Additional Thunderbird Falls – Hiking in Alaska Information:
Hiking an Alaskan Waterfall in the Chugach Mountains
Ice cold water flowing out of the Chugach mountains is what you’ll see…and hear on this hike. Located just 25 minutes north of Anchorage, the Thunderbird Falls trail head is very accessible, easy to find, and overall a great hike that is relatively short with big rewards in adventure and scenery.
The trail itself is wide, very well maintained, and not terribly strenuous. You can expect to travel roughly one mile to reach the falls and will only gain about 100 feet of elevation as you make your way up and over the rolling hills toward your final destination.
The Eklutna river will be toward your left along the trail and you can hear the rushing waters and peek over the edge to see the gorge that the river runs through. There are several spots to snap some photos and take in the scenery.
Near the end of the trail you will encounter a fork in the trail. Shortly past the fork you will reach the observation deck where you can see Thunderbird Falls from a birds-eye view in all its glory.
More adventurous hikers can take a left at the fork and follow the trail down toward the falls for an up-close and personal view of the pristine waters. Some portions of the trail that wind down the hill toward the foot of the falls can be steep, so be sure to keep good footing at all times.
The Thunderbird Falls hike is suitable for almost all ages and on almost any given day you can see families with small children in tow getting out and enjoying some Alaskan adventures.
Multi-season bonus! Many Alaskans and visitors hike the Thunderbird Falls trail in the wintertime as well, so feel free to explore this trail and the falls all year long!
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-From Anchorage drive north on the Glenn Highway
-Take the exit toward the Old Glenn Highway
-Thunderbird Falls trail head and campground can be found just before the Eklutna bridge
-Parking can be found at the trail head
Distance: 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Route Type: Out and Back
Parking: Dedicated parking at trail head
What to Bring:
$5 for parking
Decent hiking shoes or boots
Rain gear if needed
A wind breaker or light jacket
For another great hike near Anchorage, check out Virgin Creek Falls!