An easily accessible hike through the Eagle River Valley surrounded by mountains with lots of variety including: wildlife, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and amazing views. Widely considered one of the best hikes in the Chugach State Park.

Starting at an elevation of 600 feet from the Eagle River Nature Center, the trail runs through the Eagle River Valley and climbs over Crow Pass to Girdwood.

The trail follows the river for almost 12 miles before requiring a ford. Fords can be very dangerous and it is very important to understand how to cross the river safely. The water was just over a foot deep when I crossed and very straight forward. However, this changes with the seasons and the water depth can make fording unsafe.

This trail can be done in a hard day, but I recommend hiking it in at least 2. It's extremely beautiful and there are lots of campsites in the valley along the trail. There is a good chance you will encounter wildlife so make sure you carry bear spray and be cautious.

The difficulty of this hike varies depending on the trailhead you start from. The most commonly suggested route is to start from the Crow Pass Trailhead, in Girdwood and end at the Eagle River Nature Center which makes the hike a 2100 feet elevation gain. I chose to start from the Nature Center so that I could stay at Crow Pass Cabin.

Pack List

  • Nature Center Parking Permit
  • Bear Spray
  • Map
  • Water Filter
  • Tent/Shelter
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
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RT Distance 22.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 3100 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Pay Attention To River Levels

It was a beautiful hike through a variety of terrains. However, make sure you pay attention to what level the river is at. When my group crossed it was up to my waist (I'm 5'8"). It was extremely challenging to cross and a lot of other parts of the trail was flooded out.


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