Chugach

State Park - Alaska

Chugach State Park is immediately east of the Anchorage Bowl in south-central Alaska. Though primarily in the Municipality of Anchorage, a small portion of the park north of the Eklutna Lake area in the vicinity of Pioneer Peak lies within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Hunting and fishing are permitted in the Chugach under regulations established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for game management unit 14c.
Chugach SP https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/chugach/chugachindex.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chugach_State_Park Chugach State Park is immediately east of the Anchorage Bowl in south-central Alaska. Though primarily in the Municipality of Anchorage, a small portion of the park north of the Eklutna Lake area in the vicinity of Pioneer Peak lies within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Hunting and fishing are permitted in the Chugach under regulations established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for game management unit 14c.
Welcome to For More Information: Park History The creation of Chugach State Park is a remarkable example of the power of a good idea and grassroots organization. In the mid-1960s the encroaching city was beginning to take its toll on the mountains above Anchorage. Traditional access roads to the mountains were being blocked by homestead sales. Growing concern of these threats came to a head with the tentative sale of logging rights to the Bird and Indian valleys. In 1969 citizens sprang into action and formed the Chugach State Park Ad Hoc Committee. The group spoke with one voice to preserve the rugged, natural skyline of Anchorage, and gained broad support from the community. The committee lobbied for the available 490,866 acres in hopes of securing a large chunk of land for the proposed park. They got every inch. In 1970 Governor Keith Miller signed the bill creating Chugach State Park. Thanks to the efforts of concerned and organized citizens, the wild Chugach will always be part of the Alaskan experience. Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org Chugach csp@alaska.gov “Chugach State Park” on Facebook • Alaska State Trails maps www.alaskastatetrails.org State Park • 50 Hikes in Chugach State Park Shane Shepherd & Owen Wozniak • 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska Helen Nienhueser & John Wolfe B eyond the foothills at the city’s edge lies Chugach State Park—a half-million acres of accessible hiking, biking, skiing, hunting, camping, wildlife viewing, snowmachining, packrafting, kayaking, ATVing, climbing, and much more. Here you can pick berries along a high alpine meadow under the midnight sun, or watch a 6-foot-tall bore tide rush past at 15 mph from Bird Point. The park’s varied terrain is the perfect backdrop for your next adventure—just choose a starting point, grab your essentials, and let the fun begin! • Naturalist’s Guide to Chugach State Park Jenny Zimmerman • Add “Chugach State Park” as a Facebook friend The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people. Bird Point ATVing Mountaineering Backpacking Photography Berry Picking Picnicking Biking Public-Use Cabins Bird Watching Packrafting Camping Paragliding Canoeing Relaxation Climbing Running Dog Mushing Skiing Exploration Snowmachining Fishing Snowshoeing Glacier Traversing Solitude Hiking Tracking Horseback Riding Volunteering Hunting & Trapping Whale Watching Kayaking Wildlife Viewing Turnagain Arm For additional information visit www.alaskastateparks.org Alaska State Parks Hypothermia Wildlife Wildlife of all shapes and sizes can be found throughout the park, from high-alpine marmots, to reclusive, forest-dwelling lynx. Keep your cameras and binoculars handy—you never know what you’ll see. Need to Know Ready to conquer the Chugach? Not so fast—there are a few things you need to know first. Outdoor Skills Marmot Bears Steve Neel Moose Moose generally ignore humans. Still, every year moose cause more injuries in Alaska than bears. These situations can be avoided by showing moose a little courtesy. If a moose approaches you, BACK OFF IMMEDIATELY. If you see a moose’s ears laid back and back hairs raised (much like a dog or a cat), it’s warning you to stay away. An agitated moose may also lick its lips. If you see a moose calf and no mother, be careful—you may have accidently stepped between them and this is not a good place to be. Moose Brown Bear Alaska is bear country, but that doesn’t mean you have to be “bearanoid.” Follow these tips and you’ll make our parks safer for both humans and bears. • Make noise. You don’t want to surprise a bear. • Buddy up. You are safer in a group in bear country. • Use your senses and stay aware. Do not use headphones. • Move cautiously, especially along creeks, on blind corners, and in highly vegetated areas. High speed = high chance of surprise • Keep your pets on a leash or leave them at home. • Carry bear spray, have it readily available, and know how to use it. • Don’t feed bears. Handle food, fish, and other attractants responsibly. • If you’re camping, know the safe ways to cook and store your food. • Pay attention to posted signs about bear activity. • Never run from a bear! • Learn more about bear behavior at www.alaskabears.alaska.gov. This brochure does not tell you everything you need to know about venturing into the Chugach. Get informed, take a class, or bring an experienced friend. Tell a friend where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll return. This is VERY important if something unexpected happens. Eagle River Mudflats Mudflats in the intertidal areas along Turnagain Arm are dangerous. While the mudflats may invite exploring, their seemingly
History The first recorded crossing of Crow Pass was in 1898 by geologist Walter Mendenhall and his assistant Luther “Yellowstone” Kelly for the U.S. Army geological survey. For many years the trail saw heavy use as part of the historic Iditarod Trail, a winter dogsledding route from Seward to Knik and to the Iditarod goldfields. However, avalanches at Crow Pass were dangerous and prospectors were quick to favor the longer, but less severe Indian Pass route made by the Alaska Road Commission in 1908. After the Alaska Railroad was completed in 1923, both routes were largely abandoned. For More Information Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org csp@alaska.gov “Chugach State Park” on Facebook Eagle River Nature Center 32750 Eagle River Road (Mile 12) Eagle River, AK (907) 694-2108 www.ernc.org Welcome to Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Park In 1896 prospectors struck gold in Crow Creek, which became the most productive placer gold stream in Southcentral Alaska. Monarch Mine operated from 1906 to 1948 on upper Crow Creek and was one of the most productive load gold mining ventures on the Turnagain Arm. Rusted remnants from the mining camp can still be seen off a fork of the trail about 1.25 miles from the Crow Creek Trailhead. Bruce I. Staser Family. Papers, circa 1956 UAA-HMC-0232 If you visit the ruins, please don’t take any “souvenirs”; these historical artifacts should be left in place for others to enjoy. Background photo courtesy of Frank Kovalchek Descending Crow Pass toward Clear Creek, Mount Yukla in background Photo courtesy of Justin Wholey Alaska State Parks Know Before You Go Welcome The Crow Pass Trail is widely considered to be one of the best hikes in Chugach State Park, as well as one of Alaska’s foremost backpacking experiences. Following the Iditarod National Historic Trail route, the trail crosses a variety of terrains and offers diverse and scenic sights along the way, including glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife, gorges, sapphire tarns, and stunning alpine scenery. You don’t want to miss this one! If you’re not up for hiking the whole trail, the four-mile hike from Crow Creek Trailhead to Crow Pass is a great alpine hike with a magnificent payoff. The trail from the Eagle River Nature Center to Glacier Lake, a half-mile east of the Eagle River ford site, offers stunning valley views and is an easy, non-technical hike. Outdoor Skills Hypothermia This brochure does not tell you everything you need to know about venturing into the Chugach. Get informed, take a class, or invite an experienced friend. Tell a friend where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll return in case something unexpected happens. The alpine areas around Crow Pass are often wet, foggy, and windy. No matter how good the weather looks, bring warm, rainproof gear. Unprepared hikers are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, even in the middle of summer. Crossing Eagle River This trail involves fording Eagle River. The ford site is marked and usually safe for crossing, but it is not to be taken lightly. Make sure you bring extra footwear for the crossing. NEVER cross barefoot. Cold water can cause numbness, making it easy to injure your feet—a disaster in the backcountry. Check the depth with a walking stick before crossing. If you’re unsure, wait for the water to drop and remember that you don’t have to cross. Unbuckle your straps in case you need to ditch your pack in the event of a fall. Fires Open fires are prohibited in Chugach State Park unless in a metal fire ring provided at a designated campsite or on the gravel bars of Eagle River. Backcountry chefs should bring a portable camp stove. Wildlife The Eagle River and Raven Creek valleys are major habitats for moose and bears. Stay alert and make sure to announce your presence when hiking the trail. When camping, know the safe way to cook and store your food to avoid attracting bears. Arctic ground squirrels, marmots, Dall’s sheep, and mountain goats can also be seen along the trail. Giardia Sparkling mountain streams might look clean, but they could be contaminated by Giardia. Also known as “beaver fever,” this parasite can be carried by any mammal and found in nearly any water source—even late summer snow. Thankfully, Giardia is easy to avoid. You can purify drinking water using a pump filter, chemical treatments, or by boiling for two minutes or more. Photo courtesy of Frank Kovalchek Photo courtesy of Andrew Kunkle Trail Description e atur ak N Rod oop L rt be Al oop L r Lo Rive This hike is moderately difficult, with some scrambling and river fording. Prepared beginners can traverse the trail over a few days, as there are plenty of places to camp. Late June through September are the best times to traverse. Eagle River Nature Center TH op ert Alb p Loo Four Corners Loop Legend M Dew d Pass Bridge Trail Chugach State Park Cam
Alaska State Parks Background photo courtesy of Jim Wood Calypso orchid photos courtesy of Gina Smith and Nicole Acevedo Background and inset ca. 1970s. Notice the clear cut areas above. In 1996, the newly created non-profit group, Friends of Eagle River Nature Center, took over operations. The nature center has had great success in increasing membership and programming, and enhancing recreational opportunities. In 2005, the organization was awarded a 25-year contract to continue operating the nature center. In 1980, Barclay sold the property to Alaska State Parks. In March of 1981, the lodge reemerged as the Eagle River Visitor Center. The building was completely remodeled to include a new second level of windows, hands-on interpretive displays, and nature photos. The Eagle River Nature Center was once the Paradise Haven Lodge. Operated by John Barclay in the 1960s and 1970s on his five-acre homestead, the lodge was popular with many locals for its food and drinks. There was also a racetrack for motorcyclists and snowmachiners. It was aptly described as “very Alaskan.” “Chugach State Park” and ERNC CSP@alaska.gov Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Highway Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org Eagle River Nature Center 32750 Eagle River Road (Mile 12) Eagle River, AK 99577 (907) 694-2108 www.ernc.org in Chugach State Park Nature Center Eagle River For More Information ERNC History Welcome to Welcome Salmon viewing deck Nestled in Eagle River Valley and surrounded by the towering Chugach Mountains, the Eagle River Nature Center (ERNC) provides information, educational programs, and nonstop outdoor recreational opportunities. Whether enjoying the wood-burning stove after cross-country skiing, or listening to the wood frogs’ chorus on Dew Mound Lake, the ERNC has activities for all ages and abilities. The Friends of ERNC operates the nature center and serves over 40,000 visitors annually. Under the Friends’ management, it is open year-round, providing access to over 10-miles of maintained trails, extensive interpretive programming and environmental education for schools (K-12). Public Programs The elusive American dipper, the glittering northern lights, and bountiful wildflowers are just a few of the topics explored during ERNC’s public programs. The ERNC provides environmental and wildlife awareness, and conservation education for all ages. The schedule can be found online at www.ernc.org. • Kneehigh Naturalist Programs offer nature exploration for children, ages three to five, accompanied by a parent. Children discover the natural environment through hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. • Junior Naturalist Programs are designed for families with children in K-6th grade. • General Audience Programs cover a wide range of programs dealing with Alaska’s natural history. • Astronomy Programs are offered bi-monthly during the winter months for the general public. Wildlife All inset photos courtesy of ERNC American Dipper and wood frog photos courtesy of Gina Smith Background photo courtesy of Larry Anderson Do you want to watch spawning salmon in a beaver pond? Or go on a naturalist-led hike to spot Dall’s sheep? It’s easy to observe wildlife in their natural habitat along the trails around the ERNC. Animals frequently seen include brown and black bears, moose, porcupines, beavers, and songbirds. Keep your cameras and binoculars ready—you never know what you’re going to see! Public-use cabin Classroom yurt Public-Use Cabins Fall asleep listening to the sounds of the Eagle River, or savor a cup of hot chocolate as you gaze at the mountains from the porch of the River Yurt. The two yurts and one public-use cabin offer cozy accommodations for groups of four to eight. Reservations must be made in advance, either by phone, in person, or online at www.ernc.org. • The Cabin is located off the Crow Pass Trail, about 1.25 miles from the nature center. It is equipped with sleeping platforms for eight people, benches, a table, a wood stove, and firewood. A latrine is nearby. • The Rapids Camp Yurt is located off the Crow Pass Trail, 1.75 miles from the nature center and sleeps four. It is equipped with firewood, a bunk bed, table, and deck. • The River Yurt is located off the Albert Loop Trail about 1.5 miles from the nature center. It sleeps four and includes firewood, a table, and deck. Eagle River Nature Center Access: Kn ik Ar m Take the Glenn Highway to the Eagle River Loop exit at milepost 11.6. Turn right on Eagle River Road and continue to the end of the road. Anchorage Turn a gain Area of detail Chugach State Park Arm Legend Parking Skiing Trailhead Bridge Cabin/Yurt Camping Picnic Trail ranoid.” be “bea nd bears. o t e v ha sa an you human sn’t me afer for both e o d t a s th ks tr y, but our par a bear. ar coun you’ll make e e is b r p is r a u untr y. s and Alask t to s n ip t a e w bear co adphones! s ’t
Alaska State Parks Photo courtesy of Frank Kovalchek To learn more about Eklutna Lake’s natural and cultural history, explore the interpretive exhibits located near the boat access and trailhead. In 1970 Governor Keith Miller signed the bill creating Chugach State Park. Thanks to the efforts of concerned and organized citizens, the wild Chugach will always be part of the Alaskan experience. Chugach State Park The first Eklutna hydroelectric power plant began servicing Anchorage in 1929. Today, the Eklutna Power Plant provides approximately three percent of the area’s energy requirements. Power “Chugach State Park” on Facebook csp@alaska.gov Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org Eklutna Ranger Station Mile 10, Eklutna Lake Road (907) 688-0908 in Chugach State Park Eklutna Lake For More Information Area Highlights Wildlife Welcome The Eklutna Lake Valley was carved by the Eklutna Glacier. When the glacier receded, Eklutna Lake was left in its wake, tucked in a valley flanked by the towering Chugach Mountains. This 7-mile-long lake is fed by glacial and freshwater streams and dominates the Eklutna Valley like an inland sea. Located in Chugach State Park, the Eklutna Lake Valley includes a campground, day-use area, and miles of trails to enjoy. The Eklutna Lakeside Trail provides recreational opportunities for bikers, snowmachiners, and ATVers, while a boat launch provides access for fishermen and boaters to explore Eklutna Lake. Eklutna Lake is a critical resource for local residents. Every day, the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) delivers nearly 30 million gallons of water to Municipality of Anchorage residents. That is roughly 127 gallons of water per person per day! Almost 80% of the water comes from Eklutna Lake. Water Eklutna Lake (Idlu Bena) is a culturally significant area for local Dena’ina Athabascans, who have lived in Eklutna (Idlughet) for hundreds of years. The mountains surrounding Eklutna Lake were the upland hunting area for the Eklutna people, who hunted Dall’s sheep, bear, and ground squirrels. Dena’ina Athabascans Area History Welcome to The lake and the surrounding alpine landscape are home to diverse wildlife such as moose, muskrats, brown and black bears, ptarmigan, mountain goats, and Dall’s sheep. Make sure to bring your camera. Camping Eklutna Lake Campground has 50 campsites with an additional eight overflow sites. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table, with access to water and latrines. There is a picnic shelter for group activities in the day-use area. Trails The Eklutna Lake Valley has 25 miles of trails for people of all abilities. You can go for a bike ride on the Eklutna Lakeside Trail or venture deep into the backcountry following the East Fork Eklutna River Trail. Check the map inside to plan your next adventure. Photo courtesy of Catherine McKillips Campers heading into the backcountry can use three remote campgrounds along the Eklutna Lakeside Trail: Bold Airstrip Campground near mile 8; Eklutna Alex Campground at mile 8.8; and Kanchee Campground at mile 11. There are latrines at each campground and a picnic table and fire ring at each site. Public-Use Cabins Whether you want to hike, ski, horseback ride, or dog mush, the Eklutna Lake Valley offers great ways to enjoy Chugach State Park year-round. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Noblin On the Water Enjoy a day floating or fishing on Eklutna Lake. Electric motor boats and non-motorized boats are allowed, and kayaks can be rented locally. The boat launch is for hand-carry vessels only. Make sure you always wear your lifejacket. There are two public-use cabins accessible from the Eklutna Lakeside Trail. Yuditnu Creek Cabin (at mile 3) sleeps a maximum of eight and has a woodstove and nearby latrine. The Serenity Falls Hut (at mile 12) is a multiple-party hut that sleeps a maximum of 13. Both huts are managed on a reservation basis (http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/). Photo courtesy of Catherine McKillips Background photo courtesy of Benjamin Wagner Photo courtesy of Claire LeClair Photo courtesy of www.lifetimeadventures.net Entrance Booth ATV Snowmachine Trailhead Lifetime Adventures CH Camp Host Eklutna Lake Campground Area of Detail Group Sites Day Use Area Overflow Campsites na E t klu e k La Kn ik Ar m Area of Detail Anchorage Turn a gain Chugach State Park Arm Learn Outdoor Skills Legend This brochure does not tell you everything you need to know about venturing into the Chugach. Get informed, take a class, or bring an experienced friend. Tell a friend where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll return. This is VERY important if something unexpected happens. Parking Boat Access Camping Snowmobile Trailhead ATV Cabin/Hut Ranger Skiing Airstrip Route Biking Trail Bridge Technical assistance provided by the National Park Service—Rivers, Tra
Welcome to Don’t Bail from the Trail Please stay on designated trails when exploring the Hillside Trail System. Tenacious tundra plants can survive the test of winter, but the footprints of summer visitors are more than they can endure. As the saying “grows by the inch, dies by the foot” implies, these perennial plants can take years to grow, but can be killed easily by trampling. The network of braided trails quickly degrades the park’s natural resources. Hillside Trails For More Information Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org csp@alaska.gov in Chugach State Park “Chugach State Park” on Facebook To decrease your impact, practice these Leave No Trace principles: • plan ahead and prepare • travel and camp on durable surfaces— stay on the trail • dispose of waste properly—pack it in, pack it out. Clean up after your pet • leave what you find • respect wildlife • be considerate to other visitors Photo courtesy of Steve Neel Alaska State Parks Hillside Trail System Welcome Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Anchorage, the Hillside Trail System is one of Chugach State Park’s most popular attractions and offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, diverse terrain, and incredible views year-round. Whether you’re hiking, biking, snowmachining, or skiing, the Hillside Trail System is a great way to access the outdoors. The Hillside Trail System consists of a variety of routes that crisscross the rugged terrain of the western Chugach foothills. Accessible from the Basher Drive, Prospect Heights, Upper O’Malley, Upper Huffman, and Glen Alps trailheads, the trail system offers yearround, multi-use recreation for experienced hikers and beginners alike. The Hillside Trail System, including the Middle Fork Loop and Powerline Trail, offers exciting wildlife viewing opportunities. Moose viewing is extremely popular during fall. Use the map inside to choose the path of your next adventure. Know Before You Go Photo courtesy of Larry Anderson Wildlife Chugach State Park is a major habitat for moose and black and brown bears. Stay alert, make noise when hiking, and yield to wildlife. To avoid attracting bears while camping, know the safe way to store and cook your food. Carry bear spray. Fires Open fires are prohibited on the hillside. Backcountry chefs should bring a portable camp stove. Giardia Sparkling mountain streams might look clean, but they could be contaminated by Giardia. Thankfully, Giardia is easy to avoid. You can purify drinking water using a pump filter, chemical treatments, or by boiling for at least two minutes. Learn Outdoor Skills Avalanches This brochure does not tell you everything you need to know about venturing into the Chugach. Get informed, take a class, or invite an experienced friend. Be prepared for the unexpected. Avalanches can occur anywhere, but gullies, steep, snow-covered slopes, and areas below steep ridges are particularly susceptible. The majority of avalanches happen shortly after heavy, sustained snowfalls. Familiarize yourself with avalanche warning signs and the techniques and gear you will need to protect yourself in the backcountry. Take an avalanche class. Headed to the backcountry? Tell a friend where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll return. Hypothermia Unprepared adventurers are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, even in the middle of summer. Alpine areas can turn cold, wet, foggy, and windy without warning. No matter how good the weather looks, bring warm, rainproof gear. Fees Fees are charged at Glen Alps, Upper Huffman, and Prospect Heights trailheads. Fees can be paid at the time of use, or frequent visitors can save money by purchasing an annual parking pass at the Chugach State Park Office (18620 Seward Hwy.) and DNR Public Information Center (550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1260), or online at www.alaskastateparks.org. l Bo w ik Ar m p Lit tle Lo o Den ali Kn le Fo rk Lo Mountain Biking Trailhead Bridge Snowmobiling Trail Skiing Chugach State Park ut rk h Fo Rim k r ce ke s La aw iw W ill Creek Kn ob Upper Huffman Trailhead Sil ve r Fe rn ock ell ml pb C y rr be w ue llo Bl Ho am He Shebanof Avenue Parking So Fo A Arm op th r lde Chugach State Park Legend dd Gasline Area of detail gain Vie w Dr ive Anchorage Mi pe ct eP ea Turn a White Spru Upper O’Malley Trailhead in k u So er ve r ork Rim Pr os ve r in e ra s s Panorama View d Al W ol F South G den Go l Prospect Heights Trailhead W ol W ol Bo veri wl ne Snowmobile Exit Ga slin e dle Mid Sultana Drive Glen Alps Trailhead Powerline Access e Ro ad lin e oop m kL lso r we Po To i For Snowmobile Entrance tle Lit ey all ak Pe O’M Blueberry Knoll Loop Flattop Highlights Flattop Mountain Trail Access: Glen Alps Trailhead Travel Means: Foot Distance: 1.7 miles one way Elevation gain: 1,300 f
Photo courtesy of Nat Wilson This state historic site features a restored house and outbuildings that were part of a railroad section camp. Today the house serves as the Chugach State Park headquarters. Alaska State Parks Solstice at McHugh Creek Photo courtesy of Ted Raynor tedraynor.photoshelter.com Potter Section House From 1915 to 1918, crews blazed the Turnagain Arm section of the Alaska Railroad. They blasted more than 30 miles of rock and built long bridges along the section. Some work along the arm cost a whopping $200,000 per mile! Alaska Railroad In 1896, a year before the famous Klondike Gold Rush, a stampede brought over 3,000 prospectors to this area. They mined creeks flowing into Turnagain Arm and started the first gold rush towns in Southcentral Alaska. Gold! Captain Cook sailed into the Cook Inlet in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage, but had to “turn again.” He named the water body “River Turnagain.” Northwest Passage The earliest evidence of humans along Turnagain Arm was found at Beluga Point, which was used as a hunting lookout by Native Alaskans. They traversed the arm in canoes and kayaks to trade with one another and access fishing and hunting sites. “Chugach State Park” on Facebook csp@alaska.gov Chugach State Park Headquarters Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 www.alaskastateparks.org For More Information in Chugach State Park Turnagain Arm Trails First People Turnagain Arm History Welcome to Wildlife Welcome The southern end of Chugach State Park is defined by the Turnagain Arm. This picturesque slice of Alaska features towering Penguin Peak, views of the Kenai Mountains across the water, and a rare, wave-like tidal bore that sweeps across the arm twice a day. With rolling bike paths, heart-pounding hikes, rock and ice climbing, and fantastic fishing, Turnagain Arm is one of the most diverse areas to recreate in Alaska. Area Highlights Camping Located at milepost 101 of the Seward Highway, Bird Creek Campground offers: fishing, hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Campers can enjoy spectacular sunsets, whale watching, and convenient access to bike paths. Campsites are equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, and nearby water and latrines. Turnagain Arm’s variety of landscapes and environments are home to diverse Alaskan wildlife including Dall’s sheep, bears, bald eagles, and marmots. You can spot beluga whales cresting above the surf or see moose calving areas near McHugh Creek. Make noise when rounding corners so you don’t surprise wildlife on the trail. Bring a camera with plenty of zoom and don’t get too close! Trails Turnagain Arm is home to some of the most popular and scenic trails in Chugach State Park including the Bird Ridge Trail, Indian to Girdwood bike path, and secluded Falls Creek Trail. Explore the map inside and find your next adventure. For more information visit www.alaskatrails.org. Biking Bird to Gird Photo courtesy of Tim Woody Fishing Bird Creek is a popular location for anglers looking to catch silver, pink, and chum salmon in season. Bull mooseand Dall’s sheep at McHugh Creek Photos courtesy of Ted Raynor tedraynor.photoshelter.com Beluga whales in Turnagain Arm Background photo courtesy of Benjamin Wager Fishing at Bird Creek Trails Indian to Girdwood Bike Path Turnagain Arm Trail Access: Indian, Bird, Bird Creek Campground, Bird Point, Girdwood Travel Means: Foot, bike, ski, ADA accessible Distance: 13.3 miles one way Elevation Gain: 300 feet Access: Potter, McHugh Creek, Rainbow, and Windy Corner trailheads Travel Means: Foot Distance: 9.5 miles one way (Potter-McHugh: 3.4 miles, McHugh-Rainbow: 4.2 miles, RainbowWindy: 1.9 miles) Elevation Gain: 200-1,000 feet Penguin Peak Photo courtesy of Frank Kovalchek Following a support route created during the 1910s to aid construction of the Alaska Railroad, this trail meanders above the Seward Highway and offers sweeping views of Turnagain Arm. Thanks to its southern exposure, this is one of the first snow-free trails in the spring. McHugh & Rabbit Lakes Trail Access: McHugh Creek Trailhead (MP 112) Travel Means: Foot Distance: 6.4 miles one way to Rabbit Lake Elevation Gain: 2,900 feet Indian Valley Trail Access: Indian Creek Trailhead (MP 103) Travel Means: Foot, ski Distance: 6.3 miles one way to Indian Creek Pass Elevation Gain: 2,100 feet This paved bike path parallels the Seward Highway and the Alaska Railroad where the rugged Chugach Mountains meet the water. The trail offers rest stops, interpretive panels, and countless points of interest. Pump up your tires and spend a day exploring Turnagain Arm the easy way. This trail wanders through a beautiful old-growth forest and crosses Indian Creek several times on a gradual climb to a panoramic alpine landscape. In winter, this route comprises part of the “Arctic to Indian” ski traverse. The southern end of the Powerline Trail is also accessible from this trailhead. Bird Point W
For More Information: Visit us online at Alaska is big, wild, and scenic, www.alaskastateparks.org with a state park system to match. Encompassing Area Offices over 3.3 million acres of rugged, unspoiled terrain, the Alaska State Park System provides endless recreational opportunities year-round, and is a priceless resource for residents and visitors alike. Chugach State Park Potter Section House 18620 Seward Hwy. Anchorage, AK 99516 (907) 345-5014 Northern 3700 Airport Way Fairbanks, AK 99709 (907) 451-2695 Kenai/PWS P.O. Box 1247 Soldotna, AK 99669 (907) 262-5581 Southeast 400 Willoughby Ave. P.O. Box 111070 Juneau, AK 99811 (907) 465-2481 Kodiak District 1400 Abercrombie Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615 (907) 486-6339 Wood-Tikchik State Park P.O. Box 1822 Dillingham, AK 99576 (907) 842-2641 Mat-Su/Copper Basin 7278 E. Bogard Road Wasilla, AK 99654 (907) 745-3975 DNR Public Information Centers Anchorage: (907) 269-8400 Fairbanks: (907) 451-2705 Welcome to Alaska State Parks Recreation From high alpine tundra to temperate rainforests, the state’s diverse landscapes are reflected in the parks, historic sites, recreation areas, trails, preserves, and special management areas that comprise the Alaska State Park System—a collection of 123 units Wood-Tikchik State Park Photo courtesy of Bill Berkhahn ranging in size from the half-acre Potter Section House State Historic Site to the 1.6-million-acre Wood-Tikchik State Park. Morgan’s Landing State Recreation Area Denali State Park Photo courtesy of Erik Schlimmer Recreational opportunities are equally varied: hike through fields of lupine; pick blueberries under the midnight sun; snowmachine in Denali country; observe a pod of orcas from your sea kayak; or fish the world-famous Kenai River. Alaska State Park units are an essential component of the Alaskan lifestyle, with locals participating in wilderness recreation at a rate twice that of the national average. Alaskans make up over two-thirds of the 5.4 million annual visitors to our parks. Outdoors is “where it’s at” in the last frontier, and with a square mile of land for every resident, we have plenty of room for you to find your Alaska! The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people. Harding Lake State Recreation Area Photo courtesy of Nicole Phillips 3rd Edition—2016 Rock ptarmigan, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Leanne Quirk Background, Hatcher Pass Management Area Photo courtesy of Matthew Johnson Chena River State Recreation Area Shrimping in Prince William Sound Eagle River Nature Center, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Ricketts Rafting Photo courtesy of Mary Wasche Photo courtesy of Jim Wood A Division of the Department of Natural Resources Camping History & Culture Historic preservation is embedded in the Alaska State Parks’ mission statement. Our uniquely Alaskan State Historical Parks (SHP) and State Historic Sites (SHS) represent several eras of Alaska’s history and are as diverse as the places in which they reside: tour a hard-rock gold mining camp at Independence Mine SHP in Palmer; explore a WW II Army artillery base at Fort Abercrombie SHP in Kodiak; or view Tlingit and Haida designs on the totem poles and the clan house at Totem Bight SHP in Ketchikan. Pitch a tent in the backcountry or slide your RV into a drive-in slip. With over 2,500 campsites and limitless backcountry settings, there is no shortage of camping options in Alaska State Parks. Explore the map inside for a list of developed campgrounds. Birch Lake State Recreation Site Big Delta State Historical Park Eklutna Lakeside Trail, Chugach State Park Public-Use Cabins Rupe Andrews Cabin, Alaska State Parks offers Shelter Island State Marine Park more than 60 public-use cabins for rent year-round. These coveted cabins are booked months in advance, so make your reservation today! For more information visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/index.htm. Kachemak Bay State Park Photo courtesy of Andre Kaeppele Wickersham State Historic Site Johnson Lake State Recreation Area Wood-Tikchik State Park Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Photo courtesy of Wayde Carroll Willow Creek State Recreation Area Photo courtesy of Donna Quante Chena River State Recreation Area Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Kyle Joly Photo courtesy of Wanda Scholze Independence Mine State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Dan Kehlenbach Crow Pass Trail, Chugach State Park Photo courtesy of Justin Wholey Trails Totem Bight State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Mary Kowalczyk Background photo courtesy of Donna Olson Fort Rousseau State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Nicole Acevedo Independence Mine State Historical Park Photo courtesy of Wayne Biessel Alaska State Parks boasts an unrivaled multiuse

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