It’s not as difficult as you might think to hike to stand atop the precipitous, gully-scarred face of Bear Point. But it’s not easy, either. The 2-mile hike ascends 2,100 feet and can be tricky. But your reward is an amazing view in all directions, from the Kenai Peninsula to Denali and the Chugach Mountains to Matanuska Peak.
When you get out of the car at the start of Peters Creek Trail, you’ll have already wound some 900 feet up from the valley below. But you still have some considerable climbing to do.
The trail climbs steeply at times through the woods, but does offer some flat respites. After you reach a large rock in an open hollow, though, it’s a challenging slog to tree line (where you might see your car 1,500 feet below).
After crossing one last steep hump, the trail rolls over onto the summit plateau. A couple of well-placed boulders make a fine spot to rest. It’s also a fine spot to enjoy the expansive view—all the way from the Kenai Peninsula to the massive Mount Rumble at the upper end of the Peters Creek Valley.
Continue on and enjoy the view, as the Bear Point plateau slowly comes into focus and the trail becomes easier to climb. The inconspicuous summit, marked by a 6-foot cairn, rises only a few feet above the rest of the plateau. As the trail leads you up along the edge of the mountain’s sheer north face, you can look almost directly down to Mirror Lake.
The view opens up even more when you reach the 3,100-foot summit. Look out across Knik Arm to the Talkeetna Mountains; further east, you’ll see peaks like Lazy Mountain and Matanuska Peak. It makes for a true “wow” moment.
You’ll see 4,271-foot Mount Eklutna (a climb for ambitious hikers) another 2 miles up the ridge. But there’s no need to hurry. Sit and enjoy the view. Watch the clouds float above. Listen to the marmots whistling behind you. Look down and chuckle at the traffic moving along the Glenn Highway far below you. Then, if and when you want to climb Mount Eklutna, do it.
Author: Shawn Lyons
Distance: 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 2100 feet