SummaryTrail GuideTopo MapReviewsPhotosGPS
South Fork Eagle River Professional Review and Guide
"The trailhead starts just below tree line and quickly climbs into alpine, by two backcountry lakes, with options for a day hike, or longer overnight trips. The trail up South Fork Eagle River is a relatively painless way to get into the wild and beautiful alpine country of Chugach State Park. The high-elevation trailhead, just below tree line at 1,900 feet, is a good start; the trail leads to Symphony and Eagle Lakes, good destinations for most hikers, and also provides access to several fine cross-country routes higher in the Chugach."
--Mollie Foster, Hiking Alaska: A Guide to Alaska's Greatest Hiking Adventures (Falcon Guides).
Most other sites do not portray this hike accurately. There are multiple sections branching from the main trail allowing for return hikes with different legs to different locations. The main trail takes you from the parking lot to a bridge which crosses the river. The rest of the trails are foot paths dependent on season and weather. We recently bivouacked the trail to Eagle Lake. Expect technical difficulties such as: boulders, large loose rocks, unassisted plank-walks through soupy mud slush, a couple medium-large grain gravel slides, and depending on your physique and pack weight 1 - 3 hours of hopping through a boulder field while trying to follow a sketchy broken trail using rocks piled on rocks to mark the way every 50 - 100+ yards. My suggestion, if you are new to the location, day-hike the trail a couple times before attempting a bivouac with a group. In the end, it is well worth the effort to be enveloped within such raw beauty and majesty. And as long as you have a filter, you have water.
This trail is well maintained and the scenery is very nice. Once you get to the Shelter there are other small trails you can take. One of them leads you up to Flute glacer...
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