Thunderbird Falls

Chugach State Park
This hike was rated 2 stars.
Miles One Way
Miles from Anchorage
25; driving north from Anchorage, take the Thunderbird Falls exit just before the road to Eklutna Lake
All year


Short, easy hike to a small waterfall – that’s about it.


State parking fee of $5.00 per vehicle (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.


Topo Map

Thunderbird Falls topo map

Comments on hiking Thunderbird Falls

  1. Kevin & Evan — June 3, 2018

    Short hike to falls, to many people on this trail. A lot of dogs off leash

  2. Logan Guinn — February 20, 2013

    The hills really get your heart rate going. In the winter the trail becomes very icy, and can become a slip hazard easily. Going with a buddy system in place is wise. The view from the falls platform is really not as breath taking in the winter, as walking right up to the falls themselves. The Kodak moment is worth the climb up a snow and ice formed embankment that must be reached by walking across very slick ice. No matter who you are, the struggle to get so close to the falls and catch the water mist from the falls is so totally worth it. There is no other description of the falls, other than just Majestic in the winter. Walking the creek side trail is definitely recommended and if you’re a photographer looking for some great shots, walking the creek back is a great element for winter shots.

    Bring plenty of fluids, first aid kit, as those cliffs can be treacherous as well as a walking stick and/or ice studs for boots. Try not to overdress. Keeping a coke on hand for the walk back helps.

  3. Matt — February 20, 2013

    Great hike in the winter with frozen falls and river. When frozen, it is possible to walk right up the face of the falls, listening to the water underneath. For a bit of a change, consider making it a loop by traveling to the falls from the parking lot, and following the Eklutna River, through the gorge, back to the parking lot.

  4. Anonymous — February 20, 2013

    For those who have very small children this is a great hike, as it is easy enough for even a 2 or 3 year old to make it to the end of the trail with minimal help. (keep hands in yours around the cliffs and water though!) Great starter trail.

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