Are you craving a taste of the great outdoors? Need a break from city-slicking and want to ride or hike into the sunset? We know that feeling! If you’re craving escapism, look no further than our best 10 trails and hikes in Anchorage.
At Alaska Trail Guides, we know how important it is to choose the right trail for your outdoor adventure. Whether you’re hiking or biking, there are many factors to consider when choosing your trail, from length to difficulty and location.
We’ve rounded up the best 10 trails, including some of our personal favorites, which you can enjoy in and around Anchorage. Whether you’re an Alaskan native or visiting for the first time, we hope these trails will inspire you to explore our city’s natural attractions!
Our guided city mountain biking tours from Anchorage are suitable for beginners and seasoned riders, depending on the challenge you’re seeking! The following best 10 are a mix of difficulty, so there’s a pathway for everyone to Anchorage’s greenery.
If you’re planning a trip to Anchorage and want a local’s perspective, get in touch and one of our professional tour guides will be able to help with your travel queries.
1. Explore Bird Ridge Trail, Anchorage
First up is Bird Ridge Trail in Chugach State Park. A firm favorite with team member Frankie, this trail requires a day-use parking pass costing $5 and is a tough trail. Rated difficult, these 2.5 miles include an elevation of 3,000 feet in a little more than a mile!
The views are more than worthwhile and Bird Ridge Trail is a popular, albeit steep, hike from spring through fall. Enjoy the atmospheric mountains covered with wispy fog when you reach the fjord-like Turnagain Arm.
2. Take Your Time on the Beautiful Reed Lakes
Another team favorite with Elly and Frankie is the stunning Reed Lakes trail. This nine-mile round trip is a moderate trail and is best visited between late June through September when the snow melts. Dogs are also welcome on the trail!
Located in the Hatchers Pass area, this trail includes a lower and upper lake with the latter being a roundtrip of 6.6 miles. The abandoned Snowbird Mine is an interesting landmark and also marks the beginning of the bouldering area.
3. Experience Anchorage’s Diverse Terrain on the Coastal Trail
Experience the diverse terrain of Alaska’s largest city on our Anchorage Coastal Cruise Bike Tour. This leisurely 9.5-mile ride will take you through Kincaid Park, Earthquake Park, and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a paved path through the forested hills nestled along the Cook Inlet.
The trail offers views of five different mountain ranges, plus the potential for moose and bear viewings! If you want a complete Anchorage experience on two wheels, look no further than the Coastal Cruise.
4. Enjoy the Wildlife Along Greenbelts, Anchorage
If you’d like to find out why this city is known for having one of the finest urban trail systems in the United States, check out our Anchorage Greenbelt Bike Tour. This 30-mile loop takes four hours and is suitable for riders who are regularly active.
Across the trail, riders are likely to see moose, black bears, bald eagles, and salmon jumping in the stream in the summer months. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and take pictures!
5. Embrace the Landscape at Lower Winner Creek, Anchorage
This gentle trail is three miles in length on a well-maintained trail. Venture into the lush rainforest, over a gorge, and down a canyon on this exciting track! We recommend starting at Alyeska Resort to fit in even more of this luscious trail.
Lower Winner Creek also features a hand tram, which is currently closed. This may be replaced with a bridge in 2024 but, in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for blueberry bushes along the track.
6. Climb the Little O’Malley Peak, Anchorage
Often overshadowed by its bigger neighbor, Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park, Little O’Malley Peak is an accessible summit suitable for the youngest and oldest of hikers.
Don’t be fooled by this trail, with an elevation of 993 meters it’s still a little challenging but the well-maintained path makes it feel easier.
7. Hike, Bike, or Tram to the North Face Trail, Anchorage
This moderate hike or bike trail is a four-mile round trip and is a favorite of our team member Elly. Open in the summer only, with an elevation gain of 2000+ feet, this route only opened in 2009 and has become a beloved trail among us locals.
If you want the mountain and glacier views but aren’t so keen on the hike, you can take the tram to the top instead!
8. Head Out to Eagle River Nature Center, Anchorage
Drive 35 minutes east of Anchorage and you’ll reach Eagle River Nature Center, a trail gateway to Chugach State Park and a glacial river valley. From here, visitors can enjoy a 3-mile gentle nature walk around the Albert Loop or head up the valley to see waterfalls and high cliffs.
9. Visit the Heights of Twin Peaks, Anchorage
This trail is located an hour’s drive north of Anchorage. There are both difficult and easier hikes around this area. Take a short, easy hike to overlook Eklutna Lake or chase the heady views of Twin Peaks Valley and its 5,000-foot peak.
Twin Peaks Trail (Source | License)
10. Take On Wolverine Peak, Anchorage
The final trail on our list is one of the most challenging. The 4,491-foot Wolverine Peak resembles a huge crater and some walkers enjoy its perimeter on a day hike. The peak also offers excellent panoramic views of nearby trails and mountains, including O’Malley.
Which of our best 10 trails and hikes in Anchorage will you try on your trip? Drop us a line and let us know if one of our favorite trails has caught your eye.
If you’d like to get creative with how you explore our city, take a look at our Tailor-made Anchorage Cycling Tours for a custom trail designed to meet your needs. Until next time, stay adventurous!