Top 10 Easiest Hikes In Anchorage Alaska

Kincaid Coastal Trail Tree
Our Favorite Tree At Kincaid Coastal Trail | Photo – Mystie Spargo

Are you looking for an easy hike near Anchorage Alaska? This article is written by an Alaskan who lives in Anchorage, so this is our firsthand experience and knowledge of the area.

Anchorage is my favorite city. It has everything. You can literally go from eating a fabulous brunch at South Restaurant to hiking some of the most beautiful trails within 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can get away from the city, while still being in the city itself.

It’s rare to be able to experience the cultural opportunities of a city and the breathtaking tranquility of nature. Anchorage does both. The trails here are so diverse. There is so much accessibility.

Anchorage is located between the Chugach Mountains and the Cook Inlet.

There are plenty of scenic views available of both mountains and water. There are tons of different kinds of hikes.

Whether you are a complete novice, or a professional mountaineer, there will be a large selection of hikes to choose from. This article is about some of the easiest ones available.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Ice
Summer is not the only time to visit the coastal trail! The ice formations that move on the water are beautiful and fun to watch! Photo – Mystie Spargo

This paved trail is fabulous for biking, running, or walking. We like to walk from downtown onto the trail, and head up to Westchester Lagoon. It’s beautiful there.

There is a great kids playground here and a free, outdoor adult gym. The kids can play while I’m on the chin-up bar. In the summer a small store sells hot dogs and other goodies.

The Tony Knowles trail is on the coastline of the Cook Inlet and has jaw-dropping views of the surrounding water and mountains. Spanning 11 miles, you can turn around and make this hike as short or as long as you like.

The entire trail is amazing. You can find some porta-potties in the summer at a few of the parks along this trail system.

To access this trail you can start at many different access points. There is free parking at Kincaid Park and Lynn Ary Park where you can access the trail.

  • Kincaid Park: 9401 Raspberry Rd Anchorage AK 99502
  • Lynn Ary Park: 2009 Foraker Dr Anchorage AK 99517

You can also access the trail from Elderberry Park but you may have to pay for parking.

  • Elderberry Park: 1297 W 5th Ave Anchorage AK 99501

The Kincaid Park Coastal Trail

Kincaid Coastal Trail Tree
Our favorite tree at Kincaid Park | Photo – Mystie Spargo

Kincaid Park is remarkable in both the summer and winter. The Kincaid Park Coastal Trail is just one of the many beautiful trails located at the park. It is an easy and nicely maintained trail with beautiful views of the water and surrounding forest.

The fresh air feels so good as you hike with forest on one side, and water on the other. Some people bike, but we like to walk so we can take in the sights. We often see eagles, butterflies, and sometimes moose on this trail. The wild plants here are abundant.

You can head to the Kincaid Park outdoor center to get a map of the 4 mile Coastal Trail. There are also indoor bathrooms, and park attendants you can talk to for more information. There is free parking here. Be sure to check out their calendar in advance for fun events!

  • Kincaid Park: 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502

The Earthquake Park Trail

Earthquake Park Trail Beach
First week of school, we head to Earthquake Park and the adjacent trails to skip rocks | Photo – Mystie Spargo

In 1964 a disastrous 9.2 earthquake permanently changed Anchorage landscapes. The Earthquake Park trail honors that moment in time with several educational signs and a short and beautiful path.

The trail is paved and well maintained. Earthquake Park trail goes through the woods and saddles up next to the Cook Inlet.

If you continue walking along the trail to Point Woronzof, you can see some of the best sunsets in Anchorage. We’ll often drive our kids here for a little evening walk to go celebrate the sunset together.

A great location to skip rocks and have a picnic. In the winter we love to watch the small icebergs flow in the current and the bubbles that arise from them.

Just a note, there are no bathrooms here

Earthquake Park is located at the end of Northern Lights, near Point Woronzof. There is a large parking lot with free parking.

  • Earthquake Park: 5101 Point Woronzof Rd Anchorage AK 99502

The Flattop Mountain Trail

Flattop Trail Hike Near Anchorage

Flattop Mountain trail systems trails are very popular for locals and visitors.

Flattop may be the most hiked mountain in all of Alaska. There are some trails for slightly more seasoned hikers, but also very accessible trails as well.

There are a selection of trails including a paved, wheelchair accessible 0.3 mile loop with absolutely stunning views.

I brought my kids and my nephews up here to make a short film. We were pretending to be lost in the wilderness. We all ate blueberries and the kids hid in the mountain hemlock trees. It’s a great place to spend some quality time. Peaceful and scenic.

It’s about a 30 minute drive from downtown Anchorage to the Flattop/Glen Alps trailhead in the wonderful Chugach State Park.

  • Parking Lot: 13101 Glen Alps Rd Anchorage AK 99516

There is a $5 fee to park in the large parking lot, or get your Alaska State Park Pass. Do not park on the road or you might receive a $200 ticket!

The Powerline Pass Trail

Powerline Pass Trail Kids In Tree
The kiddos in the mountain hemlock trees | Photo – Mystie Spargo

This is one of my go-to trails for getting some sunlight, surrounded by mountains, babbling streams, and cute little mountain flowers. You can also see moose or ground squirrels.

You also access the Powerline Pass Trail through the Flattop parking lot. There are nice outdoor outhouses there, but no hand washing stations.

Powerline Pass Trail Kid Eating
My nephew pretending to eat a leaf for our pretend survival movie | Photo – Mystie Spargo

When my daughter was a toddler, I would push her in our rugged, fat-tire stroller down this trail. This is a five and a half mile round trip trail, but it’s worth it even just doing the first mile or two. Being tucked between the mountains with the sun overhead is like walking in a painting. It’s breathtaking and healing.

This is the same parking lot for Flattop Mountain access. It’s about a 30 minute drive from downtown Anchorage to the Flattop/Glen Alps trailhead in the wonderful Chugach State Park.

  • Parking Lot: 13101 Glen Alps Rd Anchorage AK 99516

There is a $5 fee to park in the large parking lot, or get your Alaska State Park Pass. Do not park on the road or you might receive a $200 ticket!

The Rainbow Peak Trail

Rainbow Peak Trail Near Anchorage
Rainbow Peak Trail | Photo – LindsayMarie Photography

If your knees can take it, I highly suggest the Rainbow Peak Trail. It’s a 3,400 foot elevation gain, but if you are physically fit a beginner can do this hike.

A bit less than 5 miles round trip, there is not much scrambling involved going up this mountain. You will be rewarded as you travel through alpine meadows and forests with views of the Cook Inlet with possible Beluga sightings.

Bring a windbreaker, it can become windy up there. Also have your bear safety down packed, because bears are one of the most populated inhabitants here.

I have encountered bears in this area more than any other trails mentioned in this article. There are no bathrooms, this is a little more removed from the city compared to some trails mentioned.

The parking lot is very small and is free to park in.

  • Parking Lot: mile 108 Seward Hwy Anchorage AK 99540

The Campbell Creek Trail

Walking At Campbell Creek Near Anchorage

The Campbell Creek Trail is a flat, paved trail great for runners, walkers, and bike riders. We especially love biking on this trail to get to other areas of Anchorage. We can bike alongside the kids to a local park.

For date night we can bike to Double Shovel Cider Company or Anchorage Brewing Company for a summer-time frosty treat. 

7 and 1/2 miles long, the trail goes through forests, neighborhoods, busy commercial areas, and over salmon filled streams. We have seen beavers in the creek, and it is not uncommon to have moose on this trail.

Campbell Creek Trail is a fun combination of nature meets the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can find lots of access points throughout the city. I recommend parking for free at Campbell Creek playground.

  • Parking Lot: 2365 E 48th Ave Anchorage AK 99507

The Lakeside Trail At Eklutna Lake

The Lakeside Trail At Eklutna Lake Kayak 2
We had only planned to stay a couple of hours but wound up staying the full day | Photo – Mystie Spargo

We rented kayaks and paddle boards and had a lot of fun with friends.

Pack a picnic for a day trip to this pristine lake! The Lakeside Trail at Eklutna Lake is a 12 mile loop around the lake itself and is mostly flat. You can get views of the recruitment glacier, mountains, and the beautiful waters reflecting this. Keep your eyes peeled for Dahl sheep and mountain goats.

Toting around our friends | Photo – Mystie Spargo

When my daughter was a toddler we rented a cabin here. It was a perfect little weekend getaway. We brought the little red wagon and toted her around the lake on the trail. There are nice outdoor bathrooms here and picnic tables as well.

There is a parking lot with lots of space for $5 or you can use your state park pass.

  • Parking Lot: 39375 Eklutna Lake Rd Chugiak AK 99567

The Albert Loop Trail 

Albert Loop Trail Tree
We could not believe we could all fit inside this tree! I wonder how old it is | Photo – Mystie Spargo

The Albert loop trail is at Eagle River nature center and is only 40 minutes from Anchorage. You could spend a half or full day here. It’s a very easy 3.3 mile route, and can be accessed year-round. There are incredible mountain and river views here.

Picnic tables outside The Eagle River Nature Center
The picnic tables outside the nature center have the best view for lunch | Photo – Mystie Spargo

The nature center has amazing resources for folks learning about the area. The Eagle River Nature Center’s mission is to “Foster connections to nature through education, resource protection, and outdoor opportunities.” 

The staff there are really friendly, and we always stop by to check in. They also inform you if they have seen any particular wildlife in the area lately.

There are indoor bathrooms here. This is about a 40 to 50 minute drive north of Anchorage. Parking costs $5 or you can use your Eagle River Nature Center Pass. The state park pass does not work here.

  • Parking Lot: 32750 Eagle River Rd Eagle River AK 99577

The Potter Marsh Boardwalk Trail

Potter Marsh Wildlife Refuge In Anchorage Alaska

If you are a bird lover you have got to go to the Boardwalk Trail at Potter Marsh. Right between the Chugach mountains and Cook Inlet is a boardwalk nestled in the beautiful bird inhabited marshes.

There are at least 135 species of nesting and migratory birds. We also see moose here quite a bit. I love bringing my kids as they can run on the boardwalk and I’m not worried about wildlife or them getting lost in the woods as my husband and I stroll behind them.

This is a wheelchair accessible trail, about half a mile. There are accessible bathrooms in the parking lot at the main entrance. The boardwalk is one of the most accessible wildlife viewing locations in our state and parking is free here!

  • Parking Lot: 2999 E 154th Ave Anchorage AK 99516

A Special Note On Wildlife

Hunt Moose in Alaska with a guide
Photo – Phillip Flippo

Wildlife are a big part of Anchorage. It’s pretty normal for me to see moose strolling through my neighborhood, and depending on what area of the city you are in, bears too. I’ve had enough bear encounters to carry bear spray with me when I’m in the woods, or on the mountains.

Learn about bear safety and moose safety tips before going on a hike in Anchorage.

If you are looking for the easiest hikes in Anchorage, then we hope this list has helped you and given you ideas.

Whatever your abilities are, you can find a trail that will suit you. Both beginners and experienced hikers will find a plethora of options. Whether you want to be tucked into a forest, or by the open air of the water, there is a hike for you.

It feels so invigorating to be able to hike in a big city and be able to head out to the PAC (Performing Arts Center) or grab a bite to eat afterwards. That is Anchorage! The best of both worlds.

Let us know if you have any additional easy hikes you have done in Anchorage that we should know about!

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Our Easiest Hikes In Anchorage For The Family
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I am a giant nerd who loves geeking out on life! Scientist turned permaculture-forest-fairy turned artist home school momma living between Indian, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska. We live part of the year in the Alaskan mountains, off-grid, learning about permaculture and how to better treat the Earth. Bears are my neighbors. My husband feeds birds from his hands. My children live in the trees.

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