Thunder Bird Falls in Chugach State Park – Chugiak, Alaska

March 19, 2016

The trails to Thunder Bird Falls are open in the winter and they are fairly easy and short (about 1 mile one way) to hike! I do recommend a pair of ice cleats and being very cautious at the end of Creek Trail due to ice. This was the first time that my Yaktrax weren’t sufficient and I wish that I would have had cleats with spikes. The trailhead sits right off of the highway and is very easy to access. There is a $5 parking fee if you do not have an annual pass. There are two trails to get to the falls, Thunder Bird Trail (ends at a viewing deck) and Creek Trail (ends at the falls at the creek level).


The trail starts out as Thunder Bird Trail and is very easy to follow (pictured above). Along the path to the falls there are some great views of Eklutna Caynon (pictured below).


Thunder Bird Trail ends at a viewing deck for Thunder Bird Falls. The view (pictured below) and sound of the falls was better in real life than what I could capture in my iPhone.

If you backtrack a little ways there is the Creek Trail that branches off of Thunder Bird Falls Trail, which takes you down to the falls at the creek level. Close to the falls, there was a thick sloped sheet of ice and my Yaktrax were unable to get any traction. I slid my way down to the falls and managed to get back up to the trail another way.

In my opinion, the up-close view of the falls from Creek Trail was even better!

Given the short distance and easy access to this trail, I anticipate hiking this trail again in the upcoming seasons.

For more information, I found the following websites helpful:

This blog is simply a log of my personal experiences. It is not a travel guide, a trail guide, any other sort of a guide, and it is not intended to give information for replication.

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