New to Alaska and Snowshoeing
My wife and I moved to the anchorage area this fall and we're interested in snowshoeing. We went once at kinciad park but we're looking for something where snowshoes are needed. Some place that isn't going to be groomed. We're kind of adventurous. We're not sure of places where to go snowshoeing. Can anyone help us out?
plenty of places around town. i live in eagle river, so plenty of stuff here: the ER nature center & mt baldy/blacktail rocks are nice. grab a chugach state park map from REI for about 7 bucks or so and take a look at trails, pick a place and go. if you don't know much about avalanches, i would stay away from any incline that approaches 30 degrees or more and has a decent amount of snow on it. skiers aren't the only ones that get taken out by these. pm me if you need any further info.
Keep in mind that many of the ski trails around Anchorage are ski-only in the winter, thus other modes of transportation such as snowshoeing, hiking, running, biking, etc... are not allowed for various reasons. There are multi-use trails mixed in and around most areas though, so there are still plenty of options. Here is a quick rundown of the ski-only trails around Anchorage (check out http://www.anchoragenordicski.com/ for more info, follow the link on the left to "Trails and Grooming" for maps):
Originally Posted by ricksheppard
Kincaid - most trails. The coastal trail heading down from the chalet toward the inlet is multi-use and the pathway that basically parallels the road in is multi-use. Other than that, the rest of the trails are ski-only.
Hillside - Multi-use trail loops around the perimeter for the most part. Lighted loops (trails with lights) are ski-only, as are Spencer Loop, Double Bubble, Richter Loop, Ridge Loop, and the classic-only connector from Richter toward Service.
Bartlett - I believe the main trails are ski-only, but there are some multi-use trails that pass by here.
Russian Jack - mixed used depending on the trail. I'm not that familiar with that area, so probably can't help there.
In most places, there are maps that indicate where the multi-use trails are. As you mentioned, the groomed trails are not much fun for snowshoes anyway, so non of this will probably be an issue anyway. Glen Alps is a great area for snowshoeing, as is Prospect Heights. Plenty of areas where you can get off the "beaten path" (pun intended).
2nd for Eagle River area
I too live in ER, and have been snowshoeing a lot this winter (until the thaw recently). Going up and around Baldy is great. You can go a long way back once you are up on top. Another option out this way is back at the end of Hiland Road, at the Hiland Trailhead. You have the option of traveling back the valley toward Symphony and Eagle Lakes, or, shortly after starting out from the trailhead, turning right and heading up the ridgeline or continuing down into Ship Creek drainage. Another resource you might consider is "55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska", which has maps and info about nearby trails which may be used for snowshoeing. Have fun.