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Eagle River Area

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  • Eagle River Area

    We recently moved to Eagle River and I'm fairly new to the available hiking options. I'm looking to branch out a bit beyond the Baldy and Highland Rd trails that we do WAY too much. Any suggestions on other scenic hikes? Mountains? Short drives to access? The more wildlife the better as we're amateur Alaskan animal photographers.

  • #2
    Mile High Saddle and Mount Magnificent are good ones. You can access it a couple of different ways, but I think the best is taking Mile High Road off Eagle River Road and just start going up the switchbacks. You'll see a small parking lot toward the top that takes you to a little tower with a small structure inside a chain link fence. The trail goes up behind that. It's south-facing at first, so it should be clean and clear and even mostly dry. Once at the top, go left (west) for a short but fun little unnamed (I think) peak, or go right for a longer hike that will eventually put you on Mount Magnificent. May be a little tricky with snow at this point, but will be clear soon.

    Or, start from Baldy and just keep going. You get first up to the Blacktail Ptarmigan Rocks, then keep going back to hit Roundtop (the name says it all) or Vista, even further back.

    In general, I would just recommend getting the Chugach State Park map at REI. It has a great topo map with hiking trails and trail heads indicated. That's more hiking in the greater Anchorage area than you could probably do in several years of doing a different hike every week, seriously. I have found that if that map shows a trail, it's usually a good, safe hiking trail without anything too technical. But of course, be careful...
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    • #3
      Twin Peaks trail at Eklutna Lake. Great views and usually a good supply of sheep to look at.
      Peters Creek trail. There is also a trail that breaks off up the ridge to the north a few miles in on the main trail.
      Little Peters Creek trail.
      Arctic Valley. There's a trail that runs up the valley or go up to the ski area and hike the ridge tops.


      • #4
        Drive north on the Glenn, exit at the Peters Creek Exit and head up hill...a series of lefts and rights, but good signs to the Peters Creek Trailhead. The trail up the canyon is realtivily easy and flat as it heads up to the head waters for about 20 miles if memory serves me. But, a very short way up the trail (about 100 yards I think) on the left is a trail to the top of Bear Mtn. First 1/2 mile or so is in the woods and you come to a "Y"...go right as the left dies out very quickly. You will head up a draw that is easy to hike (popular with runners) that heads up to your left (northeast). You will top out on a big plateau...going Left at the top will take you to spectacular views of Cook Inlet from Anchorage to the Valley, and looking straight down on Mirror Lake. If you go right you can follow the ridge line for miles and miles, hitting every peak. You can always head down any trail you see as they all go down to the main road/trail at the base of this canyon...again, runners love this area as you can do loops of varying lengths. Walking, it took me 30-45 minutes to go from the parking lot to the top of Bear, I was by myself and had never been there before. Great hike.

        As for the parking lot you have two choices...Head towards the Lake side trail, the left side of the parking lot. There is a rental shack and you either turn right and head along the lake, or turn left and head up Twin Peaks trail. The TP trail is a gravel road that use to take 4x4 to get up, now it is non motorized. At the end of the road there are a couple of benches to sit at. The big valley on your left can have tons of dall sheep in it. There are trails heading up the valley to the ridge line right of the Twin Peaks. At the bench, if you go right and up you quickly come to a ridge that overlooks Eklutna Lake. Awesome view. Staying on the ridge line you can parallel the lake for a long ways. There are trails that take you back to the lake side trail, but I would want to follow my GPS as the Alders are really bad in some areas and I would not want to free hike through them.

        Hope this helps a little.
        "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather


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