When they named this mountain, I don’t think they were referring to the mountain itself, rather than the view. It’s amazing and 360°. It gives you a real sense of the Eagle River area of the Chugach State Park, including the Baldy–Blacktail-Vista range, the North Fork of Eagle River (and it’s glacier source at the end), the entrance to the South Fork, and the Gordon Lyons–Rendezvous range. In addition, you can get a great view of the town of Eagle River, Knik Arm, and I suspect on a clear day, Denali and the Alaska Range.
While the actual distance is short, this is a real cardio workout. From the trailhead, you’ll switchback up a steep wooded area till you get to a saddle on the mountain. If you head left, you will head to the overlook section, 2 rocky knobs and beyond to explore and see the views. If you head right, you’ll start heading to the summit. The first section is a real lung buster, but it’s over before you know it. The next section is a lot easier to manage and takes you to the false summit. For the majority of folks, I recommend this is as far as you go. To get to the summit, at least from what I could tell from this point, it looks as if you’d have to do some scary rock scrambling over some precarious sections. The views from the false summit are amazing, so why risk it, unless you’re someone skilled in that kind of hiking.
For those who do want to go to the summit, you can even continue on to Mt. Significant, but be prepared for a long day.
While the elevation gain and steepness of this hike made this a real effort for my dog and I, it didn’t take too long. We managed to go the false summit and then headed over to the Overlook section. We were back at my truck in less than 3 hours and we certainly weren’t rushing.
For those in Eagle River, this is a great after-work, weekday hike. For others, definitely put this on your list! If you’ve hiked the other parts of this area, it’s a great new perspective to see where you’ve been.
There is not a lot of parking available near the trailhead. Be prepared you may have to park far away and downhill.
There are no water sources anywhere! Bring and adequate supply.
I would imagine this trail would be very muddy in rainy conditions and very slippery. As stated above, the steepness in some sections would command extreme caution under those conditions. The same caution applies if icy in early or late season. Be safe and bring a walking stick.
Take the Eagle River exit from the Glenn Highway, then take a right onto Eagle River Road (where the Wal-Mart is). After about 2 miles, take a left on Mile Hi road. Keep switch backing up till you see a sign right in front of you that says, “No Parking Beyond this Point”, just to the right of this is the entrance to the trailhead.
As for finding the trailhead from the parking area: go past the gate and head to the end of the road. At the very end is a small, fenced in structure, with a metal utility pole sticking out of it. The trail is to the left of it.