Photo Credit: Rendezvous Peak Trail

Best Things to Do in Eagle River

Enjoy views of the Chugach Mountains from the salmon viewing deck at the Eagle River Nature Center

Enjoy views of the Chugach Mountains from the salmon viewing deck at the Eagle River Nature Center

1. Eagle River Nature Center

Don’t miss a stop at this scenic gateway to Chugach State Park. You’ll find hiking trails and community programs for adventurers of all ages. Take advantage of cabin and yurt rentals—all within two miles of the center—and stay awhile. Or just enjoy the wildlife viewing here, including great birding, salmon viewing from platforms, and the occasional moose or bear!

2. Hiking Trails

Stunning scenery is the draw on the most popular hikes in Eagle River. You can opt for the South Fork Eagle River Trail, a 5.5-mile climb leading to a geological oddity: two lakes that lie within a few feet of each other. For something shorter, check out Mt. Baldy, a 2-mile climb that ends in a nice view. Or tackle the moderately difficult route of the Mile High Saddle Trail, a 3.4-mile route that takes you to Mt. Magnificent and great views of Cook Inlet and even (on a clear day) Denali.

Symphony and Eagle Lakes at the end of the South Fork Eagle River Trail

Symphony and Eagle Lakes at the end of the South Fork Eagle River Trail

Bohemian Waxwings perched on frost covered branches

Bohemian Waxwings on a crisp winter day

3. Birding

You may expect great birding in a place named Eagle River, and this area doesn’t disappoint—it’s an awesome place to look for these magnificent birds. In fact, you’ll often see eagles in town, congregating near the fire station and behind Mike’s Meat, on Farm Ave. You can also look for them near the river at Eagle River Campground and at the Eagle River Nature Center, especially during salmon spawning season (hint: head to the salmon viewing deck!)

4. Biking

Love to bike? It’s another reason you’ll love this area. One option: the Old Glenn Highway Bike Path. Take North Eagle River Exit and Park at Fred Meyer; the trail starts at the north end of the parking lot and continues for about 10 miles to Peter’s Creek, with several scenic parks along the way. Another great bike trail parallels the Glenn Highway for the same distance heading toward Downtown Anchorage; just be prepared for more traffic noise.

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Things to Do in Eagle River

Eagle River Winter Activities

When snow allows, sev­er­al looped ski trails are groomed near Eagle Riv­er High School and along the slope over­look­ing the riv­er canyon. A fun option con­nects trails near the school to a mul­ti-use sec­tion over the snow­bound roads inside the Eagle Riv­er camp­ground of Chugach State Park. This 6‑kilometer sys­tem is a fun way to explore the riv­er cor­ri­dor, with con­nec­tions to exten­sive mul­ti-use routes

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Eagle River Parks & Trails View All

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. 

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

Short, flat hike to access main braid of Eagle Riv­er. Walk is approx­i­mate­ly one mile through woods. To the right of the park­ing lot is a small­er braid of the riv­er that blends into main chan­nel in about 1 mile as well. The riv­er at this point can be float­ed very eas­i­ly, but unless you have expe­ri­ence with rapids, rec­om­mend you get out at the bridge. Although the bridge is only 5.5 miles from where you put in as the crow flies, the riv­er is…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

If you don’t mind the 45-minute dri­ve from Anchor­age up to the Eagle Riv­er Nature Cen­ter, where this trail begins, this trail is one of the most scenic easy hikes any­where near Anchor­age. You’ll walk a well-main­tained loop that pass­es through beau­ti­ful for­est, over a cou­ple nice wood­en bridges, past beaver deams, and along the swift­ly flow­ing glacial waters of Eagle River.

Difficulty: Moderate

The trail goes up for a short dis­tance and then joins with the orig­i­nal trail which is more direct but it cross­es pri­vate prop­er­ty. Con­tin­ue up, and when you get to the sad­dle, you can turn right onto the Mt. Mag­nif­i­cant Trail to fol­low the ridge that ends at the moun­tain, or left con­tin­u­ing along the orig­i­nal trail. The trail offers nice views of Cook Inlet and even Denali on a clear day. 

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.

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