A sign hangs at the Bird Valley trailhead along Alaska’s Turnagain Arm on July 7, 2014, warning people of a recent bear mauling in the area. 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!). Great Hike with lots of blueberries to pick! Pine Valley is a community and census-designated place in the Cuyamaca Mountains of the Mountain Empire area, in southeastern San Diego County, California. After about a mile and a half, the McHugh Lake Trail passes the base of a prominent rock and tundra gully with a small trail leading up it. The summit is out of view to the left. Because it is south-facing in a high-wind area next to the ocean, this route is often fully snow-free as soon as early May. Primary International airport. At the ridgeline, views open up north toward downtown Anchorage. First part is pretty steep and tiring, but the ridge line is beautiful. Hike from the house up Bear Mountain. It’s nowhere near the tallest or most difficult, but by land area it’s a sprawling giant. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Car, train, or group tour. Carpooling to the trailhead is highly recommended. Bear Mountain towers over Mirror Lake in the Peter's Creek area. Zillow has 30 homes for sale in Bear Valley Anchorage. Around this point the brush gives way to open tundra and cross-country walking becomes simple. For the most part the Rabbit Creek route is truly a route and not a trail, so it is most appropriate for those with basic routefinding skills and at least a mild sense of adventure. Description. Well worth it to keep going to the very top so you can see turnagain arm. Overwhelmed by choices? The trail sees a steady stream of locals eager to visit the peak towering so dramatically above their community. A draft design showing new parking signs for use in Anchorage’s Bear Valley neighborhood, May 22, 2017. 26: Bear Valley: Meet at Ray E Stork Park 30: Ruth Arcand Park. To access the Rabbit Creek route, park at the Rabbit Creek Trailhead at the end of Canyon (Upper Hiland) Road. 7-10 days is the most common. Follow the trail or strike out and find your own way up to Point 3,200. Just follow the ridge west to the summit of McHugh. 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. More Information. This trailhead is the only designated public access for a vast swath of Chugach State Park … In fact, it is arguably the most reliable early-season hike in the Chugach, and is often snow-free long before traditional early-season hikes like Bird Ridge or Wolverine. 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. Add these trails to the abundance of incredible cross country and alpine options, and there’s something to satisfy everyone. This is an amazing hike near Anchorage, that provides incredible views of the mountains and lakes without extreme effort. 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. Highlights plus less visited destinations. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Trail builders from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seward, Soldnotna, Eagle River, Matsu Valley, and Girdwood have all been building flow trails through local forests and hills. Turn left (northwest) onto the Turnagain Arm Trail and follow it about a third of a mile to the signed cutoff for the McHugh Lake Trail. In the winter, experienced outdoorspeople hike its wind-blown ridges and ski on its mellow north and west-facing bowls. Photo by Eddie Gianelloni. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Difficulty: Class 2s4. Majority of the hike is on the ridge, so it is rocky/windy/no shade, but that also means no bugs and incredible views! While they are fun to explore, unless you know the area well it would probably be fastest to stay on the main trail. If successful, the signs could be replicated for roads around the Upper South Fork Eagle River Trailhead. View listing photos, review sales history, and use our detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place. Looking down the east ridge of McHugh Peak toward Rabbit Lake and the Suicide Peaks. If you asked people what the largest cities in the US are, few would guess Anchorage. If you do decide to bypass the gate and are confronted on the Stewart Trail, do not feel pressured to sign any documents or agree to any demands. There is also overflow parking on Honey Bear Lane on a widened stretch of road about two thirds of a mile below the trailhead. This campground is along a scenic meadow near a babbling creek where hiking along the Bear Valley National Recreation Trail is a delightful side trip. Penguin Peak Trail: Access: 0.5 mile from Bird Valley Trailhead Allowable Uses: Hiking Length: 2 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 3200 feet Description: Short but steep. ), but it is an official parking area. Difficulty: Class 2+s4. Please try again. When the road bends left after three miles, turn right onto Clarks Road and immediately right again, still following Clarks Road. But there it is at #4–at least, if you’re going by land area alone. Hike to Rabbit Lake - 10 miles RT, 1,440 ft elevation gain. About; Getting There; Share It's free to go this far by car, and you'll get a picture-perfect shot of Portage Glacier. It is a relatively short but steep hike. Hikers determined to follow the crest of the ridge may find some adventurous Class 3 scrambling, but steeper sections are generally easily avoided by moving onto the north side of the ridgeline. Follow the large-well-maintained trail about 400 feet until it intersects with the Turnagain Arm Trail. Brett Frazer hiking back down the McHugh Lake Trail toward the McHugh Creek Trailhead. Instantly search and view photos of all homes for sale in Bear Valley, Anchorage, AK now. At roughly the 2.5 mile mark, the Rabbit Lake trail reaches a high point below Ptarmigan Peak and then begins to descend slightly into the upper valley. At the signed intersection, cut right/northeast/uphill onto the McHugh Lake Trail. 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. 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. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. Starting in the late 1950s McHugh was typically accessed from the Stewart Homestead Road (also called the Stewart Trail), which leads to the peak’s northwest ridge. Difficulty: Class 2+s4. But if you’re hoping to score a prime parking spot, this trailhead is best tackled on weekdays or in the off-season. But all this access can come with a price for visitors. 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). 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. My time: 2.5 hours, Rabbit Creek routes (East Ridge): ~10 miles round trip, ~2,900 ft. elevation gain. Anchorage is Alaska largest city. It requires only a bit more elevation gain than the north ridge route (2550 ft. vs. 2320) and far less than the McHugh Creek route (4,300 ft). Bear Valley from Mapcarta, the free map. McHugh/Bear Valley: A relatively new trailhead in Bear Valley provides access to McHugh Peak’s long ridgelines without driving down to Turnagain Arm, and without climbing from sea level. Local favorites for half-day hikes include Bloods Ridge and Inspiration Point. 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. May the Forest Be With You. Here is a little video I put together during my hike of Bear Valley. My notes on the summit pinnacle itself are in the Bear Valley route description above. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Summer is … 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. Pine Valley is situated 2 miles northeast of Bear Valley Trailhead… My time: 5 hours, McHugh Creek route (West Ridge): 7.8 miles round trip, 4,300 ft. elevation gain. Back to top The Anchorage Park Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. 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. The dispersed camping area has 6 picnic tables with fire rings, hand pump for drinking water and a vault toilet. Matt Bergt chilling on the small summit crown of McHugh Peak. The City of Anchorage considers the Stewart Trail a public right-of-way and has repeatedly demanded that the Pughs remove the gate, without success. Following the Glenn Highway north from Eagle River, take the Peters Creek exit, turning right onto Ski Road. Its western flanks enfold several of South Anchorage’s hillside neighborhoods and don’t flatten out until they reach the New Seward Highway. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. Drive the Seward Highway to the McHugh Creek parking area. It's free to go this far by car, and you'll get a picture-perfect shot of Portage Glacier. The vast majority of McHugh is long, fairly relaxed Class 2 (hiking, light scrambling) ridgelines, but attaining the true summit requires a very short Class 4 climb up a cluster of large rocks. Though McHugh peak is mostly an alpine walkup, negotiating the bundle of rocks on its summit can be tricky and feels more like rock climbing than hiking. It’s a view as good, or better, than that from many summits. This trailhead lacks the signage and trappings of most Chugach State Park trailheads (including the parking fee! Anchorage local Matias Saari and his trusty husky, Rainy, run a ridge above Bear Valley in the Chugach Mountains. From the trailhead, the clearly-signed trail begins at the parking lot and switchbacks through dense alder toward the broad shoulder of McHugh’s north ridge. Eklutna, then follow the trail … Make noise, carry bear spray, and follow other best practices for traveling in bear country. 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. There was a problem with your submission. Go off-trail as necessary or desired, but don’t get sidetracked by the many sheep trails cutting horizontally across the mountainside. ... Bear Valley. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. The crag is climbed from the north side via an obvious, well-worn route that ascends a steep grassy gully, traverses a few feet to the east and then requires a climb of about 8 feet up the final summit rock. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. A brown bear killed a 44-year-old hiker deep in the South Fork Eagle River Valley and mauled a member of a search party looking for him on Wednesday, Anchorage police said. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? At the last rocky point before the summit, the trail disperses onto a broad face that sweeps up toward McHugh’s craggy crown. Getting there: The driving route to the trailhead on the mountain above Peters Creek involves a lot of twists and turns, but it’s quite intuitive once you get started. Anchorage Hiking Trails Denali Hiking Trails Seward Hiking Trails Homer Hiking Trails ... Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. 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. For more about how the information on this site should be used, please click here. 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. More…. Holding your right hand out in front of you, palm facing away, Anchorage is … lead to Grizzly Bear Lake & Moraine Pass. The Rabbit Lake Trail under Ptarmigan Peak. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Ultimately you're responsible for yourself and your group. Please check your email to verify your subscription. On the other side, strike out across the open tundra and climb any of the slopes arcing upward toward McHugh Peak. 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. Self-drive vacations. This trail is not marked on official maps, but it is nearly as well-defined as the rest of the McHugh Lake Trail itself. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Bear Valley Route (North Ridge) The North Ridge Route, starting at the Honey Bear Trailhead at the top of Honey Bear Lane in Bear Valley, is a fun Class 2 ridge walk with 2,300 feet of elevation gain and excellent views over Anchorage and across the inlet. The lake is … A little over 2 hours to get to the peak from the honey bear lane trailhead. (Image courtesy Municipality of Anchorage) After reaching the summit, you can either come back down the way you came, or continue along the ridge to Mt. The summit of McHugh Peak in mid-February, with North and South Suicide Peak in the background. 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. Scooting up the mountain from Bear Valley trailhead. ... Anchorage. The view looking towards Anchorage Alaska during a hike up Bear Valley on September 10th 2018. 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. The Snow Bear retreat boast the best views in Anchorage. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Partly because it becomes snow-free so early in the season, the McHugh Creek drainage is notorious for bear sightings and encounters. My time: 6 hours. I hope that this site helps you plan exciting and safe trips, but please always keep the information here in context. 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. The north ridge of McHugh Peak. Bear Valley Mountain 2280 State Route 207 PO BOX 5038 Bear Valley, CA 95223 Phone: 1-209-753-2301 email@example.com 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. I've had a couple inquires … The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. From the trailhead it beelines up the valley, staying a few hundred feet below brush line and only wobbling slightly as it crosses avalanche runouts. This ridge is well-traveled and there is an informal trail running along it most of the way. 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. 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. To reach the trailhead, drive east on Rabbit Creek Road (this road is the last exit from the Seward Highway as it leaves the south end of Anchorage). Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Bear Valley Road Runner. 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. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Song: n u a g e s - … Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Follow the trail .7 miles straight uphill to the ridgeline. Hi! Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a fantastic opportunity to get excellent photographs of your favorite Alaska wild critters ... Girdwood is known for excellent restaurants … The creek is generally low and easy to cross. The North Ridge Route, starting at the Honey Bear Trailhead at the top of Honey Bear Lane in Bear Valley, is a fun Class 2 ridge walk with 2,300 feet of elevation gain and excellent views over Anchorage and across the inlet. A black bear explores the roof of a home in Anchorage’s Bear Valley/Facebook The SARS-CoV-2 virus might have upended the world, but in Alaska’s largest city, some things haven’t changed. Take Clark’s Road off of Rabbit Lakes, then follow the Bear Valley switchbacks up to the trailhead. Toward the crest of the ridgeline the trail gradually disperses and disappears into loose rock. Hike the Twin Peaks Trail. 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. A small parking area near the trailhead on Honey Bear Lane in Bear Valley on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. You are under no obligation to speak with anyone on a public easement, and use of a public easement is not trespass. that go far beyond anything I can cover here. Whichever route you take, you’ll end up on McHugh’s east ridge. Bear Valley, Anchorage, AK real estate … Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Some 50 miles north of Anchorage, this 1.5-mile trail makes for a fine family outing. As soon as the tundra permits easy walking, cut south from the Rabbit Lake Trail, descend into the creek ravine and cross Rabbit Creek. Bear Valley is a valley in Alaska and has an elevation of 128 feet. I grew up in Alaska and currently live in Anchorage. After a third of a mile from the parking lot, the trail enters open tundra. Trailhead: Eklutna Lake. This less developed trail quickly gains elevation through alder thickets then emerges into the alpine which … Bear Valley staff and community remain true to the tradition of providing a solid, well-rounded program that combines the wisdom from our nation's educational past with knowledge of world we know. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. Direction to the Golden View Trailhead The trailhead parking lot can hold only 5-6 cars. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Where Alaskans may perceive Anchorage’s narrow, steep, and sometimes rocky trails to be just another day in paradise, newcomers to the state, especially those with little or no hiking experience, may find the trail … … The Rabbit Lake trail uncoils a little into multiple paths, though it remains easy to follow. 2: Upper O’Malley Trailhead 6: Chuck Albrecht Park 9: Basher Trailhead 13: Russian Jack Park 16: Glen Alps Trailhead 20: Bicentennial Park Smoke Jumper 23: Kincaid Park Chalet 27: Hilltop Ski Area 30: Bear Valley: Meet at Ray E Stork Park May The weather was incredibly sunny – the second evening of sun after weeks of rain – and would have … After about a mile, turn right on Whaley. Hotels near Bear Valley, Anchorage on Tripadvisor: Find 18,909 traveler reviews, 20,637 candid photos, and prices for 241 hotels near Bear Valley in Anchorage, AK. The northeasatern bowls and ridges of McHugh Peak are wide and there are countless ways to move through them. From the top of Point 3,200, follow the crest of the ridge 1.9 miles to the summit of McHugh. The large deck and huge yard and fire pit all situated to take full advantage of this rare mountain and inlet views. The peak affords some fantastic views of the surrounding area. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. My name is Paxson. Groups are currently working to restore public access to this route. Please pack out your trash since garbage collection services are not … Full-day adventures can be found at Wheeler Lake and Bull … The brush on the south side of McHugh is not at all bad by Chugach standards, though the tundra and grasses can be steep and slippery. April. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. Until access issues there are resolved, use the signed public trailheads to avoid problems. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Great hike with a bit of rock scrambling at the end that provides great views at the highest point overlooking Anchorage at 5,184'. P roblems with public access have proliferated across Chugach State Park, from the South Fork Eagle River Trailhead to Mt. The Rabbit Creek route combines a fast approach, breezy backcountry travel on open tundra and–perhaps best of all–adequate and uncontroversial parking at the Rabbit Lake trailhead. 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. Traveling safely in the outdoors requires experience with routefinding, gear selection, emergency response, weather assessment, etc. However, in 2015 residents Frank and Oksana Pugh erected a large metal gate topped with barbed wire to block public use of the trail. The McHugh Creek Route up the west ridge starts nearly at sea level and requires just over 4,300 feet of elevation gain to reach the summit–far more than any other route. 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. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, Chugach National Forest Points of Interest. And use of a mile, turn right onto Ski Road 400 until. Come back down the McHugh Creek parking area my time: 2.5 hours, McHugh Creek parking area the,... The trailhead on Honey Bear Lane trailhead are countless ways to see and do in Alaska right again still. Us are, few would guess Anchorage trails to the summit of McHugh great views at ridgeline... Route you take, you can either come back down the east ridge ): miles. 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