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Bird Ridge

Length: 5 miles round trip   |   Time: 2 - 4 hours   |   Best season: April - October

Trail description:

Bird Ridge is a located south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm. This trail features noteworthy elevation gain, as it starts from almost sea level and extends well above the tree line. The first one-third of the trail leads through forested terrain. The trail remains steep for most of the way, eventually leading to a tundra-covered ridge, which follows the spine all the way to the top. Due to the mountain's angle to the sun, this trail is free of snow earlier then many other hikes, although there may be patches of snow to cross early in the season. Near the top, there are several false summits; the last one is right behind a rather pointy lookout point (see the picture). The main summit offers spectacular views of the ocean bay, mountains in all directions, and a huge glacier-carved valley.

Difficulty:

A strenouous day hike. Pretty much the entire trail is uphill with a moderate to heavy inclination. Bring something to quench your thirst along the way - you'll be glad you did.

Directions:

Follow the Seward Highway south of Anchorage. The parking lot where the trail starts is about 15.5 miles south of Rabbit Creek Road in Anchorage, along Turnagain arm. You should see a sign for Bird Point and the lot on your left.

Additional Information:

The parking lot requires a $5.00 daily parking fee or a seasonal parking pass.

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loading image... A short distance from the trailhead, this elevated walkway keeps parts of the trail up above the dense undergrowth below.
loading image... A view of Turnagain Bay, as seen from the early trail. The mud flats have an interesting effect at low tide.
loading image... After clearing the treeline (which can take a while) there are a few false summits along the way, one of which you can see here. You can also spot a fellow hiker along the top of this ridge in the picture.
loading image... This picture gives you a good idea of the elevation gain involved on this trail; it starts at roughly the same level as the trees on the right. Turnagain Bay, once again, can look rather interesting at low tide.
loading image... The real summit up ahead. There was still a bit of snow when I hiked here on the first day of June.
loading image... The top has has some amazing views; take a breather and soak in some of the beautiful scenery. You're surrounded by the beautiful chugach mountains on 3 sides, and have a great view of the bay to the south.