Biking, hiking, fishing, climbing, wildlife viewing, campfires — and the bore tide spectacle of Turnagain Arm. Few campgrounds anywhere offer as many outdoor options to an adventurous family as Bird Creek Campground in Chugach State Park.
Located at Mile 101 on the Seward Highway, the campground features 22 sites open to tents or RVs on a low-key cul-de-sac with immediate connections to a paved trail along the Arm to Girdwood. Completely rebuilt in the past few years, the campground is airy and open, with fabulous views, plus all the usual amenities (water pump, picnic tables, fire rings, outhouses, bear-safe food lockers) in excellent condition.
Perfect for that first family campout
Though popular with tourists on their bucket-list RV tour of Alaska, the campground has long been a favorite of local families taking kids on first camping trips — only about 20 minutes south of Anchorage and just across the street from the community of Bird.
You’ll never run out of things to do here:
- Ride Bird-to-Gird. This paved bike trail with world-class views of Turnagain Arm winds along the shore and mountainside for 13.3 miles, with connections to Indian, Bird Point wayside and Girdwood.
- Explore the rain forest. A spur trail goes under the highway and leads to a network of multi-use trails and old logging roads in upper Bird Valley. Take Konikson Road one mile to trailhead.
- Fish Bird Creek. This very popular fishery with excellent foot access, stairs and a viewing deck opens to salmon fishing on July 10. Famous for easy-to-catch pinks and chums, the creek hosts a run of hatchery-reared coho salmon that are prized for good eating.
- View spawning salmon. When the pinks run in late summer, the clear waters of Indian Creek (one mile up the bike path) become almost jammed with spawners. Easily accessible off the parking lot by the ball field, the creek is shallow with low banks and kid-safe approach.
- Climb Bird Ridge. This stairway-steep spine rises 2.5 miles into the alpine zone to reach a first summit at 3,400 feet. But you can reach stunning views of Turnagain Arm only a few hundred feet up. The trail is generally not precipitous and doable for kids with supervision.
- View nature. Watch for beluga whales when the tide fills Turnagain Arm, or foraging bald eagles when it goes dry. Educational kiosks and easy walking. A world famous bore tide surges by on certain cycles. (Check with Chugach State Park for a bore tide schedule.) A safe access to the edge of the mud flats can be found on the angler’s trail beneath the Alaska Railroad trestle along Bird Creek.
- Rent one of two public use cabins located in the campground — Bore Tide or Beluga.