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Alaska State Parks

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Southcentral Region
Chugach State Park
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Chugach State Park © Tracy Barnett
Chugach State Park © Tracy Barnett
Chugach State Park © Tracy Barnett
Chugach State Park © Tracy Barnett
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18620 Seward Highway
Anchorage, Alaska   99516
(lat:61.151 lon:-149.2386) map location

Phone: 907-345-5014
Beyond the foothills at Anchorage's edge lies the third largest state park in America -- a half-million acres of some of the most accessible hiking, skiing, camping, wildlife viewing, snowmachining, rafting, and climbing in Alaska. Those of us lucky enough to live here feel the influence of Chugach State Park almost daily. The mountainous backdrop to Anchorage reminds us that, although we live in an urban setting, we really reside in the middle of a vast wilderness. The Chugach foothills are a beacon for changing weather and resident wildlife have been known to wander into town.
History of the Area
Located in Southcentral Alaska, the park was established on August 6, 1970. It spans over approximately 495,000 acres of land. The area is known for its diverse terrain and wildlife.

The name 'Chugach' originates from the indigenous people who first inhabited this region thousands of years ago. They utilized these lands for hunting and gathering resources.

In early history, Russian explorers arrived here during their expansion across Alaska in the late-18th century. Later came American miners seeking gold at Crow Creek Mine around Girdwood town within today's park boundaries.

During World War II (1939-1945), military installations were set up near Arctic Valley due to strategic location overlooking Anchorage city - a key port then as now.

Post-war period saw increased public interest towards outdoor recreation leading to calls for preserving natural spaces like Chugach Mountains range which resulted into creation of present-day protected zone by state legislation.

Today it stands as one among largest urban parks worldwide offering numerous recreational activities including hiking trails reaching high mountain peaks or deep valleys besides winter sports options such as skiing or snowshoeing etcetera attracting visitors year-round globally.

There is one public use rental cabin at Eklutna Lake. The Eagle River Nature Center has a cabin and a yurt for rent. Cabins and yurt in both areas have a fee and reservations are required.
There are three campgrounds in Chugach State Park, offering experiences ranging from fishing, hiking, whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing, and spectacular sunsets. Two are north of Anchorage -- one at Eklutna Lake, and one on Eagle River -- and the third is south of Anchorage at Bird Creek.

All have wooded sites with fire rings and picnic tables, water and latrines. Campground hosts offer assistance and answer questions about the area. Firewood is often available near the host's site for a small fee. Campsites for organized groups are available by reservation at Eklutna Lake Group Use Site.
Non-motorized boats, or boats with an electric motor, can be used on Eklutna Lake, where they must be hand launched. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are permitted on Eagle River.
Dolly Varden can be found in the spring at Eagle River and in the feeder streams at Eklutna Lake. Bird Creek hosts pink salmon in June and July, and silvers in August. A new fishery for king salmon has opened in Eagle River. Many other lakes and streams throughout the Anchorage area are stocked with rainbow trout.

Chugach State Park is located near Eagle River, Wasilla

You can picnic anywhere in the park, but if you would like a table and a fire, try the day use areas at Eklutna Lake, Eagle River Campground, Bird Creek Campground, or McHugh Creek Picnic Area.
1. Near Point Trail: A 4.9-mile moderately trafficked out-and-back trail featuring beautiful wildflowers and wildlife sightings.

2. Bird Ridge Trail: An intense, steep climb of about 5 miles round trip offering panoramic views over Turnagain Arm.

3. Flattop Mountain Trail: The most climbed mountain in Alaska with a distance of approximately three miles; offers stunning vistas from the summit.

4. Wolverine Peak Hike: This is an eight-mile challenging hike that provides breathtaking views across Anchorage and Cook Inlet to Mount McKinley (Denali).

5.Flaketop via Powerline Pass - It's a moderate-to-difficult trek spanning around nine miles through scenic landscapes leading up to Flaketop peak for expansive park panoramas.

6.Twin Peaks Loop - Approximately six mile looped route providing spectacular sights including Eklutna Lake, Bold Peak, Bashful Peak among others.

7.Eagle River Nature Center Trails- Offers various trails ranging between one-third mile to twenty-five-miles long showcasing diverse Alaskan flora & fauna along Eagle river valley area.

8.Symphony Lakes - Moderate seven-mile-long hiking path starting at South Fork Eagle River Valley heading towards two pristine alpine lakes named Symphony and Eagle lakes respectively

9.Rabbit Creek Overlook Via Rabbit Lake And McHugh Creek Trails- Roughly fifteen-miles long strenuous track traversing varied terrains reaching upto overlook point presenting sweeping viewsof Chugach range

10.Crow Pass National Historic Iditarod Trial- Twenty-three mile historic passage once used by gold miners now popular amongst hikers due its rich history coupled with striking natural beauty

11.Near Island Staircase Run Up - Short yet demanding half-a-kilometer uphill run on staircase carved into hillside rewarding climbers with mesmerizing cityscape below

12.McHugh Tunnels To Rainbow Traverse Route- Around eighteen kilometer long trail offering diverse landscapes including waterfalls, alpine meadows and panoramic views of Turnagain Arm.

13.Indian Valley Trail - Approximately eight-mile-long moderate hike through lush green forests leading to Indian valley with opportunities for wildlife spotting

14.Rendezvous Peak Loop - A 4 mile loop that offers a great view over the city of Anchorage.

15.Baldy Ridge Extension: This is an approximately five miles round trip moderately trafficked out-and-back trail located near Eagle River featuring beautiful wildflowers.
Nature Programs
The Eagle River Nature Center is just 45 minutes north of Anchorage at the end of Eagle River Road. Nestled among 7,000 foot peaks, towering waterfalls and forests of birch and white spruce trees in Upper Eagle River Valley, the Center offers a hosts of nature-oriented activities

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Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading east towards the Glenn Highway.
2. Merge onto Glenn Hwy and continue for about 9 miles.
3. Take exit toward Muldoon Road, then turn right onto E Muldoon Rd.
4. Continue straight to stay on E Muldoon Rd until it becomes Boundary Ave at Fort Richardson entrance gate.
5. Turn left after passing through the gate (still following Boundary Avenue).
6. Boundary Avenue turns into Arctic Valley road; keep going up this winding mountain road.

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Alaska State Parks