Chugach State Park

#9 in Best Things To Do in Anchorage
Chugach State Park picture
HagePhoto/Getty Images

Key Info

18620 Seward Hwy

Details

Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Located about 13 miles south of downtown, this sprawling state park is one of the largest in the country, clocking in at nearly half a million acres of hiking trails, ski areas, rock-climbing spots and wildlife habitat. Chugach is the perfect place to experience untouched Alaska without a long drive. And according to recent visitors, the breathtaking scenery is worth the 20-minute drive, especially because the park offers numerous trails of varying lengths, including some that are ideal for day hikes. Other visitors recommend booking a guided tour to get the history of the park, too. 

You can access Chugach State Park year-round from the Seward Highway. While there is no specific entry fee, you will have to pay a $5 fee to park. Check the park's website for more information.

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Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Anchorage Museum
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

For a family-friendly outdoor excursion, grab your camera and hit the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, named for the for former Alaska governor Tony Knowles. Winding its way from the downtown area past the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum to Kincaid Park, this 11-mile paved path is perfect for biking, rollerblading, cross-country skiing and strolling. If you're visiting during the summer, keep your eyes peeled over Cook Inlet for beluga whales, while winter trailblazers should look out for moose in Kincaid Park.

Many recent visitors hail this trail as the best site in Anchorage, but they also offer a few words of advice, saying you should take your time while exploring the park, as there will be a lot you'll want to stop and see. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is free and open to the public throughout the year. You can access the trail at the northeast end of West 2nd Avenue near the railroad depot and at the southwest end at Kincaid chalet, as well as several points in between. For more information, check out the trail's website.

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