See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. With small waterfalls, they’re best enjoyed nearby, not behind a fenced area. With some care for footing, you can take an access trail to the canyon floor and work upstream to the base to feel the chilly spray of Thunderbird Creek on your face. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, Best method might be to check out Bird Valley Trail Guide. Open to the public 8 AM to 4 PM. The trailhead is less than a mile north on the Old Glenn Highway. Above the falls, the stream descends a steep grade through its V-shaped valley, with lots of whitewater sections right off the bank. Many summer visitors say the primeval “Old Growth” setting may be the best part of the trip—Devil’s club, ferns, mossy logs and towering spruce. You can’t miss them. Tucked into a gorge where the South Fork of Eagle River takes a 25-foot-plus plunge, the falls split into two channels as they cascade over a giant bedrock outcrop and are very photogenic. McHugh Creek Day Use Area Beyond the foothills at Anchorage's edge lies the third largest state park in America, a half-million acres of some of the most accessible hiking, skiing, camping, wildlife viewing, snow machining, rafting, and climbing in Alaska. Very clean. (Plus, kids love them!). McHugh Creek Falls is a small but nice 20 ft. waterfall found just along the highway on the Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage. Let's break it down by the Pro's and Con's Pros: - Close to town: probably the most easily accessible trailhead around if you live in South... Read more. From Alyeska. During winter, the falls usually freeze, forming ropey columns of ice. In all seasons, parents will want to be wary of the canyon lip and keep children well away. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Little Susitna River II . A hike through a misty rain forest of towering trees in Girdwood Valley will bring you to a narrow…. North Suicide Peak is accessible via the popular Falls Creek, McHugh Creek, and Rabbit Lake trails. Edi Zaimovic 104 views. The William Jack Hernandez hatchery is located on the banks of Ship Creek, east of the city’s industrial zone, at the corner of Reeve Boulevard and Post Road near the Post Road gate into Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Falling about 200 feet through a chasm in the foothills of Chugach State Park, Thunderbird Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls in Alaska. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). It is worth a quick stop. With just a short walk from the parking area you will find a beautiful 20 foot water fall. Note well that you will very likely come across moose (know the warning signs of an angry moose), and there was a LOT of bear sign on the trail the last time we went - it's been warm and they are not bedded down yet. Hatcher Pass. This hidden, little visited waterfall feels immense as it fills its small canyon with a roar that can be…. moderate (123) McHugh Creek Day Use Area. The water volume is high and cinematic, and the flow generates a big whoosh. A word of caution: be on the lookout for bears and always carry spray and/or hike in groups. The falls themselves drop about 15 feet and are very loud. McHugh Creek Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Anchorage, Alaska that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Drive to the parking area at Mile 2.9 (second official parking area from the Alyeska Highway) about one half mile before the turnoff to Crow Creek Mine. There is a picnic area at the McHugh trailhead that is really nice with bathrooms, grills, a really nice view of Turnagain Arm, an interpretive trail and a waterfall. During winter, the falls armor in ice for a dramatic sight. A short trail lead to a water falls. Check out the Rabbit Lake Hike. One-way distance to gorge: about 1.2 miles. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. In general, the McHugh Creek area offers endless exploring potential—you can hike in at least six directions on existing trails. McHugh Creek is southeast of Anchorage at Mile 111 of the Seward Highway, overlooking Turnagain Arm about three miles beyond Potter Marsh. OK, this surge over dam spillways just above William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Ship Creek’s industrial bottomland isn’t exactly a wild or natural sight. This nicely laid out wayside features three parking lots, picnic areas, trailheads and restrooms—along with a Turnagain Arm vista that improves with each step up in elevation. The free-fall plunge is hundreds of feet—some estimate it at 700 feet—but the stunning skein of whitewater descends its twisty defile more than a 1,200 feet from the alpine realm and makes for a dramatic photo when viewed from across the valley. If you’re in the mood for lush greenery, visit this pretty and energetic waterfall nestled in the Girdwood area…. Take care that you have ice grippers on shoes after temperatures plunge. Between June and September, returning Chinook and coho salmon may be swirling in the creek just downstream from the dam. Happy Travelling! The McHugh Creek day use area requires a $5 parking fee (bring exact change). Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. more. Bird Ridge. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. One of the Chugach’s secret places. Beautiful views and a good spot to take photos of Alaskan landscape. Vehicles will be towed if parked illegally. Popular as an ice-climbing destination in winter, the falls maybe most spectacular in early summer when snowmelt boosts the volume. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. The unmarked trail follows the creek uphill about 150 yards to the falls. At Mile 111 on the Seward Highway is the recreation area for this beautiful waterfall. Turnagain Arm IV . Best method might be to check out Bird Valley Trail Guide and work out your itinerary based on current trail conditions, Penguin Creek’s volume, and travel mode. Enjoy live commentary and learn about the unique landscapes of Alaska from your expert guide. You can do the overlook and return the way you came, or can cross the creek by riding the tram and complete a journey to Crow Creek Mine or the 2.9-mile parking area on Crow Creek Road. Please try again. This sight is exotic and almost otherworldly—along with all the usual waterfall sensations, it offers a deep-woods, high adventure feel. This hidden, little visited waterfall feels immense as it fills its small canyon with a roar that can be heard during the approach. Visitors to your site will appreciate you offering them help with planning their vacation. But the adventure isn’t over. This is a beautiful place with so many educational posters! Would highly recommend even for an inexperienced hiker. Veer left as it becomes Waterfall Drive, then follow past a switchback until it dead-ends into River Park Drive. You are not logged into waterfallswest.com Click here to log in to see more photos and complete information about this waterfall. From this overlook, it’s another .4 miles on an unmaintained route to the falls. Hatcher Pass III . Adventure Oregon - Walk behind a waterfall - Middle North Falls - Silver Falls State Park, Oregon - Duration: 2:16. Please check your email to verify your subscription. McHugh Creek Recreation Area: Beautiful place - See 42 traveller reviews, 36 candid photos, and great deals for Girdwood, AK, at Tripadvisor. Hatcher Pass. Awesome views!!!!!! Shot through the window of a moving train. McHugh Creek Recreation Area. You can head the other direction, or to Rabbit Lake, but those trails are a bit more difficult. In winter, the falls freeze into a stupendous ice curtain (seeps on a nearby rock wall also create a fantastic ice mural.) A nice hike up to the top of the waterfall or enjoy it from below. A five-minute hike that’s great for kids and very close to other Girdwood attractions. 20 feet high and a short walk from a picnic area, it's a perfect place for a day trip with the whole family. McHugh Creek Falls, Anchorage. And PLEASE - pick up after your dog! Continue over the bridge another mile or so, until you see and hear the falls a few hundred feet into the woods. Continue right to Ken Logan Circle. No bugs bothered us, it was a relaxing stroll. The falls are a few hundred yards upstream from a small South Fork bridge. McHugh Creek Falls A foaming waterfall slices through a chute and tumbles about 20 feet into a pond just off the parking area and paved walkways of the McHugh Creek Day Use Area of Chugach State Park. Overwhelmed by choices? Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Turnagain Arm II . Almost immediately, turn right on Hiland Road. OK, this surge over dam spillways just above William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Ship Creek’s industrial bottomland…. Follow the well-marked trail system about one mile to the hand tram, then another .2 miles to the gorge. Russian River Falls, Cooper Landing. McHugh Creek Falls is an easy one to access though it isn't very big. The trail—maintained by Chugach National Forest as part of the historic Iditarod system—is mostly flat and family friendly—an unusual characteristic for outing into a place that has the aura of deep backcountry. Note that the upper parking lot is gated off at certain times; check the sign and park outside the gate if your itinerary so dictates. Long version: Take the Glenn Highway about 10 miles north to Eagle River Loop and exit toward the mountains. For best results, use the customized Trip Planning Widget for McHugh Creek Day Use Area on your website.It has all the advantages mentioned above, plus users to your site can conveniently access it directly on your site. National Parks. No bushwhacking! Just south of Potter's Marsh outside the southern tip of Anchorage is this State Park full of trails and a creek-sized waterfall. $5 fee or state parks parking pass is required. References. Worth the stop, The trail back toward portage will provide you with the most amazing views of the inlet and surrounding area. Be careful where you park and obey the signs! Length 7.9 mi Elevation gain 4,238 ft Route type Out & Back On a beautiful sunny warm morning, we were travelling from Anchorage to Seward, on the way we made a stop at McHugh Creek. muddy in some sections after a lot of rain. This hike takes place in Chugach State Park and open fires are banned, for those opting to take on the trek as an overnight trip. Things to do near McHugh Creek Recreation Area, Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, Is this a place or activity you would go to on a, Mile 112 Seward Highway, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK 99587, Great area. Be prepared as there is a $5 fee for parking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Although we didn't stay long, but it sure worth the stop. But if you and the family are intrigued by a human-engineered waterfall—complete with the roar and sparkle of cascading water—a visit to the hatchery grounds is a great diversion on a low-key afternoon in town. waterfalls - McHugh Creek Recreation Area. Photos; Directions. Shot through the window of a moving train . Print/PDF Map Share Add to My List. Bring a bear bell and beware moose as this 5-6 mile round trip moderate hiking trail is often (at least once a month) closed due … Really glad we stopped here for the view and the rushing creek! Trailhead: Winner Creek Gorge Trailhead or Alyeska Resort, Girdwood Difficulty: Easy Distance: 4-6 miles roundtrip, <500 feet elevation gain. A short trail lead to a water falls. Turnagain Arm and the sand bars. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. A steep descent to the creek is possible but might require some down climbing. 43 Reviews #12 of 18 things to do in Girdwood. Shortly after passing the Potter Weigh Station on your left, you will see a turn out for the McHugh Creek Day Use Area (milepost 111). To reach the overlook, continue on the trail another 250 yards to an intersection. From Ken Logan Circle, continue on foot past the gate about 100 yards to a bridge over the South Fork. Continue uphill about 3.3 miles and turn left onto River View Drive into a neighborhood. It’s a rather small waterfall, and I don’t like to discriminate against waterfalls, but you really can’t get very close to it. You can do an out and back, or as we like to do when we have visitors, leave a car at McHugh and start at Portage. Which one is right for you? Waterfall at Falls Creek Trailhead - right by Seward Highway. (You’ll think you’re channeling your inner Indiana Jones.) Definitely one of Chugach State Park’s hidden gems. It’s also a great excuse to explore state fish hatchery operations and take the self-guided museum quality tour of an operation that produces about six million fish a year to augment sport fishing in the region. Located up a short (and sometimes steep) one-mile trail through a handsome birch forest near the Eklutna River, the falls can easily be seen from a viewing deck. In the summer months, it is a rugged but non-technical climb that is typically completed as a day trip from nearby Anchorage, Alaska. The surrounding access trails are part of the Eagle River Greenbelt system, but private property lies very close. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. This tour takes you to Chugach National Forest, Beluga Point, Portage Glacier, and more to spot brown bears, wolves, bison, and belugas. From the Alyeska Highway in Girdwood, take Timberline Drive (first road on right after crossing Glacier Creek while driving toward the resort) until it ends. McHugh Peak is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Anchorage, Alaska that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. You can also work your way down the creek on the west/north side to sit on boulders below the falls, next to the rolling creek. Overnight parking at the Honey Bear/North Ridge trailhead is forbidden. It’s a dramatic perch, fascinating to kids. Hotels near The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Girdwood, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: Tickets & Tours, Winner Creek Trail Hand Tram: Tickets & Tours, Virgin Creek Falls Trail: Tickets & Tours, Girdwood Brewing Company: Tickets & Tours, Begich Boggs Visitor Center: Tickets & Tours, McHugh Creek Recreation Area: Tickets & Tours, The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts: Tickets & Tours, The Roundhouse at Alyeska: Tickets & Tours, McHugh Creek Recreation Area Tours and Tickets. The road climbs up a few dozen meters above the sea level which gives the place a good point of view on Turnagain Arm . McHugh Creek Falls II . More. Total one-way walk to overlook is about half a mile. A Quick look of a southern part of the creek and Turnagain Arm The peak can be climbed in all seasons but is most popular in the summer and fall, when the majority of the mountain is snow-free. This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch - Duration: 9:49. Descend and continue north to creek and look for another descent to the mouth of the gorge. The crystal-clear creek is the front-country highlight. The falls lies at milepost 52 of the Sterling Highway. On a beautiful sunny warm morning, we were travelling from Anchorage to Seward, on the way we made a stop at McHugh Creek. You’ll find great viewing from the deck of the Serenity Falls Hut, a multi-party public use cabin operated by state parks. Girdwood Tourism; Girdwood Hotels; Girdwood Bed and Breakfast; Girdwood Vacation Packages; Flights to Girdwood; Girdwood Restaurants; Things to Do in Girdwood 7-10 days is the most common. United States ; Alaska (AK) Anchorage ; Girdwood ; Girdwood - Things to Do ; McHugh Creek Recreation Area; Search. You will need exact change. This hike in Girdwood is a must do for everyone. Short version: The falls are about a half-mile walk on old roads from the end of Ken Logan Circle in a neighborhood off Hiland Road overlooking Eagle River Valley. Get out of the city and deeper into the Alaskan wilderness than is typical on a sightseeing tour. First .7 miles follows boardwalks and stairs into the foothills, then continues another .8 miles to a “T” intersection. McHugh Creek Recreation Area: McHugh Creek hike - See 43 traveler reviews, 36 candid photos, and great deals for Girdwood, AK, at Tripadvisor. This video tutorial by an Alaska master will give you a new way of seeing. This classic mountain waterfall plunges off a massive face in the valley beyond the head of Eklutna Lake in…. Alaska has gobs of great waterfalls, but they’re often in remote or wild places. Beware of bears in the creek bottom during salmon season. It’s one redeeming quality is that it is very easy to visit. You will hear them long before you see them. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. The hatchery is about 9/10ths of a mile down the hill, on the right just after the Ship Creek bridge. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. Outhouses available. Those of us lucky enough to live here feel the influence of Chugach State Park almost daily. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Work north along the bluff until you are past the slide area, then look for a steep route down to a bench. It’s the mesmerizing sparkle and shimmer of the curtain over rock. Go right (uphill) and keep veering to your right, toward the creek, until you reach an old viewing area. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. The park has a great look-out spot high up on the hill that you can hike to and use the free telescope!! 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