I’ll have to redo this hike because I really messed it up.
My biggest mistake was doing this as a backpacking trip. My plan was to get up there and make camp, then day hike to the end of the valley, then check out the ridge for what I heard was one of the best views of the Chugach.
The problem was the water source. I knew the stream was underground at its source but thought it was accessible further up the valley than it was. It was a really hot day and I had run out of water halfway up. My dog (whose black fur soaks that heat up like a sponge) was really starting to suffer. I finally had to backtrack a 1/2 mile and bushwhack through willow to get some water. It turned into a real hassle and I decided to turn back. I will return to day hike this as the terrain is very cool looking.
The part I did enjoy was as I was going up the mountain. I got really good views of Eklutna Lake, the largest lake in the Chugach State Park area.
The trail is an old overgrown road most of the way up. You then get on the lower ridge and follow it towards the start of the valley. About 2/3 of the way there, the trail forks. Follow the left fork to go to the rubble strewn remnants of the previous glacier. Follow the right fork to get up the higher ridge and what I assume are the spectacular views. I heard from people who’ve done it that it’s one of the best views in Chugach State Park.
The important thing to know about this trail is getting to the actual trailhead itself. It is not right off a road like most. You’ll need to go about 5 miles on the Eklutna Lake Trail to get to it. This is a great biking trail and most people get to the Bold Peak Valley Trailhead this way. If you do want to walk it (which adds 90-120 minutes each way to your hike time), the terrain is relatively flat and easy.
My final verdict: If you’re spending time camping or using one of the cabins at Eklutna Lake, it’s definitely worth the time. If not, there are other day hikes that are easier to get to the trailhead than this. If you live here, put it on your “someday” list.
As stated above, the water source is somewhat of a hassle to get to. Bring an adequate supply or fill up before hiking the ridge proper.
Please go to the trail description for Eklutna Lake for more information about the entire area. There is a lot to do and see here. It’s a great place to hang out.
There is a $5 parking fee (bring exact amount). The price for an annual parking pass is $40. You can purchase a pass at the Federal Building at 4th and F or the Atwood Building on 7th and E, 12th Floor.
If you’re heading back to Anchorage, take a quick side trip and visit the Native Russian Church and Cemetery. Continue straight after the bridge for a few miles instead of taking the left turn onto the Glenn Highway. Stay outside the fenced area and be respectful of the premises.