Eklutna Lakeside Trail

Chugiak, Alaska

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When it established Chugach State Park in 1970, the Alaska Legislature insisted the new park’s lands and waters remain open to diverse uses. This is certainly the case with Eklutna Lake: in addition to being an outdoor mecca, it generates a substantial share of Anchorage’s electricity and provides the city with 35 million gallons of drinking water each day. Yet Eklutna—a gray-blue arc of a lake surrounded by sharp peaks—remains unspoiled. A typical summer day sees families strolling along the lakeshore, hikers heading for the alpine tundra at East Twin Pass, backpackers setting up tents at two campgrounds along the Lakeside Trail, boaters enjoying calm water along the lake’s 7-mile length, and mountaineers setting off on the demanding 30-mile Whiteout Glacier traverse to Girdwood. Eklutna takes these sundry visitors in stride, with room enough for all. The area’s main thoroughfare is the Eklutna Lakeside Trail, which runs 13 miles from the lake’s western shore to the doorstep of Eklutna Glacier. It provides access to several farther-flung trails, and also makes for a pleasant outing in its own right.

Eklutna Lakeside Trail Professional Review and Guide

"When it established Chugach State Park in 1970, the Alaska Legislature insisted the new park’s lands and waters remain open to diverse uses. This is certainly the case with Eklutna Lake: in addition to being an outdoor mecca, it generates a substantial share of Anchorage’s electricity and provides the city with 35 million gallons of drinking water each day. Yet Eklutna—a gray-blue arc of a lake surrounded by sharp peaks—remains unspoiled.

A typical summer day sees families strolling along the lakeshore, hikers heading for the alpine tundra at East Twin Pass, backpackers setting up tents at two campgrounds along the Lakeside Trail, boaters enjoying calm water along the lake’s 7-mile length, and mountaineers setting off on the demanding 30-mile Whiteout Glacier traverse to Girdwood. Eklutna takes these sundry visitors in stride, with room enough for all. The area’s main thoroughfare is the Eklutna Lakeside Trail, which runs 13 miles from the lake’s western shore to the doorstep of Eklutna Glacier. It provides access to several farther-flung trails, and also makes for a pleasant outing in its own right."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Chugiak
Distance: 26
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Best in the summer months
Local Contacts: Chugach State Park
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage B-6
Driving Directions: Directions to Eklutna Lakeside Trail

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