Thunderbird Falls Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily 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

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

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.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Loved this hike for the kids! They enjoyed every minute of it!

hiking
17 days ago

Wonderful trail!!

18 days ago

Easy, family friendly hike! We went today 5/16 and the trail was perfectly clear of snow and nicely open. There was some ice next to the river, but nothing you couldn't get around. I'd recommend this for anyone with kids and/or pets.

hiking
20 days ago

Very dry most of the way. Down by the water has some slight mud of course. Always a quick fun hike! Lots of fam and kiddos out today. Luckily didn’t see a single mosquito!

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail. Short but worth the trip for the incredible views. Doable any time of the year - the views are great in the snow or otherwise. 100% would recommend making this trip.

recorded Thunderbird Falls Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Easy if you’re in shape, moderate if you aren’t due to the uphill at the outset.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
snow
29 days ago

hiking
muddy
29 days ago

very nice hike, but there were huge groups of people blocking paths and blaring music. loads of people with their dogs off leashes and dog poo all over the trail. would be more enjoyable with less people.

Just a little muddy if u go before 10 you should be fine.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy starter trail. Perfect for families. The view of the falls is better down below than up top. We’ve done this trail twice now. Once in the fall and again in the winter to see it all frozen over. Both times it was stunning!

hiking
fee
icy
muddy
1 month ago

Incredible views, easy trail for walking with kids

hiking
1 month ago

It’s an amazing starter trail for sure. Yes it’s easy but it will let you know if you are ready for more elevated hikes or if ya need some more practice before you decide to conquer a mountain.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Really like this trail. The falls are beautiful. There is still a lot of ice near the falls on the lower part of the trail along the river.

hiking
1 month ago

Dog friendly, easy hike, pretty views

hiking
1 month ago

Done this trail so many times. Nice, easygoing going hike that anyone can enjoy

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

So I had never actually been to this trail before and I was scouting it out for a friend and I was a really good trail. I just hiked it a few hours ago. There are muddy spots in some areas but the only part that still has snow from what I can remember is on the trail that leads down to the water.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

It was a nice short little beginner trail for the season. Hardly any snow on the trail but there was a bit of mud.

hiking
1 month ago

Few hills at the beginning, still muddy & ice/slush down at the falls. Trail in great condition otherwise!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Short hike with lots of mud and puddles that are easily avoidable. Went with the whole family and is great for kids. The trail ends with a short board walk and a view of the falls. There is a continuation of the trail that forks off before the board walk and leads down along the creek to the base of the falls.

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
fee
icy
snow
1 month ago

Awesome trail if you’re looking for something easy that kids will enjoy. Through the winter months definitely take spikes because it is a sheet of ice on the trail! Otherwise lovely little hike.

hiking
fee
icy
muddy
snow
1 month ago

great trails, this is our first time in alaska trailing and it was a little steepy and hilly but it was perfect! 10/10 recommend, also if you have dogs it's great! falls are awesome!

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