Ptarmigan Valley and Roundtop

Anchorage, Alaska

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A trail climbing through boreal forest and into alpine tundra, with a variety of route options at the top, and a stone’s throw from Eagle River and Chugiak. Rising high above the traffic and strip malls of Eagle River, the peaks of the western front of the Chugach Mountains are one of the most spectacular suburban playgrounds on the planet. The Ptarmigan Valley Trail climbs into the northwestern reaches of this high peaks country, taking in boreal forest and subalpine shrub zones on the way, each of which is a lush riot of green by midsummer. With alpine tundra and peaks higher up, this hike covers the entire personality of the Chugach “front” range. If you plan on sticking to the Ptarmigan Valley Trail, you likely won’t need a detailed map, but if your agenda calls for ridge running or peak bagging, be sure you have a topomap, a compass, and decent weather for the trip. There’s good alpine camping in Ptarmigan Valley too.

Ptarmigan Valley and Roundtop Professional Review and Guide

"A trail climbing through boreal forest and into alpine tundra, with a variety of route options at the top, and a stone’s throw from Eagle River and Chugiak. Rising high above the traffic and strip malls of Eagle River, the peaks of the western front of the Chugach Mountains are one of the most spectacular suburban playgrounds on the planet. The Ptarmigan Valley Trail climbs into the northwestern reaches of this high peaks country, taking in boreal forest and subalpine shrub zones on the way, each of which is a lush riot of green by midsummer. With alpine tundra and peaks higher up, this hike covers the entire personality of the Chugach “front” range. If you plan on sticking to the Ptarmigan Valley Trail, you likely won’t need a detailed map, but if your agenda calls for ridge running or peak bagging, be sure you have a topomap, a compass,
and decent weather for the trip. There’s good alpine camping in Ptarmigan Valley too."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Anchorage
Distance: 5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Best June through September
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Chugach State Park, 18620 Seward Hwy., Anchorage, Alaska 99516; (907) 345-5014; dnr.alaska.gov/parks/
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage B-7 (NW, SW, SE); Imus Geographics Chugach State Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Ptarmigan Valley and Roundtop

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May 2018