Photo Credit: Bear Point Trail

Anchorage Parks & Trails

Coastal Trail with Jim Stratton  (1:01)

Taste of the Wilderness

For a feel of authentic Alaskan wilderness, head to the Eagle River Nature Center. You’ll need to carve out some time-3 hours or so—since it’s a 40 – minute drive each way. There you’ll find a dramatic mountain valley with sky-piercing granite cliffs, a swift glacial river, and waterfalls further up the valley.

City Views

If you don’t have a lot of time but want a steep mountain trail with great city views, hike Flattop Mountain at Glen Alps-Alaska’s most-climbed mountain. It’s a 20-minute drive to the trail head and a heart-pumping 45-60 minutes to the top.

In-Town Woods

To immerse yourself in the woods in town, head to Kincaid Park. It’s only 15 minutes away, and you’ll find more than 80 miles of trails through the trees, some overlooking the Inlet. A quick warning: Many of the trails are hilly.

Leisurely Stroll

If you want a leisurely stroll with sweeping vistas across the Inlet (and you don’t mind crowds), check out the Coastal Trail. It’s 12 miles from downtown to Kincaid Park along mostly flat terrain. Don't corner moose into fences or houses.

Peace & Quiet in Midtown

If you have only a short time and you’re somewhere near the Chester Creek Trail, take a walk onto it. The trail follows a winding creek through tall trees-perfect for finding solitude even if you have only a half-hour.

If you're really into hiking, invest in the excellent book, 55 Ways to the Wilderness in South Central Alaska. It remains the classic after more than 20 years in print.

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Anchorage Hiking Trails

Difficulty: Difficult

Not every­one should under­take this 13-mile tra­verse that begins at Glen Alps above Anchor­age. Con­sid­er­able off-trail hik­ing, plus a steep climb to a ridge top, might be out­side your com­fort zone. But this trail does offer a pro­found sense of soli­tude and some spec­tac­u­lar views. It also includes the nov­el­ty of hik­ing a mile-long sheep trail that tra­vers­es the back of The Wedge, some 500 feet above the seclud­ed waters of Ship Lake. 

Distance: 6 miles Elevation Gain: 300 feet

If you only have a lim­it­ed amount of time in Anchor­age but want go out for a great hike, con­sid­er Kin­caid Bluff Trail. Just a 20-minute dri­ve from down­town Anchor­age, this is a 6‑mile loop hike to Kin­caid Chalet. Along the way, you’ll find 3 miles of rugged trail that skirt the sum­mit of pre­cip­i­tous bluffs at the end of the Anchor­age Peninsula. 

Elevation Gain: 3293 feet

You don’t have to be a moun­taineer to reach the sum­mit of O’Malley Peak — the promi­nent spire ris­ing from the Front Range above Anchor­age — but don’t mis­take it for an easy climb. Some of the 5‑mile-long trail climbs quite steeply; oth­er parts add very loose grav­el to the incline. Still, these con­di­tions don’t make this hike exces­sive­ly dan­ger­ous, just sat­is­fy­ing­ly laborious. 

Reach­ing the sum­mit of Avalanche Moun­tain takes a con­sid­er­able amount of effort: a 5.5‑mile hike up Pow­er­line Trail fol­lowed by a 1.5‑mile off-trail scram­ble. But this 3,200-foot climb — which begins at the Glen Alps park­ing area, just 10 miles from down­town Anchor­age — takes no moun­taineer­ing skills. If you feel at all com­fort­able hik­ing and climb­ing over some loose stones and boul­ders, you should find this to be a very grat­i­fy­ing adventure.   ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles Elevation Gain: 2100 feet

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. 

If you’d like to explore a snow-bound trail sys­tem through a majes­tic rain for­est that gets lit­tle vis­i­ta­tion in win­ter, try out Bird Val­ley in Chugach State Park south of Anchor­age off the Seward High­way. You and the fam­i­ly can stroll, ski, snow­shoe or snow-bike for hours through a serene and almost sur­re­al set­ting of tow­er­ing trees with an occa­sion­al stu­pen­dous view of Pen­guin Peak and Bird Ridge. 

You’ll find even more play­grounds that take advan­tage of the unique assets of their loca­tions. Here’s a list of our top picks!

The Camp­bell Creek Gorge over­look is one of Anchorage’s best kept secrets. It’s just a 25-minute uphill hike — even short­er on bike— from both the Hill­side Ski Chalet park­ing area and North Bivouc Trail­head, or a slight­ly longer 1‑hour hike from Camp­bell Airstrip. From the tree-cov­ered over­look, you can gaze hun­dreds of feet down a sheer cliff to Camp­bell Creek as it crash­es through a nar­row, brush-infest­ed canyon. 

Set along the Coastal Trail at the very end of 5th Avenue in Anchor­age, Elder­ber­ry boasts 1.5 acres of scenic park­land with great views of Cook Inlet. Because it’s close to down­town, you can make this a rest stop while tour­ing and shop­ping down­town. Come with a pic­nic, or just a walk while enjoy­ing the view. 

Rent a moun­tain bike (and all the body armor you need) for a thrilling, two-wheel ride down Mt. Alyeska. Lessons and tours of the route are offered. Or, go for a hike on one of the many area trails, either with a guide or on your own. You can even strap on some cram­pons and go trekking on a glacier. 

Locat­ed at the north­west cor­ner of Westch­ester Lagoon, and next to the Coastal Trail and Westch­ester Bike Path, the playground’s group­ings of equip­ment cre­ate a bril­liant play envi­ron­ment that is fun and challenging. 

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 1 mile

If you only have a lit­tle expe­ri­ence doing off-trail hik­ing, then this scenic 5‑miler will help you get a bit more under your belt. Begin­ning on Rab­bit Creek Trail, in the Front Range just above Anchor­age, this hike vis­its a sur­pris­ing­ly expan­sive and scenic plateau that remains hid­den from sight until you actu­al­ly climb to it. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 8 miles

While many peo­ple find sat­is­fac­tion in climb­ing to the top of Bear Point, oth­ers may won­der about reach­ing the sum­mit of Mount Eklut­na, the promi­nent peak ris­ing just to the east. It involves two more miles of hik­ing, up 1,100 feet, includ­ing a short, sharp scram­ble up a grav­el trail. You can return to the Peters Creek Trail trail­head via an alter­nate route, which makes for a fine loop hike. 

Difficulty: Easy

This trail has its own sit­ting area and view­ing deck with views of Anchor­age, the Alas­ka Range, and Cook Inlet. It is real­ly good for see­ing sun­sets in the evening but it is also windy. The whole route is wheel­chair acces­si­ble. This is a good short hike for the fam­i­ly to see the view over Anchor­age, but not a good trail for the train­ing runner. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 4 miles

If you want a great work­out — to stun­ning moun­tain views high above the val­ley floor below — but want to save your knees on the way down, this trail is for you. It leaves from the Alyeska Resort tram build­ing and climbs steep switch­backs 2.2 miles and 2000 feet to the mid-moun­tain restau­rant where you can catch a free aer­i­al tram ride back down to the hotel. 

Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 2200 feet

About a half a mile past where the road turns sharply left (by the old Moth­er­lode Restau­rant) is a pull off on the left and archangel road to the right. The road is dirt, and in the sum­mer­time you can dri­ve the trail for a mile or two, but it is pit­ted with deep holes and rocks. After a mile or two, a park­ing area and trail turns off to the right. Here the trail con­tin­ues with lit­tle ele­va­tion gain ini­tial­ly, but after a mile or so you will  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 4200 feet

A short road called Konikson locat­ed just past Bird Ridge head­ing east will take you to the trail­head. Stay to the right until you see a trail about a quar­ter mile in going right and up. The trail fol­lows a small drainage, and quick­ly gets past the tree line. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 16 miles Elevation Gain: 2900 feet

A straight­for­ward trip with big scenery pay­offs, like the pic­turesque Mint Hut and a val­ley dot­ted with hang­ing glac­i­ers. This trip is a great first back­pack­ing trip in Alas­ka with sim­ple logis­tics. It’s 16 miles with options for addi­tion­al miles and side trips.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Who can say no to a cool water­fall only a half-hour’s dri­ve from town? One of the most pop­u­lar first hikes” for fam­i­lies with small chil­dren, the one-mile trail to Thun­der­bird Falls tra­vers­es a hand­some birch for­est along the Eklut­na Riv­er canyon to reach a deck with views of a 200-foot water­fall. Dur­ing win­ter, the falls can freeze, form­ing fab­u­lous columns of blue ice. 

Distance: 5 miles Elevation Gain: 4301 feet

You’ll have a hard time los­ing your way on this 2.5‑mile climb of 4,301-foot-high McHugh Peak. You’ll also have a hard time for­get­ting the view from the sum­mit, which extends up the length of Tur­na­gain Arm and across Knik Arm to the Alas­ka Range. It’s even more sat­is­fy­ing know­ing that you found your way to the sum­mit with only min­i­mal help from the trail. 

Some 50 miles north of Anchor­age, this 1.5‑mile trail makes for a fine fam­i­ly out­ing. From the pic­nic table at the upper­most end of the trail, you’ll find a sat­is­fy­ing panoram­ic view of the Matanus­ka Riv­er and Knik Riv­er val­leys. It’s a view as good, or bet­ter, than that from many summits.

Difficulty: Moderate

Kin­caid Park offers the eas­i­est way to get deep in the woods right in town. It’s a mec­ca for out­door sports of all kinds in a wilder­ness-like set­ting on the site of a for­mer Cold War mis­sile base. This 1,500-acre park sprawls over an ancient and rugged moraine at the south­west tip of the Anchor­age Bowl at the west end of Rasp­ber­ry Road. From its panoram­ic views of Denali and the vast Cook Inlet to its inti­mate deep woods enclaves, the park is  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 1 mile Elevation Gain: 1350 feet

Flat­top is Alaska’s most vis­it­ed peak. Ascend the 1.5 — mile, 1,350 ver­ti­cal foot trail to the rocky, foot­ball field-sized sum­mit in about an hour and take in panoram­ic views from Denali (Mt. McKin­ley) to the Aleut­ian Islands. If you want vis­tas with­out the hike, walk the short path from the park­ing lot to the overlook.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

If peo­ple sug­gest climb­ing Flat­top, tell them you’d rather climb Ren­dezvous Peak. Flat­top is arguably Alaska’s most pop­u­lar (and there­fore, most crowd­ed) moun­tain; Ren­dezvous is far less crowd­ed and offers bet­ter views from the sum­mit. See them by hik­ing up 1,500 feet to the 4,050-foot summit. 

Difficulty: Easy

Win­ner Creek Trail in Gird­wood (45 min­utes south of Anchor­age) is one of our favorite trails to take vis­it­ing friends and fam­i­ly. It’s an easy 3‑mile hike or bike ride on a wide, well-devel­oped trail with a gen­tle ele­va­tion gain that winds through America’s north­ern­most rain­for­est, cross­es a wood­en bridge over a thun­der­ing blue-water gorge. 2022: Hand tram cur­rent­ly closed, may replace with bridge. Local weigh­ing in.)

Difficulty: Moderate

Black Tail Rocks is a very airy climb that stretch­es to 4,446 feet above Eagle Riv­er, a town locat­ed just north of Anchor­age. It’s a jour­ney that involves only a min­i­mal amount of hand-over-hand scram­bling; you’ll be fol­low­ing a trail for most of the 4‑mile, 2,750-foot hike. And you’ll have a fine view from the top, look­ing up the length of the seclud­ed Mead­ow Creek Val­ley and well into the deep inner reach­es of the Chugach Mountains. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 9 miles Elevation Gain: 850 feet

Rarely do two lakes lie with­in a few feet of each oth­er. For­tu­nate­ly, the trail to see this geo­log­i­cal rar­i­ty begins just a 30-minute dri­ve north of Anchor­age. From the trail­head for South Fork Eagle Riv­er Trail, it’s a grad­ual 4.8‑mile (one-way) climb up a wide val­ley, lead­ing to a nar­row isth­mus between the green waters of Eagle Lake and the blue waters of Sym­pho­ny Lake.

Difficulty: Easy

For an easy, scenic walk in Anchor­age, check out the Chester Creek Trail. The 4‑mile-long path, which runs from Westch­ester Lagoon to Goose Lake, is not only flat, but also paved, mak­ing for an easy stroll. And though it pass­es close to neigh­bor­hoods, the trail is part of the city’s green­belt” — a wood­ed area that makes you feel like you’ve left the city behind. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 11 miles

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of four green­belt trails locat­ed in Anchor­age. Even though the trail spans 11.0 miles each way (from Kin­caid Park to just north of where 2nd Avenue ends in the Cook Inlet), it is eas­i­ly picked up from sev­er­al points in the city, so you can enjoy any seg­ment and hike as lit­tle or much of the trail as you desire. In the win­ter, the trail is groomed for cross coun­try skiing.

Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 1300 feet

Trail head begins by tra­vers­ing pri­vate land, but an ease­ment has been pro­vid­ed for such. Easy to bike, ski, run or walk to mild slope with a wide sides, mak­ing is safe from avalanch­es in the win­ter. Should you choose to turn left at the start, you can go to Flat Top as an alter­na­tive route or Peak 2 or 3, depend­ing how far down you go down the trail before turn­ing left. Ptar­ma­gan Peak would be a more promi­nate peak just before the Rab­bit creek  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 1500 feet

This 7‑mile hike, which begins in the moun­tains just above Anchor­age, takes you to the numer­ous Willi­waw Lakes, all of which are clus­tered below the sheer north face of Mount Willi­waw — the high­est peak in the Front Range.

Forty min­utes from down­town Anchor­age lies Eagle Riv­er Nature Cen­ter, a gate­way to Chugach State Park and a glacial riv­er val­ley as wild and dra­mat­ic as any in Alas­ka. Enjoy an easy, 3‑mile nature walk on the Albert Loop or trek up-val­ley 5 miles to see plung­ing water­falls and 3,000-foot cliffs. In win­ter, tra­verse the trails on cross-coun­try skis or snowshoes.

Difficulty: Moderate

For one of the loop­i­est and fun Nordic ski areas in the city, try out the trails behind Bartlett High School along the bound­ary of the mil­i­tary base. Hilly, with lots of curves that spring into quick and sud­den climbs, this five-kilo­me­ter-plus sys­tem through a mature for­est packs a lot of ski­ing into a small footprint.

Difficulty: Easy

If you’re look­ing for a wild oasis that’s just a 15-minute walk from down­town Anchor­age, look no fur­ther than Westch­ester Lagoon (also known as Mar­garet Eagan Sul­li­van Park). One of the city’s most pop­u­lar places, this is where locals come to play, as it has some­thing for every­one. You’ll find access to great trails and wildlife, as well as year-round activ­i­ties and events for the entire family. 

This clear­ing at the edge of town once func­tioned as a fire­break between Anchor­age and its neigh­bor­ing for­est. At oth­er times, it act­ed as an airstrip, a golf course and even a makeshift hous­ing devel­op­ment, when peo­ple lived here dur­ing the 1940s boom in apart­ments cre­at­ed out of old bar­racks. Today the Park Strip — just one block wide but 13 blocks long — is home to ball fields, a gym, ice rink and a giant steam…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles

This trail quick­ly gains ele­va­tion on its way to an alpine mead­ow framed by the dra­mat­ic Twin Peaks and Goat Rock, but climbs to mag­nif­i­cent views over­look­ing the entire val­ley. Dall Sheep are often spot­ted above the tim­ber­line. From here there is a spec­tac­u­lar view of the lake below. This is also a good place for berry pick­ing in the fall. Because of the crushed rocks, the trail is hard­ly ever muddy.

Difficulty: Easy

For a chal­leng­ing and com­pact cross coun­try ski area where you’ll find just about every kind of ter­rain, you can’t go wrong at Beach Lake Nordic Ski Trails off South Birch­wood Loop in Chugiak. The 15-kilo­me­ter-plus sys­tem ranges from easy glid­ing to a sprawl­ing advanced loop with sud­den head­walls that morph into thrilling, high-speed descents. You can make it as chal­leng­ing or as sedate as you like.

This 134-acre park is set in the woods where, in 1964, an entire neigh­bor­hood slid into the ocean dur­ing last cen­tu­ry’s most pow­er­ful earth­quake. The earth­quake was mea­sured at a 9.2 on the Richter scale and last­ed 4 min­utes. Today, this trag­ic event is com­mem­o­rat­ed in Anchorage’s Earth­quake Park, where you’ll find signs explain­ing the cir­cum­stances of the quake and its effect on the area.

Difficulty: Easy

The Ship Creek Trail itself begins at the Alas­ka Rail­road depot on the north side of Anchor­age and trav­els east from down­town for 2.6 miles to end at Tyson Ele­men­tary School in the city’s Moun­tain View neigh­bor­hood. The paved trail fol­lows its name­sake creek for near­ly its entire length, cross­ing it a few times. 

There are parks, play­grounds, and oppor­tu­ni­ties for salmon view­ing along the way. You may also see locals fish­ing or tak­ing a float down Camp­bell Creek when the water is high enough.

Difficulty: Easy

Hik­ing up Mt. Alyeska is a chal­lenge, but the reward is great views of Tur­na­gain Arm, the sev­en hang­ing” glac­i­ers of Gird­wood Val­ley, and peaks stretch­ing deep into the Chugach Moun­tain range. Below you’ll find our rec­om­mend­ed routes to the top; all leave from the Alyeska Hotel (where you’ll find trail maps). While any sum­mer day is good for this hike, try to time your vis­it around one of the area’s events — you’ll have some­thing extra to…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 6 miles

The Idi­tar­od Nation­al His­toric Trail is Alaska’s sole Nation­al His­toric Trail. This net­work of 2,300-mile win­ter trails evolved to con­nect Alaskan Native vil­lages, estab­lished the dog-team mail and sup­ply route dur­ing Alaska’s Gold Rush, and now serves as a vital recre­ation and trav­el link.

Difficulty: Easy

At its peak, the Inde­pen­dence hard-rock gold mine was home to 206 work­ers and 16 fam­i­lies who lived high above tree line. Dig­ging and blast­ing, these work­ers recov­ered 140,000 ounces of gold before the mine shut down in the wake of World War II. There are 1.5 miles of paved walk­ways through­out the site, with infor­ma­tion­al plac­ards for a self-guid­ed tour. 

Difficulty: Moderate

There are no shel­ters along this trail and it is 23 miles to Windy Gap Cab­in. This trail leaads through spruce for­est and cross­es lakes and creeks with beau­ti­ful scenery on all sides.

Difficulty: Easy

An off-shoot of the View­point Trail, Moose Mead­ow Trail cuts back towards the South Fork of Camp­bell Creek. You’ll wind through mixed forests of spruce, aspen, and even some cot­ton­woods. Keep an eye out for a spe­cial type of moss known to locals as Old Man’s Beard. It typ­i­cal­ly grows on the under­side of ever­greens boughs and, in the right light, cre­ates an eerie ambiance. The Moose Mead­ow Trail con­nects up with Rover’s Run near the Creek. If…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

The name says it all – dur­ing the win­ter months at least. The trail is off lim­its once snow flies, but as soon as the snow is gone in the spring, recre­ate to your heart’s con­tent. This net­work of win­ter­time dog mush­ing trails offers a wide array of options through­out the sum­mer. With a lit­tle cre­ativ­i­ty you can put togeth­er out­ings from 1.4 to 12+ miles. Do be aware that mush­ers some­times train their teams here with wheeled bug­gies. If you…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

This is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem. It is one of the trails that is groomed for ski­ing in win­ter. There is access to this trail avail­able via the Upper Hill­side Trail­head and the Gasline Trail. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 2 miles

This is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem. It is one of the trails that is groomed for ski­ing in win­ter. There is access to this trail avail­able via the Pow­er­line, Gasline, White Spruce, Blue­ber­ry Hol­low, Alder, Panora­ma View, and Gold­en Grass trails. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 1 mile

Access to Abe’s Trail is via the Cal­i­for­na Creek/​Beaver Pond Trail North Access. This is a steep climb that affords nice views of the Cook Inlet and Gird­wood area. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem. It is one of the trails that is groomed for ski­ing in win­ter. You can access this trail via the Pow­er­line, Gasline, Denali View, and Gold­en Grass Trails. 

Difficulty: Easy

This wide trail con­tin­ues from mile 4, up the val­ley to the Bird Creek cross­ing. A less devel­oped trail con­tin­ues on for anoth­er 2 miles, then quick­ly gains ele­va­tion to the pass. Trav­el­ing to the East from Bird Creek Pass will lead you to Griz­zly Bear Lake and Moraine Pass. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Some peo­ple elect to fol­low the ridge­line fur­ther back and that can take you to many more peaks, and views. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This is part of the hill­side trail sys­tem. It is not one of the trails that is groomed for ski­ing in win­ter. It is locat­ed at the entrance to the trail sys­tem and pro­vides access to many oth­er trails in the system. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail is per­fect for days when your time or ener­gy for a longer hike is lack­ing. Lying on the out­skirts of Anchor­age, these trails are most­ly flat. Though it is pop­u­lar with locals, espe­cial­ly for ski­ing and snow­shoe­ing in the win­ter, the trail is hard­ly crowded. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem. It is groomed in win­ter for cross-coun­try skiers. You can gain access to this trail via the Pow­er­line, Gasline and Sil­ver Fern trails. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 10 miles

This trail is an off­shoot of the South Fork Trail that leads to Eagle and Sym­pho­ny Lakes. It pro­vides some awe­some views of the Eagle Riv­er Val­ley and South Fork Eagle Riv­er as it works its way up into the hang­ing val­ley perched above the Eagle Riv­er Val­ley floor. The final des­ti­na­tion for most hik­ers, near the end of the val­ley, is the hid­den Hang­ing Val­ley Tarn, nes­tled in a seclud­ed cirque. This is an excel­lent camp­ing area gar­land­ed with…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

Take a hike along Cal­i­for­nia Creek and enjoy the qui­et, wood­ed path. You’ll find the Trail­head on Crow Creek Road near Cal­i­for­nia Creek. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2 miles

This trail is a good one for run­ners with dogs. Dogs must be on a leash when on the trail and open fires are pro­hib­it­ed. This is a beau­ti­ful trail any time of year and is easy and a good trip for the whole fam­i­ly. Please be sure to avoid the water because there are beavers in the area and it is pos­si­ble to get beaver fever aka Giardiasis. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 7 miles

This trail is pop­u­lar in the win­ter for ski­ing (low avalanche dan­ger) and sum­mer for views, and berry pick­ing. Many peo­ple begin at Glen Alps Park­ing lot and ini­tial­ly fol­low Pow­er­line Pass trail until it turns off to the left. Go down and over the creek and then fol­low the trail up an easy slope towards what is com­mon­ly known as the Ramp and the Wedge, on either side of the val­ley. When you get to the pass, or ridge, look down towards the…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

After park­ing, con­tin­ue down the road until it nar­rows into a trail. The land cross­es briefly some pri­vate land. Hun­dreds of peo­ple hike or ski this trail every year. The trail is a grad­ual ascent up Rab­bit Creek Val­ley, with the creek and McHugh Peak on the right and the back side of flat­top, and Ptar­ma­gan Peak on your left. The trail starts in alders, but with­in a mile or two, opens onto alpine mead­ows. The trail even­tu­al­ly takes you to…  ...more

This local dog park, locat­ed near Alas­ka Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty, is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion. There are both on-leash and off-leash trails, depend­ing on your pref­er­ence, as well as great places to throw a fris­bee or ball. 

The play­ground here is one of the largest in Anchorage. 

Difficulty: Easy

This trail begins at the Bird Ridge park­ing lot. Access the paved trail and fol­low it south to the Bird Ridge turn-off where you’ll have the option to take a right for great views of Cook Inlet. The trail is flat and paved or cov­ered with a board­walk so this is a great option for all age groups. 

Difficulty: Easy

This is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem and is open all year long. This is one of the Hill­side trails that is groomed for ski­ing. It is a short con­nec­tive trail and there is access to it via the Pow­er­line, Gasline, South Fork Rim, Blue­ber­ry Hol­low, and Denali View Trails. 

Park­ing lot with 44 spaces, 2 ten­nis courts, 2 lit­tle league base­ball fields, pic­nic tables, large grill, tod­dler equip­ment suit­able for 2 – 5 year olds, play equip­ment suit­able for 5 – 12 year olds, trails and access to the Coastal Trail. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 1 mile

This trail is one of many that make up the Hill­side Trail System. 

Cud­dy Fam­i­ly Park was a labor of love for many vol­un­teers for years. The park was estab­lished in the ear­ly 1980’s. But it was only when the speed skat­ing oval was built out in 2011 and the play­ground added in 2013 that Mid­town Anchor­age gained its own park on par with Westch­ester Lagoon in downtown. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 8 miles

Take the trail on the right hand side of the road a mile or two before Alpen­glow Ski resort. The area is forest­ed and heads down­ward two miles pri­or to reach­ing Ship Creek. There is a branch that goes straight and fol­lows the road that many kids use for sled­ding in the win­ter, and it will take you to the Arc­tic Val­ley road in a cou­ple of miles where par­ents await to pick them up. How­ev­er, hik­ers take a left after a mile and this trail…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

This is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem and is open all year long. This is one of the Hill­side trails that is groomed for ski­ing. It is a short con­nec­tive trail and there is access to it via the Pow­er­line, Gasline, South Fork Rim and Denali View Trails. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

There is a camp­ground here locat­ed North East side of town, with soc­cer fields, etc. It is up against Mil­i­tary land to the East. This trail is most­ly used for cross-coun­try ski­ing. 3.1 miles of the trail is unlight­ed and 0.6 miles of the trail is lit. There is access to the ball fields from this trail. This trail is also used for sled­ding and is very kid-friend­ly. There are some who use this trail for Alpine ski­ing and there is a rope tow to…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 11 miles

Steep moun­tain walls, moun­tain peaks, beau­ti­ful val­leys and streams, mature Sit­ka spruce for­est, and areas rich in wildlife pro­vide plen­ty of enjoy­ment. Dall sheep can some­times be seen graz­ing. Use binoc­u­lars to scan grassy fin­gers below ridges across the val­ley, espe­cial­ly dur­ing spring and sum­mer mornings.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 2 miles

If you like cas­cad­ing water­falls, a great stream, and excep­tion­al views of Tur­na­gain Arm, you don’t want to miss this hike. The rum­bling stream with grad­ual cas­cad­ing falls and moun­tain views pro­vides a pic­turesque val­ley set­ting unique to this trail. The trail is rough and steep and climbs high enough that you’re like­ly to see Dall sheep, gold­en eagles, and Arc­tic ground squir­rels in the high­er ele­va­tions. Spruce grouse can also be spotted…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

With just a short walk from the park­ing area you will find a beau­ti­ful 20 foot water fall. The trail­head starts off par­al­lel­ing the Tur­na­gain Arm and there are a num­ber of small trails that go to dif­fer­ent look­outs. Take the trail to the left for a short dis­tance and you will find the McHugh Trail branch­ing off to the right. The trail zig-zags upward through the woods and pro­vides ever bet­ter views of the Tur­na­gain Arm and mountains. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Well used trail by locals as a short (12 hour) aer­o­bic hike with nice views. Take Eagle Riv­er Loop to Sky­line, and fol­low the road as it swich­backs going up and even­tu­al­ly ends with park­ing along­side the road.

Difficulty: Easy

This 191.7‑acre Anchor­age park, which was cre­at­ed in 1994 as Munic­i­pal ded­i­cat­ed park­land, is high­ly val­ued for its wildlife habi­tat, coastal tide­lands and recre­ation­al val­ue. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs through it and the area has spec­tac­u­lar views of the inlet and sur­round­ing moun­tain ranges. You can spot whales in the inlet and watch the jets land and take off from the Ted Stevens Inter­na­tion­al Air­port. Point Woron­zof got its name…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles

This hike is pop­u­lar in spring for those look­ing for an aer­o­bic work­out. It is very steep, but offers secure foot­ing. One of many high­lights along the scenic Seward High­way, Bird Ridge Trail climbs 3,000 feet in a lit­tle more than a mile to mag­nif­i­cent views of the fjord-like Tur­na­gain Arm. 

In 1984 when the Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter was being built plans were includ­ed for Town Square. In the sum­mer it is a good spot to sit and take a break. In the win­ter, the trees are strung with christ­mas lights and an ice skat­ing rink is cre­at­ed at the cen­ter of the park.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 4 miles

The Alyeska Mul­ti-Use Path­way is a paved, light­ed mul­ti-use trail that extends from the Seward Hwy to the Hotel Alyeska. The path is pop­u­lar with walk­ers and run­ners, and with a fresh batch of snow it becomes a great clas­sic ski trail.

Difficulty: Easy

730-acre hik­ing and horse­back mecca. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 12 miles

Part of the Abbott Trail Sys­tem, this is a well-defined access trail that drops before cross­ing the South Fork Camp­bell Creek and inter­sect­ing with the Spencer Loop. (Go left, cycling clockwise.)

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 13 miles

With­out hes­i­ta­tion, the Bird to Gird is the most beau­ti­ful bike path in West­ern Alas­ka. This trail is 6 miles one way or 12 miles round trip; either way, the paved ride hugs Tur­na­gain Arm and con­nects three com­mu­ni­ties (Gird­wood, Bird and Indi­an). It’s per­fect for any lev­el bik­er — whether you just want to just cruise, go fast on a moun­tain bike, or expe­ri­ence the trail as a tourist (or even as a curi­ous local). It’s a shared trail, so you’ll  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

Russ­ian Jack Springs Park is approx­i­mate­ly 300-acres in size and offers end­less activ­i­ties for any time of the year rang­ing from a golf course, to a dog park as well as one of the best sled­ding hill Anchor­age has to offer! 

This 64.3 acre park has lots to offer with open fields, ski­jor­ing trails, a sled­ding hill, one soc­cer field, fish­ing dur­ing des­ig­nat­ed sea­sons, and a fish view­ing plat­form that is best dur­ing the mid to late summer.

Goose Lake is locat­ed in cen­tral Anchor­age, near the uni­ver­si­ty dis­trict. You’d nev­er know you’re in the heart of Anchor­age as you view Pacif­ic loons nest­ing at the far end of the lake from mid-May to mid-September.

Difficulty: Easy

This is a great pock­et of wilder­ness right in Anchor­age: easy to get to, qui­et and pret­ty idyl­lic. Set in the north­east­ern sec­tion of Kin­caid Park, Lit­tle Camp­bell Lake is packed with lily pads and sur­round­ed by a thick for­est lined with trails. Spend the after­noon hik­ing, swim­ming, fish­ing, or pad­dling around the lake. 

Here’s anoth­er great stop to take in the scenic beau­ty of the moun­tains and the Tur­na­gain Arm. Here you can access the Bird to Gird paved mul­ti use path­way. From this spot it’s a six-mile jour­ney down the trail, which fea­tures stun­ning views and inter­pre­tive signs. Take a walk or a bike ride to Gird­wood for a bite to eat. And don’t for­get to look for Bel­u­ga whales a few hours before high tide (as they come in with the tide to feed on the…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate

Explore the 4000-acre Far North Bicen­ten­ni­al Park to expe­ri­ence true wilder­ness with­in Anchor­age. Though the area looks very wild, a few loca­tions near Camp­bell Creek had sub­stan­tial devel­op­ment dur­ing World War II when the near­by Camp­bell Airstrip was read­ied for use by fight­er planes.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 9 miles

Old­er books might have referred to this as the old John­son Trail, but anoth­er trail of the same name on the Kenai Penin­su­la made it too con­fus­ing for them to both keep their names. This trail is the first of the trails avail­able for hik­ing in the spring. It fol­lows the high­way, with mild ele­va­tion gains to allow awe­some views of the Tur­na­gain Arm. 

The View Point Trail is also known as the Tour of Anchor­age Trail. It offers gen­tle ter­rain and a touch of soli­tude for those look­ing for an easy trail not far from the city. Because the Camp­bell Tract is adja­cent to Far North Bicen­ten­ni­al Park and Chugach State Park beyond that, it offers a direct cor­ri­dor for ani­mals mov­ing in and out of the Anchor­age bowl so keep an eye out for moose with their young in the spring and be espe­cial­ly mindful  ...more

This is a flat and easy trail. There is no bridge at South Fork Eagle Riv­er like you would expect. This is a nice ski trail as well. The trails con­tin­ue on to the oppo­site side of river.

Dif­fi­cul­ty: Easy­Dis­tance: 0.3 mile­sE­l­e­va­tion Gain: Less than 500ftType: Out-and-Back­This trail is part of the Hill­side Trail Sys­tem. It is groomed in win­ter for cross-coun­try skiers. Access to this trail is avail­able via the Wover­ine Bowl as well as Mid­dle Fork Loop.Features: Kid Friend­ly, Ski­ing, Running

Once you cross over the creek, you can go over the ridge (steep but fast) or around to left.

This area is accessed from mul­ti­ple trails. Most peo­ple start at the Glen Alps park­ing lot and fol­low the trail toward Willi­waw Lakes. Once you cross over Camp­bell Creek, you can go over the ridge by tak­ing a right where the trail forks (steep but fast) or around to left (eas­i­er, but much longer). Good for hik­ing, snow­shoe­ing or ski­ing. Some even run this trail.

22.4 acre­sOpen space.

Open play­field, nature trails for walk­ing in the sum­mer and ski­ing and ski­jor­ing in the winter 

285.8 acres 16 park­ing spaces avail­able as well as 2 hand­i­cap park­ing spaces. Tod­dler play­ground equip­ment for 2 – 5 year olds (ADA acces­si­ble), small ball field area, a portable restroom may be avail­able May through August, fish­ing on Camp­bell Creek, lit trail, ski­ing, salmon view­ing. Locat­ed in the Camp­bell Creek Greenbelt. 

Access the Beaver Dam Trail across Camp­bell Airstrip Rd from the Camp­bell Tract park­ing area. You’ll head off into a for­est of ancient aspen trees and shoul­der height rose bush­es. This is a favorite hang­out spot for the local moose because the browse is so acces­si­ble. Dur­ing late sum­mer and into the fall you’ll also find copi­ous amounts of rose­hips, an abun­dant nat­ur­al vit­a­min C pill’. Min­ers were known to eat a hip or two a day to ward off…  ...more

This is the place begin­ner rock climbers go to practice.

Spruce woods and moun­tain hem­lock groves give way to open tun­dra and jew­el-like alpine lakes.

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