12 Scenic Hiking Trails In Anchorage You Should Not Miss (2021)
You will find numerous adventures out there in nature with an abundance of scenic beauty and natural bounty around for a feel of the authentic Alaskan wilderness. There are approximately 300 miles of multiple hiking trails in Anchorage to make all the hiking lovers enjoy their trip the most. Hiking options in Anchorage are extensive. Whether you want to go for a short walk, or for a multi-day trek, or anything in between it, you will find the option of every choice in Anchorage, Alaska.
12 Scenic Hiking Trails In Anchorage You Should Not Miss
So here are the most scenic hiking trails in Anchorage to experience the top-notch adventure awaiting you. Have a look:
1. Byron Glacier Trail
The very popular and scenic hiking trail in Anchorage is Byron Glacier Trail which is a concise trail but gives you the best panoramic views of the mountains. The 1.4-mile trail is surrounded by stunning mountains and ends at the edge of the Byron Glacier. This trail attracts the attention of visitors due to its short distance and mid-summer snowball fight-like activities. The glacier viewing hike is of the natural draws of the Portage Valley. This is one of the best hiking trails to be enjoyed in summers.
2. Thunderbird Falls
Located just north of the Eagle River, the Thunderbird Falls Trail is a very beautiful and gentle hike. The whole journey of the hike is a very gentle one with a birch forest and rolling terrain all through the way. At the end of this scenic hike, you will get to enjoy stunning views from a platform of a 200-foot waterfall from where the huge falls are coming down. And then you will realize that the hike was definitely worth visiting. Don’t forget to capture some clicks under the Thunderbird Falls. Image Source
3. O’Malley Peak
The easiest and scenic hiking trail in Anchorage is O’Malley Peak. You don’t need to be a professional mountaineer to complete the summit of O’Malley peak. The peak is also easily accessible from the notable and majorly prominent Glen Alps trailhead. It is the tallest peak with a height of 5,000 feet in the Chugach Skyline, as seen from Anchorage. After completing the hike, you will be blessed with the finest scenic view of the Anchorage Bowl from the top. Some parts of the trail are quite steep, and some have loose gravity inclination. The hike is not very dangerous and is a great option for first-time hikers and kids if you are traveling with family.
4. Flattop Mountain
The Glen Alps hiking trail is just 15 miles away from the main Downtown area. As the name says, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Flattop Mountain is one of the most popular hiking trails in Anchorage, Alaska. It is almost a 1,200-foot climb to reach the top of the summit, and it seems too daunting. Also, the best part about this hike is that there is more than one way to reach the top of Flattop Mountain. So if any of the trails are crowded, choose the other one and after reaching the top enjoy the most beautiful views of the city from Flattop.
5. Rodak, Dew Mound, or Alber Loop
It doesn’t matter which of these trails you might choose amongst these three trails, but the Eagle River Nature Center is the standard base point to start your hike on these trails. It is located 40 minutes from the north of Downtown Anchorage in the Eagle River Valley, which serves as the gateway to the Chugach. This hiking trail is full of scenic beauty surrounded all around. The summit offers the most amazing views from the top, with abundant doses of untouched beauty during the hike.
6. Winner Creek
One of the most wonderful hiking trails in Anchorage is the Winner Creek Trail which runs through the Chugach National Forest with very little elevation gain in the trail. The trail will take you through five miles of a dense forest full of spruce trees, lush fern, and devil’s club. The trail has also had the availability of a hand-powered tram, which carries passengers across the different glacial fields, and primarily through the roaring waters of Winner Creek Gorge. The ascending paths of the trail are the best-guided hikes which also show off the natural aspects of the trail, which is often ignored or overlooked by first-time hikers or visitors.
7. Williwaw Lakes Trail
After completing this Williwaw Lakes Trail that is stretched over an area of 14 miles, you will realize that efforts surely pay off. The whole lake trail is full of emerald-like shining lakes in the shadow of Mount Williwaw that will surely blow your mind away with its mesmerizing natural views. The Dall sheep ridgetops and carpeted wildflowers on the ground of the trail will make you go gaga over this trail’s natural beauty. The endpoint is where you reach the Williwaw Lake, which represents the Southcentral Alaska wilderness in the best form.
8. Crow Pass Trail
This scenic hiking trail in Anchorage connects the Eagle River Nature Center with the small town of Girdwood through a mountain pass. The whole hiking trail is of 26-mile distance and can be completed in a single day for the fit hikers. But many hikers break the hiking distance in two days with a comfortable and leisurely pace and enjoy night camping in the Chugach forest areas overnight. After completing the hike, you will witness stunning mountain views of Girdwood and glaciers. Apart from the hiking trail, you also get to enjoy spending some time in Alaskan’s wilderness.
9. Avalanche Mountain
The Avalanche Mountain hiking trail is a 5.5-mile hike powerline trail which is then followed by a 1.5-mile off-trail scramble. And reaching Avalanche Mountain is one of the most considerable hiking trails in Anchorage. The 3,200-foot tall range begins from the Glen Alps area, just 10 miles away from downtown Anchorage. This hike doesn’t need any professional hiking or mountaineering skills. This trail is full of loose stones and boulders, which will surely make this one an adventurous hike for all the first-timers. And after reaching the end of the summit, witness the beautiful Chugach Mountains disappear into a haze on the distant horizon.
10. Bear Point Trail
The Bear Point Trail is often regarded as a difficult-to-hike trail in Anchorage. But it is not as difficult as people might think about it. The precipitous and scarred face of the bear point stands atop. The 2-mile hike ascends to a height of 2,100 feet which gets tricky on its way. But the best part of completing this trail is the reward you get in the end—the stunning vistas and views in all the directions of the Kenin Peninsula to Denali national park. The trail also gives you the best views of the Chugach Mountains and Matanuska Peak. The path is not very much difficult and not easy either, but for first-time hikers, this trail can be quite difficult.
11. Winter in Bird Valley Trail
If you are looking for a snow-bound hiking trail, then Winter in Bird Valley trail is the best scenic hiking trail in Anchorage. This trail takes you through majestic areas of a rainforest, which gives a little visitation in the winter season. You can try visiting the Bird Valley located in Chugach State Park off the Seward Highway. This trail is family-friendly, and you can stroll around or enjoy snow biking for hours in a serene environment. The towering trees of the area make the location perfectly fitted in a natural setting. The trail also provides splendid views of Penguin Peak and Bird Ridge, which is loved by all the visitors.
12. Kincaid Bluff Trail
This short hiking trail is best for hikers who have a limited amount of time to explore trails in Anchorage. Then Kincaid Bluff trail is the best option you can choose. It is just 20 minutes drive from downtown Anchorage with a 6-mile long loop hike to Kincaid Chalet. Along the way of your hiking, you will get rugged terrains, loose stones, and boulders that skirt around the summit of bluffs at the end of Anchorage Peninsula. So with limited distance and scenic views, this bluff trail is the best trail you can enjoy.