Chugach Trails Summer

Hiking in Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park boasts over 280 miles of trails. With so many to explore where do we start? The trails listed below are some of our favorite trails here at the park. Come and explore them. They range from beginner to advanced. If they are listed here they are not open to motorized use or bicycles.



Anchorage Overlook Trail

Access: Glen Alps Trailhead.
Travel Means: Foot, wheelchair accessible.
Distance: 1/4 mile or 0.4 kilometer loop.
Elevation Gain: 53 feet or 16 meters.
Difficulty: Easy. Paved trail and gravel trail.
Special Features: Sitting area and viewing deck with views of Anchorage, Alaska Range, and Cook Inlet. Good for sunsets. Wheelchair accessible.
Anchorage Hillside Trail System Guide    Map    Chugach Hillside Brochure and Map



Rodak Nature Trail

Access: Eagle River Nature Center.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 2/3 mile or 1 kilometer loop.
Elevation Gain: 100 feet or 30 meters drop from parking area.
Difficulty: Easy - trail is graveled with seating.
Special Features: Viewing deck at salmon rearing stream. Interpretive signs.
Eagle River Nature Center Trail Guide   Map



Thunder Bird Falls Trail

Access: Mile 25, Glenn Highway, Thunderbird Exit, follow signs one mile to trailhead parking.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 1 mile or 1.6 kilometers one way to view of Thunderbird Falls.
Elevation Gain: 100 feet or 30 meters.
Difficulty: Easy - rolling terrain with boardwalk and viewing areas.
Special Features: Birch forest on steep hillside overhanging Eklutna Canyon. Views of 200 foot high Thunderbird Falls.
Thunder Bird Falls Trail   Map



Flattop Mountain Trail

Access: Glen Alps Trailhead, use stairs.
Travel Means: Foot, some scrambling.
Distance: 1.5 miles or 2.4 kilometers one way.
Elevation Gain: 1300 feet or 396 meters to summit.
Difficulty: Difficult. Steep, some scrambling. Be careful - falls have resulted in injuries and fatalities.
Special Features: Most often climbed peak in Alaska. Hikers above can kick down rocks. Good views of Alaska Range, Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, Anchorage. Mountain hemlocks, tundra.
Flattop Mountain Trail Guide    Map    Chugach Hillside Brochure and Map



Bird Ridge Trail

Access: Bird Ridge Trailhead, Mile 100.5 Seward Hwy.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 1.5 miles or 2.4 kilometers to trail's end above tree line. Route continues along ridge crest.
Elevation Gain: 2500 feet or 760 meters to trail end at ridgecrest.
Difficulty: Moderate. Steep, some scrambling.
Special Features: First snow free spring hike, first wildflowers. Good views of Turnagain Arm. Exposed and windy.
Bird Ridge Trail Guide    Map    Turnagain Arm Trails Brochure



Twin Peaks Trail

Access: Eklutna Lake Trailhead
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 2.5 miles one way to tree line and trail's end.
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet or 457 meters.
Difficulty: Difficult - steep trail, and in some areas, loose footing.
Special features: Trail climbs into sheep country. Spectacular view of lake below. Good berry picking in fall. Open tundra invites exploration.
Eklutna Lake Trail Guide   Map



Albert Loop Trail

Access: Eagle River Nature Center.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 3 miles or 5 kilometers loop.
Elevation Gain: 100 feet or 30 meters drop from parking area.
Difficulty: Easy, though seasonal muddy spots.
Special Features: Mixed forest to gravel bars of glacial Eagle River. Trail guide booklet available.
Eagle River Nature Center Trail Guide   Map



South Fork Valley Trail

Access: Hiland Road to mile 7.5, then right, follow signs 0.5 mile to trailhead.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 6 miles or 10 kilometer one way to Symphony and Eagle Lakes.
Elevation Gain: 400 feet or 122 meters.
Difficulty: Easy, with boardwalk over some of the muddy areas, and a bridge at stream crossing. Wet trail areas near lakes. Boulder field surrounds lakes.
Special features: Spectacular view of surrounding peaks. Lakes at back of valley were dammed by rockslide.
South Fork Valley Trail 



Wolverine Peak Trail

Access: Prospect Heights Trailhead, Mile 2 of Near Point Trail.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: 5.2 miles or 8.4 kilometers one way to summit.
Elevation Gain: 3380 feet or 1040 meters.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Special Features: Views of Alaska Range, Anchorage, Cook Inlet. Plane wreckage near summit. Good berries in fall. Moose, sheep and arctic ground squirrels.
Wolverine & Williwaw Trails    Chugach Hillside Brochure and Map



Middle Fork Trail

Access: Prospect Heights Trailhead, Mile 1.3 of Near Point Trail.
Travel Means: Foot. Bicycles allowed first 3 miles.
Distance: 6.5 miles or 10.5 kilometers one way to largest lake.
Elevation Gain: 1600 feet or 490 meters.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Some muddy areas.
Special Features: Spruce woods and mountain hemlock groves give way to open tundra and jewel-like alpine lakes, backed by sheer face of Mt. Williwaw.
Anchorage Hillside Trail System Guide    Map    Chugach Hillside Brochure and Map



Turnagain Arm Trail

Access: Potter Trailhead - Seward Hwy., Mile 115; McHugh Creek Trailhead - Seward Hwy., Mile 112; Rainbow Trailhead - Seward Hwy, Mile 108; Windy Corner Trailhead - Seward Hwy, Mile 106.
Travel Means: Foot.
Distance: Potter to McHugh - 3.3 miles; McHugh to Rainbow - 4.2 miles; Rainbow to Windy - 1.9 miles. Total of 9.4 miles one way.
Elevation Gain: 250-700 feet or 75-210 meters from parking areas to generally level of trail on hillside above.
Difficulty: Most is easy, Rainbow to Windy is moderate.
Special Features: Trail parallels the highway and railroad below, following support route created during building of railroad in 1910's. Good views of Turnagain Arm, coastal vegetation, first spring wildflowers. Sheep at Windy Corner.
Turnagain Arm Trail Guide    Turnagain Arm Trails Brochure



Historic Iditarod (Crow Pass) Trail

Access: Eagle River Nature Center, or from Girdwood take Crow Creek Road to road end and Crow Creek Trailhead (managed by Chugach Nat'l. Forest).
Travel Means: Foot only.
Distance: 23.2 miles or 50 kilometers one way. See Special Features for shorter hike options along this trail.
Elevation Gain: 2500 feet or 762 meters to pass from Crow Creek Trailhead, 3500 feet or 1067 meters to pass from Eagle River Trailhead.
Difficulty: Easy to difficult.
Special Features: Trail follows historic Iditarod supply route. Mining ruins, spectacular views of peaks, glaciers. Much wildlife. Excellent day hikes from either end or spend a few days and hike trail length. Unabridged stream and river crossings can be difficult. Crossing Eagle River on the Crow Creek Trail Video (.mp4).
Crow Pass Brochure

Shorter hikes from Nature Center include: to Echo Bend (easy), 3 miles one way; to Heritage Falls (easy, large falls visible across eagle river), 4.5 miles one way; Twin Falls (moderate, stream crossings, beaver ponds, waterfalls), 9 miles one way. Rich in wildlife - moose, beaver, bears, sheep, eagles. Hikes from Crow Creek include: to mine site (moderate, steep) 2 miles one way; to Crystal Lake and USFS cabin (moderate, steep, spectacular, reservations required for cabin) 3 miles one way; to pass and Raven Glacier (moderate, spectacular) 4 miles one way.

Crow Pass National Historical Trail Guide   Map




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