Road Trip to Anchorage: North of the City 

A road trip to Anchorage via the Glenn Highway means abundant opportunities to hike, bike, visit local historical and cultural sites, and explore Chugach State Park: Here are a few favorite roadside activities and attractions.

Eklutna Lake: From the highway, follow the winding Eklutna Lake Road, featuring 10 miles of expansive valley views and breathtaking mountain scenery. Park at the lakeside lot, then get out on the water with a kayak (rentals are available), or walk or bike along the scenic Eklutna Lakeside Trail.  

Eklutna Historical ParkLearn about the region’s Dena’ina Athabascan history, culture, customs, and Russian Orthodox tradition. The historical park includes traditional Spirit Houses and the split-log Old St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Thunderbird Falls: A mile-long hike from the parking lot takes visitors to the 200-foot Thunderbird Falls, and a refurbished observation platform offers a close-up view of the cascade. 

Mirror Lake: When summer temperatures start to rise, Mirror Lake provides a cool retreat, or an ideal stop for a picnic while traveling the Glenn Highway. The adjacent singletrack mountain bike course carves five miles of tree-lined track through the forest — fast-paced fun for riders of all abilities. 

Eagle River Nature CenterDive into Chugach State Park from a trailhead at the Eagle River Nature Center, where visitors can enjoy anything from a short stroll to a days-long trek on the Crow Pass Trail. The nature center offers interpretive material and a variety of educational programs, and the surrounding trail system gives a glimpse at some of the best views the Eagle River Valley has to offer. 

Arctic Valley: With elevated views of Anchorage, popular trails, and lush crops of berries in late summer, Arctic Valley is a prime day-trip destination just north of the city.