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Hike to Thunderbird Falls

Anchorage, Alaska

4.2/5
based on 6 reviews

Details

Distance

2 miles

Elevation Gain

175 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Dwayne Parton

This hike is only 30 minutes outside of Anchorage right off the Glenn Highway. It's a short hike that ends at a picturesque 200ft high waterfall.

Thunderbird Falls is just 1 mile from the parking area off the Glenn Highway. The trail starts off with climb but quickly levels off. It skirts the Eklutna Canyon through a birch forest with viewing decks overlooking the cayon and falls.

The trail splits near the end. If you stay to the right you will reach the overlook which is only about 100yds further on the boardwalk. Going left will take you to a creek side trail leading to the base of the falls.

The Alaska environment changes drastically with the climate. In the colder months the falls freeze and create blue ice formations. During this time the trail may be extremely icy. Be very careful and make sure to bring a pair of crampons.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

The first few times we stopped to hike this we had to turn around b/c of bears, typical AK! But, eventually we made it! Bring $5 to use the trail and park. Easy hike, but I would not make a trip specifically for this, make it part of a road trip.

If you are looking for a very brief, quick, highly trafficked hike, this is it. The waterfall is beautiful but for something that can be accomplished in under 30 minutes, not even sure if it is worth the $5 parking...

My husband was born and raised in Alaska and took me to Thunderbird falls for my very first experience of Alaska. I can't wait to live here some day!

This hike does not require you to drive very far off of the beaten path. It is pretty easy and can be done with a family. The falls are pretty, and the hike is a good walk for a Saturday or a week night after work.

I went in the summer... There were about 3 people on the trail, we went late afternoon. The falls are amazing. Make sure to bring an ND filter if you want to photograph the falls!

Thunderbird Falls is a short out and back hike that offers some views of the Eklunta Canyon and the falls. If you go during the winter be very careful of ice(you'll need crampons) as it is slick especially traveling down towards the falls. Parking is $5.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Explore the Knik Arm's Ice Fields

Hike Mt. Baldy in Chugach State Park

Explore Eklutna Lake

Hike the Twin Peaks Trail

Hike the South Fork Valley Trail, AK

Hike the Crow Pass National Historic Trail