Mt. Baldy

Chugach State Park
This hike was rated 3 stars.
Submitted By
Difficulty
Moderate; not too long and the inclination isn't too steep until you near the summit
Miles One Way
1.5
Miles from Anchorage
15; in the town of Eagle River
Season
May to September

Description

Baldy is a popular day hike overlooking Eagle River. Baldy is appropriately named; the top is a round, bare mountaintop. The trail starts from a parking lot at the base. A radio antenna is located just a few hundred feet or so from the start of the trail. From there it winds through trees and scrub until it eventually reaches the real base of the mountain. Once above the plant growth, it starts to climb moderately through somewhat rocky terrain. From the top, one can see a good view of Eagle River Valley and the surrounding mountains.

Important Information

Bug spray is a plus.

The trail can be somewhat muddy early in the season.

Etc.

Baldy is not only a great day hike, it’s the starting point for many other peaks, including Black Tail Rocks, Round Top, and Vista peaks.

Finding the Trailhead

The trailhead is at the top of Skyline Drive in Eagle River. A new parking area was built in 2009 that can accommodate many more vehicles than previously.

Topo Map

Mt. Baldy topo map

Comments on hiking Mt. Baldy

  1. Wayne Krell — July 25, 2016

    This was a great hike with an incredible reward at the top. Moderate. Steeper toward the top with loose debris. Would recommend it as a great way to view the Eagle River Valley.

  2. Lea — June 23, 2016

    I did this hike for the first time since moving here a year ago. I am currently a couch potato, and I was told this was rated as ‘easy’. 45 minutes into the hike, and I thought I was going to die. I would have enjoyed it better had I not been hiking with people who thought we needed to race to the top. I found this to be a difficult hike for my current physical condition. It took me a total of three hours to go up and back. Unfortunately, we also decided to descend the front of the mountain, so I had very achy toes and legs from trying not to slip. I did enjoy the views, very much, and I would like to try it again when I’m in better shape. I think I’d also make time to stop and have a snack because my stomach was seriously sounding like a rabid dog.

  3. Keryl — May 29, 2016

    I live three minutes from Baldy and I have to disagree with the description on its steepness. It’s generally good for the first two turns but towards the top there’s parts where you’ll be practically crawling. Otherwise it’s pretty awesome.

  4. Around Anchorage - Just Two Nerds — January 15, 2016

    […] Mt Baldy is just up the road from where we stayed (the parking lot also affords a great view of the sunset… we got to see Denali twice on the day we flew in, from the plane and then from this overlook).  The parking is just along the side of the road, but the road dead ends at the trail and didn’t get crowded during a weekday.  We chose to walk along the flat trail until we found a small pond, then followed the trail straight up the side of the mountain.  Our hosts said that they’ve hiked down that way, but I wouldn’t attempt it without poles and boots with better traction.  From the top of Mt Baldy we had panoramic views up and down the coast, and caught our third glimpse of Denali.  The top has some easy walking, a nice wide flat slightly rocky trail, and views up the valleys on either side of the peak. […]

  5. Leigh — July 2, 2014

    I would agree with previous posts in that I have always found the rating of Baldy somewhat confusing. I would rate this hike as moderate. I think it is a more difficult hike than Flattop (which I believe has a more difficult rating) due to the steepness of the hike, and often sloppy conditions. The hike is not excessive in length so perhaps that has warranted the designation of “somewhat easy”. That said, as a resident of Eagle River I am ashamed to say that my first Baldy hike of the summer took place just today (July 1). Normally we would have been up and down several times at this point in the season. I was both pleased, and admittedly somewhat disappointed to see tremendous trail repair, re-routing, and rehabilitation taking place on Baldy. Crews have done as excellent job putting in several switchbacks and the trail looks great. I have always taken a little bit of guilty pride (as other hikers/and trail runners would likely agree) in being able to say that I have “ran” Baldy, or broken my old time to the summit. Baldy has, at least in my experience, previously been a training mountain for those who enjoy steep and slippery conditions. My disappointment in the new design is equally my delight and praise for those who have undertaken the task. The trail had been neglected to the point of dangerous for the past few years at least. I would argue it had grown too steep, too worn, and far too eroded. The new trail and rehabilitation project will allow the popular destination to be even more accessible, especially to families and those not in top physical condition wishing to set eyes on one of the most breath taking vantage points the Eagle River/Chugiak area has to offer. This is definitely the hike to take visiting out-of-towners as well as a continued delight for locals.

  6. The following was submitted by Kari, who rated this hike Difficult:

    Baldy is a very steep mountain. It is a great mountain to get in shape for sheep hunting or just get in shape for anything. You can go all the way up and then go back the down side which leads you to an abandoned homestead. There is a lake with a fountain coming out of it that is the best water I have tasted (and yes it is completely healthy). Towards the top of the mountain it begins to get pretty rocky. There are bears up there but aren’t seen very often. It is a popular mountain and is used heavily in the summer. You can go up it in the winter and snow board/ski/snow skate down or if you really want, you can sled down it, but it is kind of scary. It is a very fun mountain to hike and the views are great!

    Warnings: if you choose to go down the front of the mountain take your time! It is very steep and the rocks/dirt make it very slippery, and if you fall it will not be good. Many prefer to use ski poles to help.

  7. The following was submitted by Ashley, who disagreed with the difficulty rating:

    of the short distance, I believe most people can do this hike, but it is steep and the difficulty should be put to somewhat difficult to difficult if you’re taking the face of the mountain.

    Description:

    We took this hike with our dog on an overcast day and still loved it. What an amazing view! Just don’t stop short – make it to the top – and it will be well worth the climb.

    Take skyline drive all the way until the road ends (ignore the name changes). We parked up as far as you could and took the gravel road up past a gate (not the red one) and right before you get to the next gate is the trailhead.

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