Chugach State Park is a vast area of snow-topped mountains, pleasant valleys and waterways. It is an ideal vacation spot for hikers searching for a place of their own in nature. Spend days or weeks exploring the 495,000 acres (2,000 square kilometers) of prime Alaskan terrain.
Follow the Lakeside Trail along the flanks of Eklutna Lake for views of snowy mountains hovering above the water. Squint at the bright blue ice of Eklutna Glacier. Rent a snowmobile in winter for a true Alaskan experience in the snow. Dogsledders and skiers pulled by dogs are common in the park. Gaze up at the tallest point in the park, Bashful Peak, which rises above the lake.
In summer, enjoy a picnic on a grassy knoll and appreciate your quiet isolation. Mountain bike up and down the undulating paths. Ride on horseback for a romantic journey with your partner.
Meander through the forests filled with a diverse range of trees, such as paper birch and quaking aspen. In the warmer months, admire the wildflowers, fireweed and alpine forget-me-nots among other flowers and plants. Pick berries in autumn, but make sure to avoid eating poisonous species.
Small lakes and rivers with salmon are dotted around woodland areas. Discover picturesque openings in the forests with waterfalls.
Go hunting or fishing in the scenic setting. Set up your tent at one of the campgrounds. Plenty of picnic tables are in the large park.
Check out the Seward Highway, which runs through the park and contains some of the best views in the region. Visit Beluga Point to spot white whales in the scenic lake. Windy Corner is a nearby viewpoint with hills where sheep roam. Surf or kayak in the waterway of Turnagain Arm. Watch out for the dramatic tidal variations.
Chugach State Park starts around 13 miles (21 kilometers) south of central Anchorage. Drive the journey in 20 minutes or take a bus to the park in 1 hour. The park visitor center is in the former worker camp house for the Alaska Railroad.