Hike Bird Ridge
Alaska › Bird Ridge Trail, Anchorage, AK, USA
Added by Kristen Pratt
Incredible panoramic views. Abundance of wildflowers. Lengthy ridge walk, 5 miles roundtrip. Duration: about 4 hours roundtrip. Elevation gain: about 4500 ft.
The trail begins at sea level and winds its way through the forest gradually, occasionally allowing a peek at the Turnagain Arm behind you. Once out of the treeline, the trail becomes much steeper, around dirt and rocks, but with the summit in sight it's easy to continue on, despite that stinging burn in your calves.
There's an outhouse within the first 5 minutes of the trailhead. Last chance to go, unless you don't mind using the wilderness ;)
Bird Ridge packs an element of trickery, as that first peak is really just a false summit, standing at around 3500 feet. This overlook is a great place to rest for both a breather and a snack. This spot provides an amazing view that spans the Turnagain Arm in both directions. The trail only gets easier from here, but if you're short on time, it's also a good spot to turn around.
Continuing on, the trail allows for some respite on both your lungs and your legs, and after a couple smaller false summits, you've reached the peak of the peak (about 4500 ft.)
From here you can see the ridgeline (and trail) continues further back to shorter summits in the backcountry that can be explored. Turning around, the hike down is on the same trail you took up. The return direction is faster than going up, but still slow, as the top half is fairly steep, down loose scree.Things to note:
- There's no water supply available, bring your own!- This trail would be treacherous in the rain. Save it for a sunny, dry day- It's not uncommon to see signs of bears (scat, prints) so come prepared- Start early in the morning, to beat the heat on the way up
- Parking is $5 or you'll need a state parks parking pass
- Extra socks
- Extra layer for the top
- $5 for parking
- Running/trail shoes
- Camera w/pano feature
- Bear spray
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Breathtaking In Views And Labor
The hike itself is 5.5 miles. It's noted as intermediate to difficult, but if you're planning on going the entire way up I would call it a difficult trek. It's straight up dirt, rock and snow for 2.75 miles. It was a tough one, but it's well worth the views.
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