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Early September brings the colors of Autumn to the Copper River Delta. The verdant palette adjusts to golds and burnt umbers brought by the change of seasons.  The rich colors invite you to bundle up and go for one last hike before the rains set in.

Trumpeters in Winter

The resident Trumpeter Swans gather in openings in the frozen surface of Lake Eyak. On an icy quiet morning you can hear their low conversations with one another drifting in the cold.

Sheridan Glacier Rd

Just 10 minutes off the Copper River Highway you will find the Sheridan Mountain Trailhead as well as the access trial to Sheridan Glacier.  Surrounded by lush greenery, fields of lupine and wildflowers this is the outdoor enthusiast's dream.

Hartney Bay Snow

A clear day at Hartney Bay after the tide has receded. In just a few months ice and snow will be replaced by 5 milllion of more than 30 species of shorebirds; stopping over on their way to their breeding grounds throughout Western Alaska.

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  • Mt. Eyak

  • Iceworm Festival

  • Power Creek

Hike the Chugach National Forest

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Chugach Forest - Copper River Delta Trails

  • Alaganik Slough Trail

  • Alaganik Boardwalk - Pete Islieb Memorial Boardwalk

  • Alice Smith inter-tie

  • Crater Lake Trail

  • Eyak River Trail

  • Haystack Trail

  • Heney Ridge Trail

  • Lake Elsner Trail

  • McKinley Trail

  • Pipeline Lakes Trail

  • Power Creek Trail

  • Saddlebag Glacier Trail

  • Sheridan Mountain Trail

  • Ski Hill Trail

  • Muskeg Meander Ski Trail

  • Mt. Eyak Ski Area

USFS Trail Map


Alaganik Slough Trail
The first half is made of GeoBlock, a hard plastic material allowing the hiker to walk over the fragile wetlands without negative impact on vegetation and soil.  Midway, a split log bridge provides easy crossing over a narrow stream.  The last half is boardwalk following the bank of the Alaganik Slough, and ends at a bench offering hikers a place to sit and relax.  In June wildflowers are abundant, especially irises.  This is a popular access site for anglers during the coho salmon season from August to mid-September.  Interpretive signs provide information on the natural cycles fo the delta.
Length:.45 mile (.3 km) Time: 40 min. USGS Map: Cordova B-4 Access: Via Copper River Highway to mile 16.9. Turn south on Alaganik Slough Road. Follow main road 2.9 miles.  Trail head is on the east side of the road.

Alaganik Boardwalk - Pete Islieb Memorail Boardwalk
This wheelchair accessible boardwalk crosses an area of delta adjacent to Alaganik Slough. It then leads to an elevated viewing platform that provides a unique perspective of the delta and view of the Chugach Mountains.  Interpretive signs provide information on the delta wildlife and habitat.  There are excellent birdwatching opportunities in early summer. The Alaganik Recreation Area includes 5 picnic sites (1 accessible), restrooms, bear proof trashcans, parking areas, and information panels.
Length: 900 feet (300 m) USGS Map: Cordova B-4 Access: Via Copper River Highway to mile 16.9. Turn south on Alaganik Slough Road. Follow main road 3 miles.

Alice Smith inter-tie
This ridge route is marked with rock cairns and has extraordinary views of Prince William Sound, Eyak Lake, the Copper River Delta adn the surrounding Chugach Mountains.  Approximately halfway on the ridge a small shelter (amenities not included)is available for day-use or overnight camping on a first come first serve basis.  There is excellent berry picking along the loop as well as good possibilities of viewing bears and mountain goats.  Be aware of dense fog the can obscure the trail.  The entire loop from Crater Lake trailhead to Power Creek trailhead is 12 miles (approximate time is 10-12 hours.)
Length: 6.6 miles (10.6 km) Time: 5 hours o/w USGS Map: Cordova C-5 Access #1: Via end of Crater Lake trail (2.4 mile) Access #2: Via Power Creek trail (3 mile)

Crater Lake Trail
This trail climbs a steep grade passing through mature spruce-hemlock forest to a picturesque alpine bowl where Crater Lake sits. The first half climbs over rough, rocky sections with numerous switchbacks and muddy areas as well as wooden bridges. The second half continues to climb, but at a gentler grade, through hillsides that are abundant with wildflowers during the summer months. A bench is provided midway up the trail for a great view of Eyak Lake. At 1.2 miles and intertie provides access to Eyak Ski Hill Trial. At the lake the hiker has the option to access the Alice Smith Intertie or climb Mt. Eyak. The entire loop from Crater Lake trailhead to Power Creek trailhead is 12 miles (approximate time is 10-12 hours).
Length: 2.4 miles (3.9 km) Time: 4.5 hours round trip USGS Map: Cordova C-5 Access: Power Creek Road mile 1.5 Difficulty Level: More Difficult

Eyak River Trail
This trail follows the west bank of the Eyak River for one quarter mile through mature Sitka spruce forest before opening into rolling muskeg meadows. At mile 1.5 the trail reunites with Eyak River for the remainder of the distance before reaching Mountain Slough. At the end of the trail the flora composition changes to a typical delta habitat of dense alder and grasses. This is a popular access site for anglers during the coho salmon season from August to mid-September. The trail is muddy and wet in places, especially after heavy rain. Portions of this trail are “17(b)” easements.
Length: 3.3 miles (5.3 km)
 Time: 5 hours round trip
 USGS Map: Cordova C-5 
Access: Copper River Highway mile 5.7
 Difficulty Level: Easy

Haystack Trail
This short, mostly boardwalk trail winds through spruce-hemlock forest to a knoll overlooking the Copper River Delta. From this spectacular vantage point, one may view the Gulf of Alaska, Kayak Island and many species of wildlife, especially trumpeter swans and moose. The trail has several places to rest and relax.
Length: .8 miles
 (1.3 km) Time: 1.2 hours round trip 
USGS Map: Cordova B-4
 Access: Copper River Highway mile 19.2 
Difficulty Level: Easy

Heney Ridge Trail
The first section of trail follows the contour of Hartney Bay and offers excellent bird watching and wildlife spotting opportunities. Spawning salmon may also be viewed from mid-July to August. The first mile of trail is a “17(b)” easement.* The next two miles moderately climb through spruce-hemlock forest and muskeg areas scattered with wildflowers. The last mile is a steep climb onto Heney Ridge following rock cairns above tree line. Once on the ridge you are treated to spectacular views of the Copper River Delta, the Prince William Sound, and Kayak Island (on clear days). There are many unique wood structures to assist hikers with traversing the varied terrain. The trail is muddy and wet in places, especially after heavy rain.
Length: 3.7 miles (5.9 km) Time: 5.5 miles round trip
 USGS Map: Cordova B-5 & C-5
 Whitshed Road mile 5.1 Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

McKinley Trail
This well maintained trail winds its way through mature spruce-hemlock forest and ends at the north end of McKinley Lake. Several bridges allow hikers easy crossing over small streams. This trail also provides access to two public use recreation cabins. McKinley Trail Cabin (100 yards beyond the trailhead sign) and McKinley Lake Cabin (at the end of the trail). A rough, unmaintained trail continues for 1/4 mile past the lake cabin accesses the remains of the Lucky Strike Mine. Interpretive signs guide the visitors through the history and remains of the abandoned mine and mining camp. Midway, Pipeline Lakes Trail joins McKinley Trail for an optional loop.
Length: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)
Time: 3.6 hours round trip 
USGS Map: Cordova (B-4)
Difficulty Level: Easy

Lake Elsner Trail
This lightly sloping trail parallels the east side of Scott Valley and pass the shores of several small and large lakes.  The trail passes through previously logged areas with little maintenance work from beginning to end.  The entire trail is a "17(b) easement.
Length: 6 miles (9.7 km) Time: 9 hours r/t USGS Map: Cordova C-4 Access: Via Copper River Highway to mile 12.1 Turn north onto Cabin Lake Road.  Follow main road 2.8 miles to the end.

Pipeline Trail
Most of this trail is boardwalk. The first 3/4 mile passes through dense spruce-hemlock forest before opening up into muskeg meadows that offer impressive views of the Chugach Mountains. Short spur trails provide fishing access to five small lakes with populations of cutthroat trout up to 12 inches in length. At the junction with the McKinley Lake trail there is an option of returning to the highway or continuing north to McKinley Lake cabin.
Length: 1.8 miles (2.9 km)
Time: 2.7 hours round trip
Access #1: Copper River Highway mile 21.4
Access #2: Via McKinley Lake Trail
Difficulty Level: Easy

Power Creek Trail
This trail follows the river through Power Creek drainage, then leads the hiker up several switchbacks. Midway, at the beginning of Surprise Valley, the recently built Cordova Electric Hydropower Dam can be seen. The last half of the trail follows the creek up the Power Creek Basin, passing by several beaver ponds and hanging glaciers to the Power Creek Cabin**. The cabin site has wonderful panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains. At mile 3.0 the Alice Smith Intertie accesses the Crater Lake Trail. The entire loop from Power Creek trailhead to Crater Lake trailhead is 12 miles.
Length: 4.2 miles (6.8 km)
Time: 6 hours round trip
USGS Map: Cordova C-5
Access: End of Power Creek Road mile 6.9
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Saddlebag Glacier Trail
This well-drained, level trail winds its way through stands of cottonwood and spruce trees, and guides the hiker through a small, glaciated valley to the outlet of Saddlebag Lake. Split log bridges at several small stream crossings aide the hiker during high water periods. From the lake outlet, Saddlebag Glacier can be viewed at the far end of the lake. Mountain goats can often be spotted on the cliffs on either side. The lake usually has icebergs near the outlet.
Length: 3.1 miles (5 km)
Time: 4.5 hours round trip
Access: Via Copper River Highway to mile 24.6. Turn north
Difficulty Level: Easy
Skiing & Snowboarding

Mt. Ekak Ski Area
Mt. Eyak Ski Area is located in Cordova, Alaska and operates 1 of 2 remaining single chairlifts in North America. This historic lift was first installed in 1936 at Sun Valley, Idaho on Mt. Baldy’s Christmas Ridge. In 1974 this lift was moved to Cordova, Alaska and installed above town on the southern slopes of Mt. Eyak. With a vertical rise of 960 feet the lift serves 3 main runs with countless shots through trees and glades encompassing an area of over 600+ acres. The lift also accesses backcountry on the upper slopes of Mt. Eyak. A rope tow serves a beginner slope with a length of 300’ and a vertical rise of 50’. Mt. Eyak has a full service rental shop and food service is available. Mt. Eyak operates from November to April on weekends, holidays & and powder days (snow permitting).

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