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South Fork of Eagle River Professional Review and Guide
"For a backcountry treat, visit the valley of the South Fork of Eagle River. Head for shimmering, glacier-fed Eagle Lake, then wander through meadows of alpine flowers to nearby clear-water companions. Beyond lies a wilderness of rugged mountain peaks. Eagle Lake is an easy day trip, but more than a day is needed to explore this lovely valley. Look for blueberries in season.The trail begins as a boardwalk and then climbs to and follows a bench for about a mile. The trail then descends to a bridge across South Fork (about 2 miles from the trailhead). Once across the river, follow the trail across the valley, then up the east side of the valley to Eagle Lake, about 9 miles round trip from the trailhead. Some spots in the trail are wet."
--Helen D. Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr., 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska (The Mountaineers Books).
This is a gem of a trail and a local favorite. The trail starts on some wood planking before heading uphill for about five minutes of walking. From there on out the trail has gentle grading that shouldn't be a problem for just about all ages and abilities. Like much of Eagle River, there often brown and black bears in this valley, so I would recommend your choice of bear bells, gun, pepper spray, etc. For the same reason it's recommended that you keep dogs on their leash. One of the highlights to this trail are the wonderful views as you climb one side of the valley wall, overlooking the rest of the valley. At about the one mile mark you'll pass the last of the homes built in the valley. From there it's just you and nature. To note, by the end of July 2011 they are in the process of altering the route to Eagle Lake.
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