Eska Falls is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sutton, Alaska that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking.

Length9.5 miElevation gain2,339 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingForestRiverViewsWaterfallRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

Access to this trailhead will require a high clearance vehicle.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (45)
Photos (82)
Recordings (29)
Completed (85)
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Tyler Charles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Cathleen DB
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

beautiful!

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Charlie Morse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingMuddyWashed out

I’ve loved this trail since the first time I did it. First and foremost, to get to the trailhead, I recommend a vehicle with either 4WD or AWD and high ground clearance. The road is severely washed out and rocky. Standard vehicles will be forced to park wayyyy down the road, adding about 4 miles RT to your hike. You don’t want to do that! The first part of the trail, winds inward and up the side of a wooded mountain. There’s a lot of switchbacks as you work your way higher, but the grade is never terrible. As you clear the wooded crest and turn inward toward the falls, you’re greeted with your first views of this wonder of nature. The hike inward is awesome. Some areas with steep ascents, then leveling or falling again. After that initial uphill work, these steeper grades can be kind of brutal. Combined with mud, my hiking poles were invaluable. After making your way ever-higher, the trail at last drops down to the foot of the falls. Absolutely serene and a perfect place to sit and relax for a bit with nothing but the sound of the rushing water. The way back is definitely easier. After working through some uphill sections to get back to the crest, everything from there is downhill until you get to the steps at the very beginning of the trail. This trail is rated as hard, but I don’t think it’s particularly so at all. I forgot to start my recording until about a mile in, so we clocked a little over 9 miles by our own count (this app has it at 10.5) and did somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600 to 2000 feet elevation gain, which again comes up a bit short against the provided information. Total hike time for us, keeping a steady if slowish pace was 5:20 or so, which included a 20-30 minute break at the falls. This is a less-trafficked trail (except for the motorized vehicles that run up next to it), but super rewarding!

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Liz Stevens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
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Joshua Rockey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingBugs
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Alyssa Helland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBugs

This was a beautiful hike!!! I strongly recommend driving as close to the trail head as possible. We parked pretty much right by the trail start. If you have trouble finding the trail head on the “road” just take all the lefts and you’ll find it. This took us just under 4 hours to do. It’s rated as hard which I don’t whole heartedly agree with; its long but not “hard.” It’s actually a very well maintained trail, easy to follow and requires no technical skill, has just enough elevation to be annoying but very doable. Was 11.5 miles round trip for us.

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Demerie Galvez-Sealock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Hiking

I hiked on 6/25 and it took about 7 hours with break included. My truck can clear the rumble rocks no problem so I saved myself an additional 3 miles up hill to the trailhead. But best believe those rocks show no mercy to a car that isn’t prepared. If you do decide to drive up, stay LEFT. EVERY TURN LEFT. The hike in was pretty level but you could tell the incline was there. But nothing a few breaks couldn’t handle. The hike down is way easier then up unless you have bad knees then take it slow. Once you get to the cleaning you have a small view of the falls ahead of you but you still have about another mile to go. GO RIGHT IN THE CLEARING. ^^^ they weren’t kidding when they said the trail is washed up from the four wheelers. The remaining trail is pretty up and down but you get more excited as you get closer. The falls are just amazing and there’s a perfect spot to rest and get your feet wet. Bugs are NOT bad. And the trail is clean except at the falls some diphead left shells and some cans they shot at behind ): such a shame.

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Dan Ungrue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Eska Falls Trail was fabulous! My wife and I took the dog, Maxi, for a lengthy stroll to see this waterfall for the first time on June 7th. I’d say this trail isn’t difficult but rather long. Unlike a lot of trails up here, it has some switch backs and there isn’t a substantial amount of elevation gain consider the trail length. From the trailhead at the roundabout, we started through some fairly dense forest and made plenty of noise as we went along. We never encountered any non-winged wildlife but did see a lot of moose scat and prints on the trail with nary a sign of bears. The trail is essentially single track the entire way until tree line is in the rearview mirror. After about a mile and a half we were out of the denser stuff and into some cottonwoods and taller trees, a kind of an enchanted forest feel. Once we hit these trees, it was switchback heaven to get above the trees and gain the ridge where you plateau and can see the falls and the mountains about a mile and a half away. At this point the hiking trail runs directly parallel to and eventually joins the ATV trail. It was our first long hike (by our standards) of the year and there was a fair bit of up and down in the open stretch to the waterfall. Lots of rocks and potential to roll an ankle in this portion. When we crested tree line there were some beautiful, puffy clouds and blue sky over the falls. As a photographer I was licking my chops! As fate and Murphy’s garbage law would have it, we watched as dark gray clouds rolled in to spoil the ambiance. The Accuweather forecast for Sutton had called for “mostly cloudy” with a 25% chance of precipitation. By the time we reached the waterfall, I felt a few rain drops as I got my camera and tripod rigged up; once I started shooting, the hail started. I was pretty bummed because there were lots of good angles to be had and fun stuff to shoot. We hung around for maybe ten to twenty minutes before hightailing it back as the notion of a wet trail wasn’t appealing. Thunder was prevalent for most of the hike back and we even saw a few lightning flashes. It made for some dramatic skies on the way out! We did hit some slick spots but made it down without any major issues. The views above tree line are majestic! The Talkeetna and Chugach Ranges are there to see in all their splendor with a view reaching all the way out to Cook Inlet. Notes... There is a rough road that requires 4WD to get to the roundabout where the trailhead starts. have a Toyota 4Runner and had planned on driving to the roundabout. After we got off the paved road I’d kept in mind to continuously stay left. After the pavement’s end there’s about 100 yards of seriously rutted road then a bit of a fork. I stayed to the left, went up about 100 feet and the road was laden with some rocks that looked like they’d do a number on some tires. We decided to back down and park in a clearing we’d spotted and just hike up. We should’ve backtracked and driven up as the bugs WERE THICK hiking this portion of the trail. Taking every left was great info I gathered from the Hiking In Alaska group on Facebook as there are a number of side roads/trails on the way up. There are a couple signs at intersections that tell you the way to the hiking trail to eliminate confusion. We encountered ATV’s at the bottom and the top as well. Everyone was respectful and friendly that we encountered. We passed a hiking party of two on the way up and saw one other hiker with her dog as well. The bugs were worse on the road back down which made us wish we had driven to the trailhead. It added about another 3 miles or so RT to the hike; my wife’s watch said we logged 13.5 miles. If you decide to drive, 4WD is definitely preferable although an AWD with some clearance would probably make it. If I owned a Subaru I personally don’t know if I’d risk it; the gal with the dog said she drove her Subie up and it got dinged up a little. I’m definitely going to hit it again and make sure the weather will let me have some time behind the camera at the waterfall which is approximately 100’ tall. A friend of ours told us she and her family camped at a lake above the falls last year. We took a lot of breaks on the way up and spent about 20 minutes at the falls and our total time was 6.5-7 hours. Bring plenty of water and bug dope if you go. Between us and our dog we motores through seven bottles. And it’s worth mentioning the Alpine Inn in Sutton is a nice place to stop for a celebratory beer on the way out of town!

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Jeff Perin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2020
HikingBugs
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Gillian Brinker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 13, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyRockySnow

Can be challenging to find, but worth it once you do. Trail gets very thin in some areas, so be prepared to walk along some minor drop offs. There were also a couple of small trees blocking the path, but they were certainly navigable. Didn’t see any large wildlife, but there was a LOT of bear and moose scat, so be aware. Snow and mud patches throughout this time of year (mid May), but overall, a very fun hike, and gorgeous falls.

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Brandon Traini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 12, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Great trail! Muddy in some places this time of year , but not horrible. Trail can be slightly confusing at times to follow, due to multiple offshoots.

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arcticinfidel 907
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2019
HikingMuddy

This was such a great trail. Beautiful fall views. The smells and sounds were amazing. Make sure you definitely bring a truck to get closer to the trail head. Our Nissan car was not adequate hahaha. Once you come up on the ridge its deceivingly far away but so worth the extra push to get there. Highly recommend this to all

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Alexy Prokoshev
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2019
Hiking

I went in the mountains past the falls

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Jessica Bly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2019
Hiking

One of my favorites. I grew up hiking this trail. Was much better before atvs & jeeps ruined it... there is the newer hiking trail but it’s not as good as the old trail bc old one offers better views after steep climbs. Steep in some parts & can be muddy in others during rainy times, but I wouldn’t say hard—but you wouldn’t want to do if you have bad knees. Once you get above tree line the view below you & in front of you are pretty breathtaking. The hike to the falls from there is easy. The best is above the falls where not a lot of ppl go—REALLY steep, don’t lean back or lose your footing or it won’t go well. Lol. Then a Massive rock garden to cross. But once up there it’s beautiful, mountain goats & plenty more hiking back into the valley between more mountain peaks.

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beth hendrickson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2019
HikingRocky

Beautiful falls. Took hiking trail up to falls and atv road back. In hind sight, should have taken trail back as toad steep , scree, and rocky. Fireweed galore!

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michaela wellman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2019
Hiking

Awesome hike, long but worth it. Beautiful views once out of tree line. Left my blue dog backpack at the bottom of the hike though, if anyone snags it please text / call me ! 9072328860

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Charlotte Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2019
HikingNo shade

Falls are beautiful! The trail is a nice steady, not exhausting climb thru some forestry/vegetation for the first half. The 2nd half is in the open, no shade. I did it July 6th in the middle of the heat wave and it was tough. The last 1/4 of the trail is up down up down and the last half of the trail is sharedwith 4 wheelers. It’s very dirty/dusty due to this. The falls are lovely. Very refreshing once you are there to get in or at least your feet and lay on the rocks. I needed about 2 hours to recover and enjoy the falls prior to taking off. 4 hours up due to heat. 2.5 hours back. ****I drive a Mazda CX-5. The drive up to the trailhead is about 1.8 miles after the payment ends and it is rough. It took 20 minutes to drive that 1.8 miles. Lots of dug out spots in the road and large rocks. .

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Katie Baumgartel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2019
Hiking

Hiked Eska a couple days ago (6/30/19). Road is rough as others have mentioned. In a Jeep, we parked at first left turn. Trail follows atv road for about a mile and half before you get to marked foot path. Well marked though slightly overgrown so keep your eyes peeled. The trail is quiet (not a lot of foot traffic) with high grass as mentioned so make sure to go with a group and/or be prepared to make noise. The trail follows a gentle incline through the grass and trees. Once above the tree line you will have a beautiful clear view of the falls which are about 1.5 miles down an ATV trail. This part was dusty -bring a buff. Completed the hike in 5.5 hours with a good long break at the waterfall. I would rate this trail easy-moderate. Certainly not hard.

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Lee Walden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2019
OHV/Off-road drivingRocky

We actually took a Honda Pioneer on the ATV trail and it was extremely dusty and very rocky. There is a hiking trail but you need a 4WD to reach the trail head. Once we got to the top I can definitely understand why hikers would be annoyed. The last mile or so is a shared trail and of course ATV’s have taken over what I am assuming was a foot trail. The falls are beautiful and I was impressed but definitely see the need to have a hiking trail separate from the ATV trail.

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Jared Keeling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2019
HikingWashed out

**Access to this trailhead will require a high clearance vehicle. The trailhead is also not where AllTrails shows. You get to it by taking every left turn you come across until you reach a loop. That is your proper trailhead, which happens to be after the AllTrails one shows the two different versions of the trail splitting (ATV on the right, footpath trailhead on the left and further up the road). Views of the valley are plentiful and the falls are spectacular. Between the terribly indicated trailhead and the totally trashed trail covering the last mile, this hike lost 2 stars. The last mile is absurdly indirect to the falls, twisting and turning, going up and down steep hills repeatedly along ATV trails that seem to have claimed the previously existing footpath, if there ever was one. There is chalky dust covering most of this section, with many interweaving trails adding to the mess. Trash (mudflaps, fender fragments, wires) left by ATVs could be found along this stretch. Trash was also found at the base of the falls. Just go into this one knowing the last mile is a nuisance and the trailhead is poorly marked but findable, and you'll enjoy the views for sure!

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Jennifer Hawkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2019
HikingBugs
First to Review

This was a beautiful hike on 6/23, lots of wildflowers! Bring your bug spray. Mosquitoes were bad on the ATV trail but not on the actual trail hiking trail. Once you find the trailhead the rest is marked until you get to the top where the ATV trails are.

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Jaida G
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking
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Charlene Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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