Easy - very little elevation gain
Miles from Anchorage
25; near the town of Eagle River
All year. Trail has markers to find route when covered with snow.
I've been hiking the Eagle River Trail since I first moved here in 2000 and I've seen the trail signs for this route just as long but never bothered to do this trail. I was hiking the Eagle River Trail on Thanksgiving (2007) and there was a group of noisy people that I wanted to get away from and veered off to finally do the Dew Mound Trail.
I'm glad those people were so loud because I wound up really enjoying the trail in addition to the solitude. For a simple winter, "no hassle", hike this really fit's the bill. If I lived in Eagle River, this would be a great after-work hike in the summer. I recommend this hike for the people who live here. Visitors would be advised to use their short amount of time up here for more scenic filled trails.
The first 1/2 of the trail is very established and maintained and goes through spruce, aspen, and birch. The other 1/2 is more primitive but certainly nothing intense. You'll pass through a bolder field and skirt the rock face of the mountain before finally descending to a small lake. At the lake are lots of rock outcrops (which I presume are the dew mounds) to relax and snack. If you continue on, you will hit Echo Bend on Eagle River. You can either create a loop and head back to the nature center on the Iditarod Trail or return back down the Dew Mound Trail (which I would prefer to keep the solitude going).
If you're pressed for time you can create a short loop hike by turning back at either of the 3 intersections (see map).
There are several places that are a bit confusing where to continue. Check around the vicinity and you'll soon find one of the markers to know how to proceed,
Since this trail gets a lot less traffic, be more vigilant of bears than the main trail to Eagle River.
Parking at the Nature Center is $5 a day (they won't charge you for 2 days if you're doing an overnighter). Your Chugach State Park pass is not valid here.
If you have the time, it's worth it to go in and check out the center.