Top Anchorage Scenic Overlooks
Anchorage is surrounded by mountain peaks like Denali, pristine glaciers, and sparkling waters. Ready to take it all in? These scenic spots near Anchorage have some of the best views of Alaska.
Captain Cook Monument
On the coastal edge of downtown, this pavilion is the spot for views of Cook Inlet, Mount Susitna – most commonly called Sleeping Lady – and the Alaska Range. A statue of British sailor James Cook looks out over the inlet that bears his name.
A great place to view Denali and the Alaska Range. Bike from downtown along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or take West Northern Lights Boulevard just past Lake Hood Drive. Earthquake Park is a perfect place to see how the city nestles into the Chugach Mountains. The area is also a favorite browsing spot for moose.
Follow West Northern Lights Boulevard a little farther for another spot with spectacular panoramic views across Cook Inlet to the Alaska Range. Follow the path down to the beach, and remember to look up: This is also a prime spot to watch jets taking off and landing at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Just like Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof also on the Coastal Trail.
Glen Alps Trailhead
Get a panoramic view of the city 1,300 feet below. Glen Alps is the starting point from one of Anchorage’s top hikes, and the views begin the moment you arrive. Head for the summit of Flattop, or just enjoy the view from the trailhead.
Arctic Valley Road
This winding mountain road splits off the Glenn Highway and travels more than six miles into the Chugach Mountains. The trailhead at the eastern end is the starting point for summer hiking and winter skiing, and scenic pullouts on the way up provide expansive views of the Anchorage Bowl and surrounding peaks.
A drive south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm is filled with scenic stops, and Beluga Point is a favorite. The landscape is stunning, the area is an important archeological site, and it’s also a great spot to view beluga whales and Dall sheep.
Aerial Tram at Alyeska
The Alyeska Tramway flies from the Hotel Alyeska to the upper tram terminal 2,300 feet above the valley floor. See the splendor of Turnagain Arm, the Chugach Mountains and seven alpine glaciers on the ride up. Observation platforms, the Bore Tide Deli, and the luxe Seven Glaciers restaurant are all waiting at the top.
Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop
Nestled in Chugach National Forest, the Alaska Railroad is your ticket to this view. A brief walk through the woods leads to the edge of Spencer Lake and tremendous views of one of the largest glaciers along the tracks near Anchorage. Need a closer look? Book an ice hike/kayak combo, or raft trip before you board.
Trails crisscross the valley floor behind Eagle River Nature Center. The short Rodak Loop is big on views. The path leads to several viewing platforms tucked into a clearing ringed by the tallest peaks of the Chugach. The peaks get lots of attention, but look down as well. Beavers have built a dam nearby, salmon spawn in the waters below, and bears and moose wander through the clearings as well.