• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    175 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Waterfall

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.

Pack List

  • There is a state parking fee of $5 per vehicle
  • Camera
  • Day Pack
  • Crampons (Winter-Early Spring)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

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!

10 months ago
10 months ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Dwayne Parton

Travel. Outdoors. Lifestyle. I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. I loved the lifestyle it afforded. Now I live in a van with my dog Bobby traveling across the country. Life's a journey, so let's participate.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

8 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

6 Saves