Just beyond the edge of Alaska’s largest city and stretching 200 coastal miles (322 kilometers) from Anchorage to Canada, Chugach State Park encompasses nine distinct ecosystems including spruce forests, alpine tundra, and coastal wetlands. Nowhere on Earth is there so much biodiversity so close to a major city.
Chugach State Park covers half a million acres (202,400 hectares), and guided tours are a great way to experience the vast park. Activities include hiking, skiing, camping, cycling, sea kayaking, climbing, glacier viewing, horseback riding, gold-panning, and more, all minutes from downtown Anchorage. The park is known for its easy accessibility and range of outdoor activities for all levels and abilities.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Chugach State Park is an easily accessible wilderness 20 minutes from Anchorage.
- Guided hiking and wildlife-viewing tours are a great way to see the massive park.
- Most trailheads and parking areas require a daily fee.
- Several campgrounds, public-use cabins, and yurts are available in the park.
How to Get There
Chugach State Park is accessible through several entrance stations along Highway 1 just outside of Anchorage. Though most easily accessed by car, the park is also served by a few city buses and private shuttle services. Many visitors opt to book a guided tour of the park from Anchorage that includes round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
Chugach State Park is a beautiful place to visit any time of year. Wildflower displays are spectacular during the summer months, often peaking late July through early August. Berry picking is a popular activity in the autumn months, and skiing, snowshoeing, and dogsledding opportunities are plentiful during the winter.
Hiking Chugach State Park’s Flattop Mountain
Flattop Mountain is a popular day hike outside Anchorage and the most frequently climbed peak in all of Alaska. The Flattop Mountain Shuttle provides round-trip transportation from downtown Anchorage to the Glen Alps Trailhead. From the trailhead it’s approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) to the top of Flattop, with nearly 1,500 feet (457 meters) of elevation gain. Hikers who attain the summit are rewarded with 360-degree views of the Alaska Range, the Cook Inlet, and Anchorage.