Lupines bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Lupines bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Wildflowers bloom in the hills

Diamond Ridge hike offers wildflowers, views of Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.

A short, about 3.5-mile hike on Diamond Ridge offers stunning views of Cook Inlet and the Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay. This month, lupines, chocolate lillies, wild geraniums and other wildflowers have been in full bloom, hinting at fields of fireweed to come later this summer.

The rerouted Homestead Trail runs from the end of Nearly Level Road, around a gully and up the south side of Diamond Ridge to the Reuben Call Bench, a memorial to the homesteader who lived in the area and was known as “the Walker” for his practice of hiking to town from his hillside home in the area. “Slow down; what’s the hurry?” is inscribed on the bench — his motto for life.

To reach the trail, park at the corner of Diamond Ridge Road and Nearly Level Road. Walk down the gravel road to the end and bear right to just before a private driveway. Follow the signs to the south. The trail goes around private property; respect the homeowner’s privacy and stay on the marked trail. It ends at the Reuben Call Bench.

The Kenai Mountains can be seen from the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The Kenai Mountains can be seen from the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Paintbrush flowers bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Paintbrush flowers bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Wild geraniums bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Wild geraniums bloom along the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign points the way on the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sign points the way on the Homestead Trail on Diamond Ridge, as seen Sunday, July 11, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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