Chugach State Park Travel Guide

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  • Access is a key benefit of Chugach State Park
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Chugach State Park Things to Do

  • Surrounding mountain ranges

    Chugagh State Park literally surrounds Anchorage on the north, east and south. Many of the popular trails, such as Flattop mountain, are just minutes away from Anchorage. The Glen Alps trailhead, where the trail to Flattop begins, along with several others, also has several overlooks which provide a nice view of the nearby mountain ranges, and...

  • Eklutna Lake

    Pronounced ek-LOOT-nuh, this montane reservoir lies in a natural Eden surrounded on three sides by mountains. Two of these are heavily forested, while the far peak across the lake wears a snowcap even through the summer. The lake itself is pristine, rather narrow but long, and serves as the hub of the area's hiking trails.

  • Thunderbird Falls

    This turnoff is the first outlet from AK-1 heading out of downtown Anchorage toward Wasilla. A small parking area at the trailhead offers space for a limited number of cars, but the trail is level and short, going only a modest distance before reaching the falls. Here the hiker can either wind down into the chasm to meet the falls along Thunderbird...


Chugach State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • The Forests Have Ears

    Even though Chugach sits almost at the edge of Anchorage, residents are fully aware that these half-million acres are pure wilderness pierced by only three roads. Your vigilance against surprising a moose or a bear should be as perfect here as in the remotest spaces of the interior. Startling a wild animal many times your size is one of the leading...

  • Beware the Plant Life

    Warnings against cow parsnip (also known elsewhere as wild celery or pootschki in Alaska) should be as common in this state as warnings against bears and mosquitoes. Contact with these leaves (which range from six to twenty-four inches in breadth) in direct sunlight can cause a skin irritation akin to poison ivy. Wear longsleeves or gloves whenever...

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  • Trails

    Here are some of the other trails in the area:Little OMalley Peak: 7.5 miles roundtrip and less than 2,000 feet elevation gain. This would have been a better alternative to Flattop if I'd had more time.Wedge Peak: Another moderate hike to higher elevation and better views. This one gains about 2500 feet of elevation in 5.5 miles. Not overly...

  • Hiking

    Flattop Mountain is Anchorage's most popular hiking trail. At least, that's what the website says, and websites never lie. The "summit" is located a5 3,510 feet of elevation. In the state that has the highest mountain in North America, as well as numerous other peaks that tower higher than anything found in the lower 48, that is hardly impressive....

  • Mountains

    On a clearer day, the view would be excellent. If you look closely, you can see the Alaska Range in the distance. The Chugach Mountains surround the park, giving it both its name as well as its unpredictable weather.


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