Nicole Geils

Eklutna Lake

Paddle, pedal or power: there are many ways to explore Eklutna Lake. The long lake is fed by Eklutna Glacier and is a popular spot for a day of kayaking; rentals are available on site from Lifetime Adventures. A long trail runs the northeast side of the lake, opening up the Chugach to bicycles and ATVs (on select days) as well.

Trails stretch all over the flanking mountains and the far end of the lake, providing hikers with high-elevation views of the lake, the surrounding mountains and glimpses of Eklutna Glacier.

Combine Eklutna Lake with Thunderbird Falls, an easy 2 mile out-and-back hike that ends at a scenic waterfall.

The Athabascan people have a connection to Eklutna Lake stretching back centuries. The nearby Eklutna Historical Park is a fascinating look at a blend of Russian Orthodox and Dena'ina Athabascan traditions found few places in Alaska. The churchyard is filled with spirit houses, grave sites with small structures painted in bright family colors: a reminder of the meeting traditions of two cultures once a world apart.