Thunderbird Falls Trail

EASY 216 reviews
#1 of 24 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.

trail running
22 hours ago

quick and easy. still a bit of ice at the very end of the creek trail before the waterfall.

6 days ago

Nice and easy, still a bit of snow down at the base of the falls

14 days ago

Quick and easy hike with plenty of people with dogs and even strollers in some cases. a good twenty to thirty minute jaunt.

hiking
20 days ago

Views are beautiful, the falls are more active since it’s getting warmer and thawing out. Very muddy in some areas but not terrible as long as you have good waterproof shoes / boots.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful. Quick hike. Muddy and icy in spots. Definitely worth taking the detour down the creek trail near the falls viewpoint.

*There is a $5 parking fee. Doesn’t seem highly enforced, however.

28 days ago

Very quick hike year round.

1 month ago

Still a bit slippery for some parts in mid April. The trail down to the creek looked almost impossible due to a patch of ice at the top. Everything else is pretty easy, well marked. If you want solitude this trail probably isn’t best as I still saw a few people during the icy months.

hiking
1 month ago

I can be a bit slipery during the winter. with all the snow. make sure you bring some yaktracks or some other kind of traction for waking up and down the hills

Was icy and muddy but still a nice short hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike

2 months ago

Wonderful hike

3 months ago

A most beautiful place

3 months ago

A most beautiful place

3 months ago

A most beautiful place

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing during the winter!! Very slippery once you get down to the base of the waterfall, but it made for a funny hike.

4 months ago

Love it summer and winter both.

6 months ago

Quick and fun family hike.

7 months ago

One decent view of the mountains, but kind of a boring hike. There isn't a great view of the falls, even from the bottom.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

This a great family hike. Trail is well maintained all the way to the falls. The viewing deck is beautiful, has lots of room for people. There is also a trail down to the river and falls also. Little more steeper but still good for families with kids to work off some of that energy.

8 months ago

A great trail for novice hikers and those new to Alaska.

9 months ago

great short hike to do any day of the week...

9 months ago

Local access to beauty. Easy trial and bring your water shoes so you can walk into the water and get close to the falls.

hiking
9 months ago

It has a $5 parking fee and the restrooms were very smelly and nasty. However over all, the hike was great and the waterfall was beautiful. I went on a Wednesday morning and it wasn't super busy but there was definitely some traffic. Great trail to take active dogs and new inexperienced hikers. It's over all about a 2mile hike.

9 months ago

Pretty trail, some good hills. Keep your dogs leashed

walking
9 months ago

Pretty trail. Not much of a challenge. Nice to do with the family.

hiking
9 months ago

nice trail, not too long with some incline.

hiking
9 months ago

Super easy and short hike. Done it a few times and the one time we did it in the winter was the hardest but most rewarding hike. Able to walk all the way up to the falls as it was covered in ice. The trek back up the snowy sides and icy trails was tough if you don't have ice grippers. Live and learn ;).

9 months ago

This location is great. The only issue is the limited amount of parking. When I went I had to park on the side of the rode with other park goers.

hiking
10 months ago

Always a great trail to hike. Quick and easy.

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