Take A Trip To This Alaska State Park For Stunning Lake Views

Known and loved for its rugged terrain, impressive wildlife, and spectacularly wide open spaces, Alaska is often a top destination among outdoor adventurers. Those who love to pair wild landscapes with exciting remote expeditions find the state endlessly appealing. While the list of destinations worth experiencing here is vast and varied, Chugach State Park is one you won't want to miss out on when you're pursuing stunning lake views in Alaska.

Chugach State Park sits near the city of Anchorage in the heart of South-Central Alaska. Visiting to enjoy lakeside views does require some purposeful planning because Chugach State Park covers no less than 495,000 acres of lush terrain. The park is absolutely packed with beautiful landforms designed by nature to impress guests, ranging from glaciers and towering forests to mountain peaks. However, Eklutna Lake is particularly mesmerizing as it spans 12 miles and is surrounded by a maze of scenic trails to explore.

Around 1.5 million visitors make their way to Chugach State Park each year, according to the Anchorage Daily News team. Accessing the park is refreshingly simple for visitors, with entrance points sitting just seven miles from downtown Anchorage. Chugach State Park is also easy to reach from nearby destinations like Eagle River, Girdwood, and Palmer. When you're planning on taking a road trip to Chugach State Park, Glenn Highway is the best route from Anchorage or Eagle River to Eklutna Lake.

Activities to enjoy on and around Eklutna Lake

No matter how you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, a trip to Eklutna Lake in Chugach State Park offers up plenty of options for customizing your lakeside experience. Visitors can easily spend the day biking around the mountain lake or hiking the trails that provide pristine views of the water from varying vantage points. If you happen to be someone with a passion for nature photography, Eklutna Lake provides the color contrast and textures that bring photographs to life in picture-perfect style.

The Eklutna Lakeside Trail is a very popular option for cyclists and is just as inspiring when hiking. It's relatively flat and manageable in terms of elevation changes which makes it a great route for adventurers of all ages. This lakeside trail spans the length of the lake, hugging the shoreline nearly the entire way. This means trekkers and cyclists have some pretty breathtaking views available to enjoy no matter where they find themselves on the route.

While the land-based fun around Eklutna Lake is always worth your while, there are opportunities to get out on the water as well. Kayaks and canoes are readily available to rent right within the parameters of the park. There's also a boat launch that is exclusive for hand-carry vessels, making access to the water convenient and simple.

Guided lake visits and great wildlife watching in Chugach State Park

Some explorers looking to experience the best of Eklutna Lake are comfortable doing so on their own. Others prefer to adventure alongside a local and knowledgeable guide. If you fall into the latter group, the team over at Traverse Alaska can help you put together a guided half-day or full-day outing to Chugach State Park. As a tour participant, you can request a guided tour option that focuses on custom hikes, backpacking, kayaking, or a combination of it all.

If your Eklutna Lake visit happens to bring you to Chugach State Park between August and September, you'll be right on time for blueberry season. Many visitors bring a bucket along during these months and collect berries on the slopes near the water. The Bold Ridge Overlook Trail is a prime lakeside route to the very best berry-collecting destinations in the area.

As you trek with a guide or pick berries, you'll want to be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife around Eklutna Lake. Much like the rest of Alaska, Chugach State Park offers world-class wildlife viewing opportunities to visitors and is home to over 45 species of mammals. There's a good chance you'll spot brown bears, moose, black bears, wolves, lynx, and even mountain goats during your time here.