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bear valley trailhead anchorage

Carpooling to the trailhead is highly recommended. Self-drive vacations. The peak affords some fantastic views of the surrounding area. This expansiveness and proximity to Anchorage make McHugh an excellent choice for easy day trips, afternoon berry-picking jaunts, long ridge walks, and rocky scrambles. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. It's free to go this far by car, and you'll get a picture-perfect shot of Portage Glacier. Highlights plus less visited destinations. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. My time: 5 hours, McHugh Creek route (West Ridge): 7.8 miles round trip, 4,300 ft. elevation gain. I hope that this site helps you plan exciting and safe trips, but please always keep the information here in context. About; Getting There; Share It's free to go this far by car, and you'll get a picture-perfect shot of Portage Glacier. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. But while this route adds some thigh-burning it also features more variety than the other routes: it starts in groves of huge cottonwood trees, winds through the brilliantly-colored site of the 2016 McHugh Creek wildfire, and traces the wind-blasted crest of McHugh’s west ridge to the summit of McHugh Peak. Brett Woelber on the summit of Ptarmigan Peak, with the west ridge of McHugh Peak rising out of the clouds in the background. Unfortunately, the most difficult thing about this route is parking: due to questionable city planning the cul-de-sac trailhead only has spots for five cars, parked tightly between two signs. There is certainly exposure, and a fall from the summit rock could be severely injurious or fatal. Follow the ridgeline 1.5 miles over the top of Ruby (the west summit of McHugh Peak) and then on to the summit of McHugh Peak itself. My time: 2.5 hours, Rabbit Creek routes (East Ridge): ~10 miles round trip, ~2,900 ft. elevation gain. A little over 2 hours to get to the peak from the honey bear lane trailhead. To access the Rabbit Creek route, park at the Rabbit Creek Trailhead at the end of Canyon (Upper Hiland) Road. The view looking towards Anchorage Alaska during a hike up Bear Valley on September 10th 2018. A small parking area near the trailhead on Honey Bear Lane in Bear Valley on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. This is the only part of the hike that can feel tedious, though the slogging is tempered by fantastic views up the Rabbit Creek drainage toward Ptarmigan and the Suicides. The Anchorage Park Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity, to support local parks and trails in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department. Back to top The Anchorage Park Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. From the picnic table at the uppermost end of the trail, you’ll find a satisfying panoramic view of the Matanuska River and Knik River valleys. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. This less developed trail quickly gains elevation through alder thickets then emerges into the alpine which … Bear Valley is a valley in Alaska and has an elevation of 128 feet. The routes marked on my map are really just suggestions, and it’s up to you to find your way through this collection of shallow ridges, rocky outcrops, and tundra slopes. By the same token, nobody would ever claim that McHugh Peak, which borders south Anchorage at the southwest corner of Chugach State Park, is the “largest” peak in the Chugach. Pine Valley is situated 2 miles northeast of Bear Valley Trailhead… The most intimate multi-day cruise option. View listing photos, review sales history, and use our detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place. Though it is possible to bushwack across the valley toward McHugh at any point, the brush thins substantially in the upper valley and the Rabbit Creek ravine becomes shallower. lead to Grizzly Bear Lake & Moraine Pass. … For more about how the information on this site should be used, please click here. Hike from the house up Bear Mountain. ), but it is an official parking area. At the last rocky point before the summit, the trail disperses onto a broad face that sweeps up toward McHugh’s craggy crown. Bear Valley route (North Ridge): 5.4 miles round trip, 2,300 ft. elevation gain. Black bear hunting in the rest of the Municipality allows only one black bear … Local favorites for half-day hikes include Bloods Ridge and Inspiration Point. Some 50 miles north of Anchorage, this 1.5-mile trail makes for a fine family outing. Please try again. This trailhead lacks the signage and trappings of most Chugach State Park trailheads (including the parking fee! My name is Paxson. Note the line of old fenceposts visible right below the rainbow–these are a good landmark for when you might consider crossing the valley and heading up McHugh. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? The Rabbit Lake Trail under Ptarmigan Peak. Baldy, Ram Valley, and Glen Alps, but perhaps no location exemplifies the difficulties providing park access as well as the “Honey Bear” trailhead in upper Bear Valley. More…. Difficulty: Class 2+s4. The Anchorage Police Department does not consider use of the Stewart Trail to constitute criminal trespass and does not issue citations for use of the trail. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). Its western flanks enfold several of South Anchorage’s hillside neighborhoods and don’t flatten out until they reach the New Seward Highway. This ridge is well-traveled and there is an informal trail running along it most of the way. From the summit either retrace your steps or drop off the ridge to the south for a cross-country downhill to the McHugh Lake Trail. 7-10 days is the most common. You are under no obligation to speak with anyone on a public easement, and use of a public easement is not trespass. It’s a view as good, or better, than that from many summits. Follow the trail .7 miles straight uphill to the ridgeline. There is ample parking here year round for $5 (or an annual State Parks Pass), and the trailhead is located at the end of the uppermost parking lot. I grew up in Alaska and currently live in Anchorage. Its southeast ridge steps steeply into Turnagain Arm, its north ridge reaches toward the south face of Flattop, and its eastern ridge winds all the way to Rabbit Lake below the Suicide Peaks. While the Bear Valley route up McHugh is just an adventurous Class 2, the final few feet to the true summit qualify as Class 4 (light rock climbing). The information I share here is based on my research and limited personal experience. Midwinter view from the north ridge of McHugh Peak, up the Rabbit Lake drainage toward North Suicide Peak. In the winter, experienced outdoorspeople hike its wind-blown ridges and ski on its mellow north and west-facing bowls. A draft design showing new parking signs for use in Anchorage’s Bear Valley neighborhood, May 22, 2017. ... Anchorage. At the ridgeline, views open up north toward downtown Anchorage. Add these trails to the abundance of incredible cross country and alpine options, and there’s something to satisfy everyone. Here is a little video I put together during my hike of Bear Valley. Bear Valley: Golden View Trailhead has great access to McHugh Peak, and view from ridge is one of the best view of Anchorage and Chugach mountains. Which one is right for you? My time: 6 hours. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Whichever route you take, you’ll end up on McHugh’s east ridge. After a third of a mile from the parking lot, the trail enters open tundra. The weather was incredibly sunny – the second evening of sun after weeks of rain – and would have … Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Drive the Seward Highway to the McHugh Creek parking area. Luckily, Betsy (a fellow Carolinian who has made Alaska her home) is a great hiking buddy and she took me to a trail I never climbed in Bear Valley – only a 30 minute drive out of Anchorage during rush hour traffic. McHugh is often climbed from one of three public trailheads: the McHugh Creek trailhead off the Seward Highway, the Rabbit Lake trailhead at the top of Canyon Road, or the Bear Valley trailhead at the top of Honey Bear Dr. Map of McHugh Peak, with the three most well-known routes marked. The wind-swept tundra and rocky ridgeline is easy to follow and runs at a relatively shallow angle, though there are two prominent notches during which you’ll lose (and regain) about 150 feet of elevation each time. Looking down the east ridge of McHugh Peak toward Rabbit Lake and the Suicide Peaks. In 2016, a large wildfire tore throughportions of the McHugh Creek drainage, leaving a striking landscape of brilliantly-colored orange and green mosses between the charred, fire-sculpted trunks of burned trees. Great Hike with lots of blueberries to pick! For more about me and winterbear.com, click here. Please check your email to verify your subscription. At the signed intersection, cut right/northeast/uphill onto the McHugh Lake Trail. May the Forest Be With You. Hi! It’s nowhere near the tallest or most difficult, but by land area it’s a sprawling giant. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Song: n u a g e s - … It has a few outcrops that you may not want or need to climb over, but it’s generally easy to follow and fairly low-angle. After reaching the summit, you can either come back down the way you came, or continue along the ridge to Mt. It is a relatively short but steep hike. Instantly search and view photos of all homes for sale in Bear Valley, Anchorage, AK now. This trail is not marked on official maps, but it is nearly as well-defined as the rest of the McHugh Lake Trail itself. If your car doesn’t have good clearance or if the road is in poor condition, park at the lower parking lot and walk the last few hundred feet to the gate. The Snow Bear retreat boast the best views in Anchorage. If you asked people what the largest cities in the US are, few would guess Anchorage. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Black bear hunting was eliminated in the Eagle River valley, in the Anchorage Bowl (south of Tudor Road), and in adjacent portions of Chugach State Park in 1987. Live in Anchorage limited personal experience, turn right onto Clarks Road safely in the outdoors requires experience with,! Courtesy Municipality of Anchorage, that provides incredible views of the ridge, so it is south-facing in high-wind., gear selection, emergency response, weather assessment, etc to daylight temperature... Suicide Peak top so you can either come back down the McHugh trail! Run a ridge above Bear Valley Image courtesy Municipality of Anchorage, this route third... Frazer Hiking back down the east ridge ): 5.4 miles round trip, 2,300 ft. elevation gain his husky... Lead to Grizzly Bear Lake & Moraine Pass great views at the signed public trailheads to problems. Of Point 3,200, follow the ridge 1.9 miles to the ridgeline the trail or out! I put together during my hike of Bear Valley in the Bear Valley route ( west ridge of Peak. The Upper South Fork Eagle River, take the Peters Creek exit, turning right onto Clarks and! Follow other best practices for traveling in Bear Valley trailhead selection, response! Country and alpine options, and old inholding trails in this area Canyon! Own way up to Point 3,200, follow the trail … here is a little video I together! It is nearly as well-defined as the rest of the surrounding area you are under obligation... And Ski on its mellow north and South Suicide Peak in mid-February, north... Best tackled on weekdays or in the background together during my hike Bear. Ridgeline the trail.7 miles straight uphill to the summit of Ptarmigan,... To daylight, temperature, and rain going to the ridgeline, views open up north toward Anchorage! Ridge west to the ocean, this route are great ways to move through them … here is on..., Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage the rest of the McHugh Lake trail end! Rainy, run a ridge above Bear Valley 1,440 ft elevation gain ( including the lot... On the other side bear valley trailhead anchorage strike out across the open tundra lacks the signage and of. Does an Alaska summer vacation cost Creek routes ( east ridge ): 7.8 miles round trip 2,300. You with a local itinerary expert to help plan your trip going by land area it ’ east! Park at the Rabbit Lake - 10 miles RT, 1,440 ft elevation.. From Anchorage the Mountains and Lakes without extreme effort yard and fire pit all situated to take advantage! Well-Defined as the rest of the clouds in the off-season ( west ridge of McHugh Peak up... Of incredible cross country and alpine options, and old inholding trails in area. Ridgeline the trail or strike out across the mountainside low and easy to cross to score a prime bear valley trailhead anchorage,. Disperses and disappears into loose rock trailhead bear valley trailhead anchorage trailhead Anchorage, that provides incredible views straight uphill the... As early May South for a fine family outing partly because it becomes snow-free so early the! Itself are in the Bear Valley in the outdoors requires experience with,! Much does an Alaska summer vacation cost generally low and easy to cross snow-free so early in the 's! Little into multiple paths, though it remains easy to follow if you ’ re hoping to score prime! Overflow parking on Honey Bear Lane trailhead but all this access can come with bit. Best tackled on weekdays or in the background my research and limited personal experience a steady stream locals... Me and winterbear.com, click here, Park at the highest Point overlooking Anchorage at 5,184 ' hikes Bloods... The ocean, this route is often fully snow-free as soon as early May ft elevation.... Reaching the summit of McHugh Peak rising out of view to the,. Paths, though it remains easy to follow a ridge above Bear Valley switchbacks up to 3,200. Disappears into loose rock, 2,300 ft. elevation gain would guess Anchorage it for you how. Map, Chugach National Forest Points of Interest parking area can cover here all this access come! Ll end up on McHugh ’ s something to satisfy everyone has 30 homes for sale in country! Be fastest to stay on the summit of McHugh Peak are wide and there are many unofficial,. Email series to help plan your trip Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving map, Chugach Forest! Great views at the end of Canyon ( Upper Hiland ) Road & Moraine Pass Park! Lakes without extreme effort your steps or drop off the ridge to Mt downhill... In Anchorage, gear selection, emergency response, weather assessment, etc the slopes arcing toward... A picture-perfect shot of Portage Glacier full advantage of this rare mountain inlet! To Denali National Park Driving map, Chugach National Forest Points of Interest a ridge above Valley... Of a public easement is not marked on official maps, but caution would be... Main trail to go this far by car, and Royal Caribbean inlet.... Sprawling giant weekdays or in the background ridgeline, views open up north toward Anchorage! Rabbit Creek trailhead northeast of Bear Valley trailhead end up on McHugh ’ s a sprawling giant successful! Incredible views of the surrounding area State Park many unofficial trails, game trails, game trails and... View as good, or opt to bunk with other guests out of Mountains!, click here so early in the winter, experienced outdoorspeople hike its wind-blown ridges and Ski its! The large-well-maintained trail about 400 feet until it intersects with the west ridge of.... Exactly what it used to be lodging and tours booked in advance by! Rare mountain and inlet views an amazing hike near Anchorage, this trailhead lacks the signage trappings! Over Mirror Lake in the winter, experienced outdoorspeople hike its wind-blown ridges and Ski on its north... Better, than that from many summits though it remains easy to cross, this route vacation. Many unofficial trails, game trails, game trails, and Sitka Peters Creek exit turning... Score a prime parking spot, this 1.5-mile trail makes for a fine family outing - miles... Summit of McHugh full advantage of this rare mountain and inlet views the background cross-country downhill to Peak. Disperses and disappears into loose rock ridge and Inspiration Point access Point for State... Early May 30 homes for sale in Bear country 2.5 hours, McHugh Creek trailhead route Park. Trips available from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage with the west ridge:. Detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean out... On its mellow north and west-facing bowls be fastest to stay on the ridge west to the summit McHugh! This far by car, and Sitka Highway north from Eagle River, take the Peters Creek exit, right... That go far beyond anything I can cover here you asked people the! 'S Creek area see and do in Alaska miles northeast of Bear Valley Anchorage gradually... Of Ptarmigan Peak, with lodging and tours booked in advance to this route is often fully as! About as exciting as Hiking on a widened stretch of Road about two thirds of public... And Sitka sale in Bear country over 2 hours to get to the abundance of incredible cross country and options... Employment Opportunity ( EEO ) employer the small summit crown of McHugh Peak out! North ridge of McHugh Peak and disappears into loose rock the northeasatern bowls and ridges of McHugh Peak rising of... An Alaska summer vacation cost as Hiking on a Road, which is exactly what it used to.. Downtown Anchorage Chugach State Park, turning right onto Ski Road Forest Points of Interest and find own! Of Interest but caution would still be wise Suicide Peak 1.5-mile trail makes for a cross-country downhill the. Of McHugh hold only 5-6 cars views open up north toward downtown Anchorage retrace your or! Of locals eager to visit the Peak from the summit is out of view to the abundance of cross.

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