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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 is primarily used for walking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 1.8 mi Elevation gain 301 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Walking Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Fee
Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips

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.

There are many different types of patrons on this trail, of all ages and fitness levels. Dogs are permitted on-leash. It is not uncommon for children to be present as well. Bug protection is recommended depending on time of year and weather.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (676)
Photos (277)
Recordings (428)
Completed (1851)
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Tara Nagel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

A little muddy, but worth it for the waterfall view and gorgeous fall colors!

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Sean Poynter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
Hiking
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Zack Loving
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Hiking

Muddy this evening

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Jason Hunt
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Hiking
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Lynda Kreps
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Hiking

Ok

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Kevin Rambo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 10, 2020
RunningFee

Nicely maintained trail. Great for a short jog, with nice sights at the end. Be sure to go down to the creek for a more up close feel of the falls

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Estela Cavaney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
Nature tripsGreat!MuddyOff trailScramble

Beautiful- JUST STUNNING! The beginning is a little steep, but a great heart-pumping start (no complaints) ~ Walk further down to relax at the creek: Check out the pretty rocks and the Alluring-LARGE scenery & the gorgeous waterfall. ~ Great for couples/date-hike where you can find "Love Locks" in front view of the falls whereby sweethearts carve their dates/initials on a padlock and throw away the key to seal their love. ~ NOTE: Not sure about other reviews, but I easily found full view of the waterfall. Now enjoy nature and no littering please :-)

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Paul Byford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2020
Hiking

Not too bad.

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Alexandra Catozzi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

Great hike!

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Madison Belisle
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HikingMuddy

Really nice easy hike with some nice views to take in!

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Patty Whited
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
WalkingFeeMuddy

Great walk to take the family and dogs. My kids enjoy taking the trail down to play with the water. Easy hike! Not too many people.

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Alex Shelton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

Quick and easy trail, with waterfalls at the end. Was a nice break after our feet were blistered from the day before.

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Megan Woida
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
WalkingFeeGreat!

Easy trail with a little bit of an incline in some places, it was difficult to bring a stroller along, but the view of the falls is worth the walk!

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Carl Wyland
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HikingFeeGreat!

Easy, relaxing hike. The incline at the trailhead gets your blood pumping but quite honestly is the most challenging part of the trail. Beautiful views along the way. Nice easy trail for parents with young kids and for older folks who enjoy getting out but aren’t into a challenging hike these days.

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Katie Schiebel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking

Great waterfall hike! I was really happy with this trail. You can climb up in front of the waterfall from the creek trail by stepping on the rocks. There’s a tiny space where you can stand and see the falls. Great for breaking up a drive, too!

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Mae Grundman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
WalkingGreat!

Very short hike or for a walk . Family friendly. Tourists attractions.

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Kasey F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking

This one is a pretty good workout, but on a well-maintained trail! I’m my opinion, the falls overlook deck was a much better view of the falls. Going down to the creek we steep & muddy anyway.

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Jenny Bradshaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Walking

Easy out and back trail with gorgeous views that can be enjoyed most of the year.

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Jay Chive
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great out and back hike (less than a mile each way) that is easy and leads to great views of the waterfall.

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Lea Blaisdell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

Well maintained trail, perhaps a little crowded where the trail narrows and we are all trying our best to distance ourselves. I would recommend having a mask just for these spots. Very pretty views with flowers and berries. A few slippery spots on the lower trail and be prepared for a tough uphill stretch right away on the upper trail as you head in.

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Kathryn Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
WalkingGreat!

Well maintained trail. Easy to do with the family. 5, 8 and 10 yr olds and dog all enjoyed it. Decent restroom facilities at the beginning. Hardest part is the hike at the beginning and then it’s pretty easy. Good view of the water fall at the end (upper trail).

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Jake Pascke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
WalkingGreat!

Great

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Maddie Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

The waterfall is beautiful but so far away, you can barley get a glimpse of it. Then we did the creek trail and you could only see the side of the waterfall...not worth it.

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Jon Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Crowded but otherwise an easy, enjoyable hike.

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