Girdwood trails offer summer hiking at all levels
Ken Smith/Turnagain Times
Bikers head down the mile-long hill below Penguin Ridge across from Bird Point on the 13-mile-long Indian to Girdwood bike path.
Map produced by Girdwood Trails Committee 2011 with support from Girdwood, Inc., National Park Service, Glacier District USFS, and Municipality of Anchorage, Girdwood Trails Committee, Girdwood, Inc. PO Box 1102, Girdwood, AK 99587. Data courtesy of National Park Service’s River, Trails, and Conservation Program. Download Map PDF (475KB)
There are a number of trails to hike in Girdwood with a variety of terrain and levels. The following is a list of trails that are managed and all are non-motorized use only; mileage is one way. The trails go through the northernmost temperate rainforest in America.
Trails shown on the accompanying map that are not listed here may be indistinct and hard to find. Be alert as you hike and bike – bears and moose love our valley too.
Abe’s Trail (1.5 miles) Trail begins at junction with Beaver Pond Trail 0.5 miles from Beaver Pond Trailhead on Crow Creek Road. Rises through the forest to tree line.
Alyeska Multi-Use Pathway (4 miles) Paved path from Hotel Alyeska to Seward Hwy. Paved trail spur from Hightower to school. Connects to Girdwood-to-Indian Bike Path near Alaska Railroad depot.
Alyeska Resort Hiking and Biking Trails Trails built and maintained by Alyeska Resort. See www.alyeskaresort.com for map and details.
Beaver Pond Trail (2.5 miles) Trailhead is located on Crow Creek Road. May also be accessed from the Girdwood-to-Indian Bike Path; watch for sign.
California Creek Trail (0.75 mile) Trail follows creek through old growth forest. Use Beaver Pond Trailhead on Crow Creek Road and keep right.
Girdwood-to-Indian Bike Path (13.3 miles) Paved, multiuse path parallels Seward Hwy in Chugach State Park. Includes views of Turnagain Arm, information stations, benches, and rest stops. Connects to Alyeska Multiuse Pathway uphill from Alaska Railroad depot.
Iditarod National Historical Trail (6 miles) Girdwood valley portion of this famous trail follows Glacier Creek to Winner Creek area. Watch for Iditarod trail markers. In the upper valley, trail crosses Crow Creek Rd. several times and a spur leads to hand tram.
Multi-Use Nordic Loop (5K) Multi-use trail for biking and walking. Access at end of Arlberg Ave. Expect construction during summer and fall 2012. More information at www.skigirdwood.org.
Upper Virgin Creek Trail (0.2 mile) To view Virgin Creek Falls, go to Timberline Drive and drive to end of the road. Park in designated area.
Winner Creek Trail (3 miles) An access trail to the Iditarod, this Forest Service trail leads to the Winner Creek Gorge. The first 0.7 mile, starting from behind the tram building at Hotel Alyeska, is a highly developed boardwalk trail. Continue 1.5 miles to the Winner Creek Gorge Bridge, another 0.2 miles to a hand tram across Glacier Creek, and another 1 mile to the Winner Gorge Trailhead at MP 2.9 Crow Creek Road. Check trailhead signs for hand tram and bridge status.
Upper Winner Creek Trail (9 miles) Beautiful, but less developed, Forest Service trail over Berry Pass, ending at bridge across Rosehip Creek. Start on Winner Creek Trail; follow signs to Upper Winner Creek. This trail crosses large avalanche run-outs and snowpack may be present throughout the summer, especially at higher elevations.
Winner Creek Extension Trail (0.6 mile) Connector trail to Winner Creek Trailhead. Access is off Verbier Way. Park at Moose Meadow parking lot; walk toward Hotel Alyeska 0.1 mile, then cross street at crosswalk to Verbier Way.