Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: New to Anchorage area - where do I *have* to go walk?

  1. #1

    Default New to Anchorage area - where do I *have* to go walk?

    I'm just curious what the "ooh, you have to go to such-and-such and walk here!" spots in the Anchoragey area are. No need to give away your favorite hidey-holes, just a rundown of the spots you'd suggest a newcomer go on a walkabout to get to know the area better..

    Thank you kindly!

    -J

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Here are a few suggestions:

    1. South Fork Eagle River - Drive north towards Eagle River. Right past the weigh stations take the Hiland Road/Eagle River Loop exit. Turn right and then right again on Hiland Road (the very first intersection - about 50 yards from the highway). Drive this to mile 7.2 Hiland Road and turn right. Follow the brown State Park signs, turning right once more, and park at the little lot on your left. This is a fantastic trail that is mostly above treeline and will take you to two beautiful lakes at the end of the ~6 mile trail. You can also climb straight up to the ridge from the parking lot, or head up at any other part of the trail. One of my favorites!




    2. Rainbow Peak - Drive south from Anchorage about 15 miles. You will pass McHugh Creek (another nice area for walking, but more crowded) and Beluga Point. Not sure of the mile marker, but you'll see a sign and a small parking area on the left side of the road. This trail winds uphill through a beautiful birch forest before coming to a nice overlook about 1,000 feet up the mountain. If you're feeling feisty, you can turn straight uphill and follow the ridge as far as your heart desires. If you're going to head for the summit, you might need to angle to the right across the face and hit the opposite ridgeline, as going straight up will take you through some pretty nasty rocks within about 500' from the summit. If you're not up for the climb, though, it's still a nice walk for the first couple thousand feet.



    3. Bird Ridge Head a little further south and look for the sign on your left. If you cross Bird Creek, you've gone too far. This is a fairly steep hike, but the trail is well-maintained and safe. It is also quite well traveled, particularly on the weekends. You can go as far as you desire, topping out on a 3,500' ridge that goes on seemingly forever.

    4. Baldy - Drive out to Eagle River and take the same exit as in #1. Instead of turning on Hiland Rd., though, continue straight through on Eagle River Loop. Follow it a few miles down and back up through the intersection with Eagle River Rd. Continue straight. You will go up a hill, which right at the top starts to turn to the left. Turn right where it starts to curve on Skyline Drive. Follow this road all the way to the top where it dead-ends at a gate. The name of the road changes multiple times (W. Skyline, Jamie Drive, McCrary, Upper Skyline, Golden Eagle, etc.), but if you just stay on the main curvy road you'll be fine. The trail goes steeply up from the parking lot for about a hundred feet, then mellows out as it goes around a little communications tower. Right past the tower is another gate. Right past this gate the trail heads off to the right. This will take you to the summit, which again opens up to a never-ending ridgeline. This is basically in my backyard, so again one of my favorites. It is Eagle River's answer to Anchorage's Flattop. Similar in ease, but far less crowded with better views (in my humble opinion).

    Hope these ideas help! I'll post some more soon.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I would very much agree with Brian's list. Especially Rainbow Peak, where two weeks ago i came upon a group of sheep up on top of the ridge. You never know what you'll see on the way. Even closer is Wolverine peak, which is a very nice view if you have the time. The climb is pretty gradual except for the last part. Heres a picture of one of the sheep i saw on Rainbow. Good luck on your travels.


  4. #4
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    824

    Default

    would the south fork of ER be a good hike for a nice leisurely overnight hike??
    Also; do you know if there are trout or anything in the lakes??

    thanks,

    Jon

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Jon - It would be a great hike for an overnighter, but be aware that there is little to no firewood up there. If lack of a campfire is no problem, then it is awesome. There are plenty of grayling in Symphony Lake, but nothing that I am aware of in Eagle Lake (posted above). The trail mostly ends at Eagle Lake. To get to Symphony Lake you'll have to cross the boulder field that stretches out in front of you and to the right. It's not too tough, but it'll take you a few more minutes. Well worth it, especially late in the evening when the grayling are feeding on the surface.


  6. #6
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    824

    Default

    Awesome!
    Thanks Brian; I'm definitely gonna head down that way sometime in the next couple of weeks! Sounds like alotta fun and the view in those pictures is amazing.



    ~Jon

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I'm just curious what the "ooh, you have to go to such-and-such and walk here!" spots in the Anchoragey area are. No need to give away your favorite hidey-holes, just a rundown of the spots you'd suggest a newcomer go on a walkabout to get to know the area better..

    Thank you kindly!

    -J
    Check out the excellent Alaska Hike Search. Focus is on hikes in Anchorage area and includes a search engine for hikes. Also has an "Education" page that is worth visiting just for the info there, including two hiking guide titles that are essential.

  8. #8
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    824

    Talking Eagle Lake Hike

    Brian,

    Did the south fork this weekend. Awesome hike! Loads of grayling and actually caught a couple "rainbows" (4 inchers) out of Eagle Lake. Climbed the 'hill' at the end of the valley between the two lakes; had a blast!


    Definitely a must do hike for up here



    Jon

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,396

    Default

    Nice! Glad to hear that you had a good time and got into some fish, Jon. I haven't been back to the lakes this summer, so your post is making me want to go.

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default

    You have to do the Winner Creek trail in Girdwood! It is awesome!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •