Best Easy Day Hikes Anchorage  by John Tyson

Best Easy Day Hikes: Anchorage Guide Book

by John Tyson (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Anchorage  by John Tyson
Best Easy Day Hikes Anchorage includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for sixteen favorite, easy-to-follow hikes within a short drive of Anchorage. Choose from a host of spectacular trails in Chugach State Park, including the Flattop Mountain Trail, or inviting urban trails for after-work jaunts in downtown Anchorage, such as the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

© 2009 John Tyson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Anchorage" Guide Book
Displaying trails 16 of 16.

Displaying trails 1 to 16 of 16.

This easy, flat trail is an excellent hike for the entire family, with amazing scenery, boardwalks, and viewing platforms. The trail descends down along the Eagle River and provides outstanding mountain views, wildflowers, lush vegetation, numerous areas of beaver activity, and ample opportunities for spotting wildlife. Begin just behind the nature center and proceed down the paved path on the Rodak Nature Trail. This popular stretch links four different trails, so plan on lots of company. However, it is closed to motor vehicles, bicycles, and horses (except by special use permit).
Anchorage, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
This short, wheelchair-accessible loop trail provides some great views of the area. The trail winds up the side of a hill to a large platform that affords scenic views of the Alaska Range, Cook Inlet, Flattop Mountain, and Anchorage. Moose are often evident in the immediate area. After the platform, the loop descends down a gravel path, bringing you back by the restrooms.
Anchorage, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.3
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This relatively short yet challenging trail to the ridge offers amazing views of Turnagain Arm. The views alone make this hike worth putting on your to-do list. The very steep yet easy-to-follow trail requires some hiking over rock and loose stone and along the sheer, steep edges of the mountainside. The trail passes through a spruce forest and climbs to the alpine tundra above the tree line. Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather and for windy conditions.
Willow, AK - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 3.2
Conveniently located within Anchorage, the Campbell Tract Loop fits into most any schedule. An easy hike for the entire family, the level and well-maintained trail passes through prime wildlife habitat and along scenic Campbell Creek. It also passes the Campbell Creek Science Center, an outdoor education center that’s visited by thousands of Anchorage school children each year. The Campbell Tract Loop is an important area connector for other trails, state park and municipal land, and conservation education in the community. The Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains these 730 acres, which are surrounded by the Chugach Mountains directly to the east and 4,000 acres of the Far North Bicentennial Park. This trail is an important facet of the BLM’s Campbell Creek Science Center outdoor education programs and the Anchorage School District. The loop trail is one of only sixteen National Recreation Trails in Alaska and is home to many species of wildlife, including bald eagles, owls, snowshoe hares, black and brown bears, moose, lynx, porcupines, coyotes, and salmon.
Campbell, AK - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.4
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This popular trail is utilized year-round by local Alaskans, with most every type of outdoor recreational activity available and extraordinary foliage colors in the fall. It is well traveled, extremely scenic, and allows for various means of travel.
Chugiak, AK - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 12.7
This is a good hike if your time is limited or if you came to the park for biking or spending an afternoon at the lake and want another activity. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, with relatively low elevation gain, making it ideal for the entire family.
Chugiak, AK - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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Flattop Mountain is the most climbed peak in all Alaska, so plan on plenty of company on this trail. Don’t let the difficulty rating discourage you. A little extra effort to Flattop plateau will gain you extraordinary views of the Alaska Range, Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, and Anchorage—and a high point of 3,550 feet.
Anchorage, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This hike follows a wide, mainly level path through a mixed spruce-birch forest with views of the Eagle River and surrounding mountains. Wildflowers and beautiful vegetation abound. However, this trail’s biggest attraction is South Fork Eagle River Falls, probably one of the most striking falls in the entire area. The Lower Eagle River Trail is part of the Eagle River Greenbelt, a collaborative effort among the Alaska State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and the Municipality of Anchorage. The entire trail extends almost 7 miles along the South Fork Eagle River and is popular with local residents for running, biking, horseback riding, day hiking, and various winter activities. The striking South Fork Eagle River Falls is definitely the highlight of this trail.
Eagle River, AK - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 6
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This popular family trail starts out on a gravel road that heads uphill and then levels out to travel through a segment of thick alders before climbing above the tree line. The easy-tofollow trail provides good views of the town of Eagle River and Eagle River Valley.
Eagle River, AK - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2
This trail is a good full-day hike to the top of a scenic ridge with truly outstanding views of the city of Anchorage. Although a little more challenging because of its length and elevation gain, this trail is worth the extra effort if you have a day to devote to one good hike. The clearly defined and well-traveled trail offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, photography, a mix of vegetative ecosystems, some great views of the Alaska Range and Cook Inlet, and an old homesite at the top of the peak.
Anchorage, AK - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8
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This popular trail is usually packed with walkers, strollers, and family dogs—all easily accommodated. The wheelchair accessible trail begins on a wide, slightly downhill path to two viewing platforms with views of beaver activity, spawning salmon, and Eagle River Valley. There are interpretive signboards, abundant wildflowers, lush vegetation, and great scenery throughout the hike. The Rodak Nature Trail is as popular with local residents as it is with tourists. It provides a quick, easy hike for the entire family on a nice weekend or on an evening when you want to take a leisurely walk and enjoy nature. Before starting out on the trail, take a few moments to visit the nature center.
Anchorage, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.75
This great day hike takes you down to South Fork Eagle River and eventually leads to Eagle and Symphony Lakes. At the end of the trail are great views of the valley, the lakes, Triangle Peak, Hurdygurdy Mountain, and surrounding peaks. This is a popular place for overnight camping, with opportunities for further exploration into the open tundra.
Eagle River, AK - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 4.2
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This short and relatively easy hike through one of Alaska’s scenic deciduous forests takes you to a viewing deck above a steep gorge with views of East and West Twin Peaks and the Eklutna River below. The trail to Thunderbird Falls is wide, relatively straight, and easy to follow. The scenery is particularly enjoyable as you walk through a mixed spruce-hardwood forest. The path traverses the hillside with ups and downs as you proceed along the trail. The right side of the trail is occupied by private property and homes; directly on the left side is a deep gorge revealing the Eklutna River and eventually Thunderbird Creek.
Chugiak, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Named for former Alaska governor Tony Knowles, who served from 1981 to 1987, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of three greenbelt trails located in Anchorage. Even though the trail spans 11.0 miles each way, it is easily picked up from several points in the city, so you can enjoy any segment and hike as little or much of the trail as you desire. The trail provides extraordinary views of downtown Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains, Denali (Mount McKinley), Mount Susitna (Sleeping Lady), and Fire Island. In addition to a lot of other trail users, you are very likely to encounter moose on the trail.
Anchorage, AK - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 22
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The historic Turnagain Arm Trail dates back to 1910, when it was used for carrying supplies during the construction of the railroad. The trail runs above and parallel to the Seward Highway, the railroad, and the waters of Turnagain Arm. It can be hiked in a day or hiked as three different segments. Throughout the trail you’ll observe stands of birch, aspen, poplar, and spruce trees, highlighted by coastal vegetation, wildflowers, and numerous stream crossings.
Anchorage, AK - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.3
Winner Creek Trail is a favorite for many hikers. For one thing, it is different from most every other trail in Chugach State Park and the Anchorage area. Located about 40 miles south of Anchorage near Girdwood, the trail is actually the beginning of the northern tip of the temperate rain forest. The path goes through beautiful boreal forest composed of towering moss-covered Sitka spruce. The forest floor is also lined with moss, moss-covered decaying logs, and beautiful ferns.
Girdwood, AK - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5
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