Eagle River

Eagle River is an independent suburb in the mouth of Eagle River Valley, bout 12 miles up the freeway from Anchorage. Eagle River is connected to rural Birchwood, Chugiak, Eklutna, Peters Creek, and Thunderbird Heights -all sharing a strong sense that their place is more down to earth than the south’s big city. Its geography is beautiful- slopes looming over a broad valley that reaches the Chugach Mountains.

At first glance, Eagle River might seem like a commuters’ suburb, with subdivisions and a Downton district dominated by malls. But, this community of 28,000 has an -only-in-Alaska dynamic, where L48-style residential neighborhoods have beautiful fauna for company. Eagle River features complete services, restaurants, groceries, lodging, shops, a state parks campground, a long trail system along the river, and direct access to the high country.

You could easily base all your vacation in Alaska at Eagle River, with almost equal access to all the adventures, fishing flightseeing, wildlife viewing, day cruises, and other classic attractions. Eagle River Road reaches around 12 miles into the mountains, ending in the Eagle River Nature Center, where you can find recreation advice, naturalists, and programs. 

Favorite Attractions

  • Eagle River Nature Center: This non-profit organization centers at the beginning of the historic 21-mile Crow Pass Trails. It offers nature programs, guided walks, talks, and easy-strolling loops through the riverine habitat with decks and boardwalks.
  • Eagle River Greenbelt: Visit the Briggs Bridge to connect with the Lower Eagle River Trail for mountain biking and hiking with connections to the campground and upstream to Barbara Falls and South Fork. Paddling options go from placid, Class 1 route in the North Fork to much more challenging white water downstream.
  • Eagle River Campground: With 57 sites, this state parks campground sits next to the river, overlooking the locally famous Campground Rapids. A great family campground for camping and picnicking.
  • Bear Paw Festival: Enjoy the country-style fair with Anchorage’s locals. This festival brings fun events, races, live music, carnival rides, food and drinks, a car show, and all kind of vendors.
  • Hiking: This suburb is surrounded by trails, including the popular destinations in Chugach State Park. For a mountain top unique experience with great views, try the Mount Baldy Trail.

This suburb is inside Anchorage’s Municipality, on the Glenn Highway, just beyond a swath of undeveloped military land and about 10 miles north of downtown. To get to Eagle River, take one of the three exits:

  • Old Glenn Highway & Eagle River Road at Mile 13.5 
  • North Eagle at Mile 15.5
  • Eagle River Loop at Mile 11.6