Tonsina River

Chitina, Alaska 99566

Tonsina River

Tonsina River Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A short and easy hike that makes a great leg stretcher for travelers in need of some fresh air. It also makes a good lunch stop with panoramic views at the river bluff.

The trail begins at the signed trailhead at mile 12.3 on the McCarthy Road. Just off the road is a trailhead register and map of the area. The initial section of the trail passes through private land, then traverses BLM land the rest of the way. Please respect private property to ensure that access will be granted to future hikers.

The bluff is the official endpoint of the trail, though it’s possible to descend all the way down to the river. A footpath continues along the bluff, then down to the river. The path down is a bit steep in one spot, so you’ll want to have trail shoes at least."

More Tonsina River Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Alaska: A Guide to Alaska's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Falcon Guides)
Mollie Foster
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"A short, easy trail suitable for most hiking abilities, with spectacular vistas of the Chugach Mountains and Tonsina River from a panoramic overlook. The Tonsina River Trail is a short, pleasant forest walk that ends on a bluff overlooking the Tonsina River. The Tonsina flows east into Prince William Sound by way of the Copper River, which it joins a few miles below. The main event of the hike is the striking view from the bluff, which combines the river far below with the alpine ridges of the Chugach Mountains far above to the south."

Tonsina River Trip Reports

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A 30 minute hike each way through forest. Use bug spray. The view of the Tonsina River at the end of the trail is spectacular and well worth your time. Figure 1.5 hours total. Elevation difference is a little over 300' so its really easy. Trail is muddy at spots .

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
2.6 miles
478 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
1 hour
Best May through October
Views, Wildflowers
USGS Valdez C-3 (trail not shown)
Local Maps

Trail Log