Berry Picking in Anchorage
Wild berries abound in Anchorage. Look for tart crimson cranberries, plump bright blueberries, juicy raspberries, cloudberries, currants, salmonberries, and more — they flourish on Chugach mountainsides, in overgrown city parks, and along winding trails at the edges of the city.
A subsistence staple and popular part of traditional Alaska cuisine, most berry varieties are ready for harvest in the late summer and early fall. Consult a qualified guide for help identifying edible types: The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service offers several guides and educational publications.
Find Anchorage's Best Berry Patches
While Alaskans’ favorite picking places are often closely guarded secrets, several spots around the city are well known for lush berry patches, and pickers regularly fill buckets and bags to transform into jellies and jams, pies and muffins, akutaq, and other treats.
- Flattop Mountain Trail: Follow the Seward Highway south to the Huffman exit. Turn left (heading toward the mountains), and follow the signs from Upper Huffman Road to Glen Alps Road. Blueberry Hill is just above the parking lot. For more blueberries, follow Powerline Pass Trail toward the South Fork of Campbell Creek.
- Mount Alyeska: Take the Seward Highway south to Girdwood, turn left on the Alyeska Highway. At the end of the highway, take a right at the “T” to park at the Alyeska Daylodge and hike up the mountain, or make a left to the Alyeska Resort and Tramway for a ride to the mountain top. Fill a basket or two on the walk down the mountain.
- Rendezvous Peak Trail: Follow the Glenn Highway north to the Arctic Valley exit. At the end of Arctic Valley Road, adjacent to Alpenglow Ski Area, find a gorgeous mountain bowl drenched with blueberries, mossberries, crowberries, and cranberries.
- South Fork Valley Trail: Head north on the Glenn Highway, then turn right at the Hiland Road exit. Take the first right at the traffic light onto Hiland Road. From Mile 7.5 of Hiland Road, follow the signs for half a mile to the trailhead. Find low-bush blueberries in the open valley, out of the spruce trees, and plan to spend all day exploring the valley’s plentiful berry patches.
- Peters Creek Trail: Take the Glenn Highway north to S. Peters Creek exit, then turn right. Turn right at Ski Road, right on Whaley (becomes Chugach Park Road), left at Kullberg, and then right on Malcolm Drive. Hike several miles in from the trailhead to find berry patches on the slopes of Mt. Eklutna and Bear Mountain. Limited parking available.
- Eklutna Lakeside Trail: Follow the Glenn Highway north to the Thunderbird Falls exit. Turn right on Eklutna Lake Road, then drive 10 miles to the lakeside recreation area. Travel 5 miles by foot or mountain bike along Eklutna Lakeside Trail to Bold Ridge Overlook Trail, then hike 1.5 miles up the base for a bowl full of berries.
Wild berries are also popular with bears and other Alaska animals, so remember to stay alert and give space to any wildlife you may encounter along the way. Respect the land, avoid trampling flora and foliage, and prepare to enjoy a burst of Alaska flavor.