Best Things to Do in Eagle River
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.
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!)
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.
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
Eagle River Parks & Trails View All
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.
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 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.
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.
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