7AM and drove about half an hour back out of the Homer Tunnel and arrived at the start of the Key Summit hike. With having to wait our turn for the Homer Tunnel and the distance from the lodge to the start of the hike, we got started around 815AM so we decided we needed to hustle and hustle we did. As someone who is perpetually out of shape, it was a bit rough but we did the hike all the way to the top. It got a bit on the rockier side near the top after what felt like forever of doing switchbacks. We finally got to the top of Key Summit and realized that all the pain of running up this hike was 100% worth it.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that I thought I had seen the most beautiful scenery standing near the ferry terminal in Milford Sound? This beat it by miles. When we got to the top of the summit, we realized that we had managed it in just under 50 minutes which was great because it gave us more time to explore. There’s the top that you can hang out at and then there’s a nature walk that does a nice loop and brings you just a bit higher so you can look out over the entire mountain range.
As we stood there, we stood above the clouds just slightly above the mountain tops and stared out into the world. There was so much vegetation around us and lakes around the nature path that reflected everything around them. The nature walk actually has a man made path for you to follow because the vegetation in that area is very fragile so having a bunch of people trekking over it would ruin the scenery. If you go, please stay on the path.
At the end of the nature hike, you arrive at the very top of the mountain and you can get a 360 degree view of the area around you. If you look closely, you can look into other lakes embedded in mountains, most of which have been created by glaciers over time.
I stood for a minute and stared out into the world and gained a new appreciation of just how beautiful and breathtaking the world can be. This hike is done by people every single day and it still feels relatively untouched minus the manmade track. I think that the reputation for this area has allowed it to stay in fantastic condition. It was one of the most rewarding experiences standing there in this crisp air looking out over the fjord land and knowing that this was real.