Thunderbird Falls Trail

EASY 277 reviews
#1 of 28 trails in

Thunderbird Falls Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Chugiak, Alaska that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
301 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Thunderbird Falls is a nice leisurely walk located along Eklutna River and Thunderbird Falls themselves. The trailhead is very easy to find directly off the Glenn Highway between the Eklutna and Mirror Lake exits. Once you reach the exit you will either cross the Eklutna River (northbound) bridge or pass Thunderbird Heights (southbound). The trail is very well maintained and is a very popular destination. It is an easy trail to hike in terms of difficulty, landscaped with boardwalks,hand rails, and view points. The trail follows a general path and then splits off to a Creek accessible trail or straight ahead to get a balcony view of Thunderbird Falls. There is the occasional opportunity to explore and capture additional views of Eklutna River, however it is not encouraged as it can be dangerous in some areas. If you are looking to get close to the falls the Creekside trail is the way to go. First you traverse down and then follow the creek to the base of the falls.

5 days ago

Nice simple hike. Bring shoes you can get wet if you want to reach the falls

walking
5 days ago

Easy and quick family friendly hike. Definitely recommend this one.

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail, pretty easy but amazing views.. lots of water and big waterfall!! Glad I got to explore Alaska trails!!

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Nice waterfall. The upper viewing platform has the best view of the falls. The lower trail gets you closer and is much cooler near he river.

20 days ago

Nice easy hike with fall and Gorge views. We stoped by Mirror lake adjacent to hike as well.

24 days ago

Short hike, pretty bridges to the falls. Great place to get out for a quick breath of fresh hair.

hiking
27 days ago

The Thunderbird Falls were beautiful.
Quick trek
Safe, bring bear / bug spray if you wish.
Water
Pets welcomed on a leash

hiking
28 days ago

easy. not very scenic till you get to the falls. falls great.

hiking
29 days ago

the trail is super fun, my family loved it, the falls are beautiful! I got some really good pictures, it's not super buggy, at least it wasn't when I went there.

1 month ago

Short, nature walk. Views are okay for a short walk. Not something you would do twice. Trail does not get up close to falls for a good picture unless you climb make your way closer in mud.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this on 7/2/2018. Really nice trail. Parking lot available and 2 unisex private bathrooms, not flushing toilets. Hike is easy and shady. If you stop walking, the mosquitoes will get you. Keep on walking. The path down to the waterfall is moderate. It's probably the "difficult" part of the trail. Great place for pics. Didn't get into the water because it was freezing cold. Have fun and be safe!

1 month ago

Here from Virginia on vacation. Enjoyed this short hike. Love hiking to waterfalls.

walking
1 month ago

nicely kept trail. I didn't realize it passes righ next to residential land. a bit of a buzz kill. But I went in the fall and all the trees and bushes were bare and it might hide the houses when the trees fill out. It has some rolling hills but it has some nice pull puts with views to rest your legs.

nature trips
1 month ago

I am not sure about easy trail, that first inclined was quite a start but yes, it was pretty easy to find. We only did the overlook that was 1.5 miles round trip and took 37 minutes total. The falls are far, the other trail is likely to get you a closer look.

1 month ago

Super nice! Even saw a black bear!

1 month ago

Very pretty view of the waterfall at the end. Took my dog with me, definitely dog friendly as there were a lot of other dogs there too. $5 to park

hiking
1 month ago

Short and sweet, the creek trail (lower route) is better then the overlook in my opinion because you get closer to the base of the falls. Overall it was packed with families and is a nice time.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a busy trail. Pretty easy with a little bit of incline. The mosquitoes will eat you alive if you don't where bug spray. We did quite a few trails while in Alaska and this seemed to be the one where all the mosquitoes liked to live. haha. Damp from the river/waterfall and full of people to eat. ;)

nature trips
1 month ago

It’s a pretty mellow trail to smoke a doobie on.

trail running
2 months ago

Love this for jogging and views. I’m a beginning trail runner but I feel safe and run it two or three times to get the distance in. Just enough small hills to make it a bit of a challenge. Also, do take the side trail at the end to the base of the falls for a bit better view. Worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, even for a beginner like me. But be ready for the mosquito swarms.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s uphill right at the beginning of the trail but not too bad. The waterfall is smaller than I expected. The hike up to the balcony view and down to the creek are easy and short. Lots of mosquitoes!

2 months ago

Great for kids!

hiking
2 months ago

Great little hike. A bit crowded, but it was a beautiful day. Some hills, so may be challenging for young children, but if you don’t go to the bottom of the falls it’s a very quick easy hike.

walking
2 months ago

My 4 yr old walked the whole time. Lots of up and down but trail is very well maintained and not muddy at all. I would not take my dad (he’s 70) but my 2 yr old walked most of it too and my 5 month old golden doodle LOVED the water and trees. Easy enough for babies, interesting enough for teens. My 3 teens enjoyed the activities as well.

nature trips
2 months ago

We walked this trail today with our 5 and 10 y.o.s and they loved it! We also had our mid sized lab with us and she did great! There is some incline during this hike so be prepared for that. Muddy in some areas but it’s doable in sneaks or hiking shoes. It was our first time there and we really enjoyed it.

hiking
2 months ago

Waterfall was so amazing! Lots of people around great for kids. Great hike for beginners.

2 months ago

Easy trail, very busy. Waterfall was okay though not spectacular. There was a guy in a wetsuit hanging out in the falls when we went. Brrrr.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy trail, could be considered more of a walk than a hike. Saw many strollers so you can tell that it's more of a walk. Nice wide trail, maintained well

Need to pay park fee of $5 but it's definitely worth it to maintain the quality of trail.

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