15 Best Things to Do in Eagle River, Alaska
Located within the Municipality of Anchorage, Eagle River, AK is approximately an hour away from the state’s most populous city. Though the area is filled with uncommon and fun things to do, it has more of a relaxed and family-friendly state of mind and is a place where the community is intricately connected. A lot of the activities and attractions that you’ll come across at Eagle River focus on nature, wildlife, and the outdoors. Visitors of all ages are invited to go on guided hikes at the Eagle River Nature Center, go on ATV adventures through Alaska’s mountains, or lazily float down North Fork Eagle River. Photo: jon manjeot/Fotolia
»Eagle River Nature Center
The Eagle River Nature Center was formed in 1995 and is a part of Chugach State Park. The center is a way for people to connect with nature and educate themselves on the many aspects of the park. There are so many programs, each personalized for various aged visitors; there are docent-guided hikes all year long and other events which connect kids with naturalists to learn more about the environment with hands-on activities. Other things that the nature center encourages and promotes are trail races, nature walks, and story times which focus on various animals that call surrounding state park home.
Contact: 32750 Eagle River Rd, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-694-2108
Photo: jon manjeot/Fotolia
Named after its round, bare mountain top, Mount Baldy is a popular place for visitors to enjoy hiking and exploring. The trail starts from a parking lot at the base and is approximately 1 ½ miles up toward the summit. It is moderate in difficulty and can get a little steep toward the end but can be managed by those who don’t have much experience hiking. Throughout the hike you’ll be winding through a thick expanse of tree and shrub before it clears out midway to more rocky terrain. Once you get to the top you’ll be rewarded with picturesque views of Eagle River Valley and the surroundings mountains.
»Eagle and Symphony Lakes
The trails at Eagle and Symphony Lakes is one of the of the best ways to explore Alaska’s backcountry. It’s a fairly easy hike, that is only slightly difficult toward the end when the stretch becomes rockier. One of the best views you’ll see on the trail is of the two lakes, Eagle and Symphony, flanking the moraine. The distinct difference in color, with one being green and milky and the other a richer blue aquamarine, is such a beautiful sight to see. You can choose to have a day hike or plan an overnighter and set up camp right along the lake.
Though there may not be anything magnificent about the mountain itself, it is believed that Mount Magnificent is named after the view it offers once you reach the top. You’ll get 360-degree views of your surroundings, from Chugach State Park to the Eagle River community. The hike, round trip, may take anywhere from three to four hours and completes almost five miles. It isn’t recommended for beginners as it could be somewhat difficult; there are certain sections that even an experienced hiker might have trouble with as they climb to the summit. Once you reach the top, the excursion will be completely worth it, and on a clear day you might even be able to see Denali and the Alaska Range.
»St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
Visitors who are exploring Eklutna Historical Park are in for a special treat as they come across St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church. The old log structure was originally constructed in Knik around 1870 and then moved to Eklutna in the 1900s - it is now the oldest standing building in the greater Anchorage area. Surrounding it you’ll see the Spirit Houses as well, which are a uniquely Athabaskan tradition, and were built by the remaining family members of the deceased. Walking through the various structures will give you the opportunity to learn all about Russian Orthodox traditions and the culture and customs of the church.
Contact: Eklutna Historical Park: Eklutna Village Road, Chugiak, AK 99567, Phone: 907-764-7233
Photo: St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
»Odd Man Rush Brewing
Odd Man Rush Brewing is the brainchild of three local people who had a passion for homebrewing and were able to funnel that hobby into creating a legitimate craft brewery. They officially opened in 2015, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and have been providing the community with refreshing ales since then. Their brews range from dark and flavorful porters and stouts to smoother, hoppy IPAs. The team is constantly trying new things and introducing unusual seasonal beers for their patrons to try; one that you shouldn’t miss while you’re there is the smoked oyster stout.
Contact: 10930 Mausel St, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-696-2337
Photo: Odd Man Rush Brewing
»North Fork Eagle River
The North Fork Eagle River is a wonderful way to spend the day with the family, kids and all, as it allows you to experience one of the more calmer rivers in the state. You’ll be in for a full-on, cold water Alaska experience as you raft, kayak, or maneuver your way through the flat river. It’s classified as Class I and though it’s only seven miles long, it may take you a few hours to reach the end point. Floating down the river is a great way to view the picturesque scenery that can be found in the area, and at some points you may be able to see upriver all the way to the snowy peaks of Eagle Glacier.
Contact: 27718 Eagle River Rd, Eagle River, AK 99577
»Twisted Sisters' Quilty Pleasures
The Twisted Sisters’ Quilty Pleasures (TSQP) boutique was started by three sister, out of a total of five, who were raised by a single mother who instilled individuality, creativity, and artistry in each of her daughters. After a lifetime of being on separate paths, these three women came together to convert their passion for quilting into a lifestyle and career. The TSQP quilt boutique is a unique and fun shop that you should visit while in Eagle River. You’ll be able to purchase amazing souvenirs and gifts that include several comforters, coverlets, and bedspreads - each of which were handmade with skill and love.
Contact: 11401 Old Glenn Hwy #101-A, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-694-8777
Photo: Twisted Sisters' Quilty Pleasures
»The Quilt Cache
The Quilt Cache is a quality quilt shop that you’ll find in Eagle River. They have an extensive collection of fabrics, tools, notions, patterns, books, and completed products that you can choose from. Guaranteeing variety and quality, the shop was started by owner Carla Eisberg who has a lifelong passion for quilting and everything quilt related. If you’re not sure where to start, join their monthly group which focuses on pattern, techniques, and new items that are available at the shop - it’ll be a great way to purchase some products, learn more about quilting, and meet some of the amazing people in the community.
Contact: 12812 Old Glenn Hwy #A2, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-622-7858
Photo: The Quilt Cache
»Wolf Song of Alaska
Wolf Song of Alaska is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1988 as a way of allowing people to better understand wolves and create awareness on their plight. A visit to the museum will give you a better understanding of the lovely animal’s natural history, its evolution through the ages, as well as focus on how wolves have been portrayed in folklore, legend, myth, art, and religion. It’s a fun way for the entire family to spend the day learning about things like their life in the den, their diet, and the different types of wolves around the world through their many exhibits.
Contact: 11471 Business Blvd, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-622-9653
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Pizza Man is a family-friendly restaurant that offers fresh, homemade, hand tossed pizzas along with many other delicious Italian foods. You’ll love the feeling of family and home when you walk into the restaurant, which is just one of the reasons why it is so popular with the residents of Eagle River. The casual atmosphere, combined with the authentic Italian cuisine, makes it one of the best places to dine while at Eagle River. Some of their specialty pizzas include the Chef’s Mistake which is topped with Canadian bacon and black olives, and the chicken bacon ranch which replaces the red sauce with a ranch-based sauce. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, try out their grilled wild Alaska Coho salmon or any one of their salads.
Contact: 16410 Brooks Lp, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-694-3777
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Jitters is a friendly and relaxed cafe where you can unwind, catch up with friends, and enjoy a great cup of coffee. The family-owned business opened in 1994 and has since then become an important hub in the community. They are an avid supporter of the arts so don’t be surprised when you go in for a refreshing cup of Kaladi Coffee, which is roasted fresh daily in Alaska, and come across artwork by emerging artists or by the students from the local schools. Their special drinks include the Walter Jr. which is a sugar-free mocha dashed with sugar-free hazelnut and the Jim McCall which is four shots of espresso with cream. Pair your drink with a breakfast burrito or a croissant for the perfect combo; during lunch you can try one of their signature sandwiches or build your own.
Contact: 11401 Old Glenn Hwy, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-694-5487
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»Tinker's Rainforest Deli
Tinker’s Rainforest Deli is a crowd favorite for residents and visitors of Eagle River. Their all-day breakfast is extremely popular with their patrons and includes everything from eggs and bacon to wraps and sandwiches. If you’re there for lunch, try their special lunchtime hoagie and soup combo - you’ll be sure to go back for more! Alternatives for a lighter meal include their fresh salads, daily-baked breads, and refreshing fruit smoothies. The chicken ranch wrap is delicious and shouldn’t be overlooked; using basic ingredients such as chicken, ranch dressing, and lettuce, the deli packs in the flavor. If you’re planning a day of adventuring, call ahead and pick up a packed lunch to take with you.
Contact: 12812 Old Glenn Hwy # A6, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-694-3354
Photo: Tinker's Rainforest Deli
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For some of the best sushi in the area, head over to Jimmy’s Sushi. The restaurant is owned by executive chef, Jimmy Zhou, who has been a sushi chef for over two decades. The time he spent in various other restaurants around Anchorage, before opening up his own restaurant, built him the reputation of including skill and quality into everything he served. While you’re there, you’ll be able to witness his unique talent as he transforms the fish into edible art, creating incredible sushi platters that everyone will enjoy. Some of the items offered on the menu that shouldn’t be missed are the Alaskan Hand Roll which has salmon, avocado, and cucumber, and the King Kong which has lobster, crab, spicy tuna, and eel.
Contact: 11401 Old Glenn Hwy #103, Eagle River, AK 99577, Phone: 907-696-3339
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»Alaska ATV Adventures
Alaska ATV Adventures are fun for everyone as it allows everyone in the family, no matter their age, to go on guided four-wheel tours to explore Alaska’s spectacular sceneries, mountains, lakes, and wildlife. Tours can go anywhere from three hours to full day trip depending on how long you want to be there and what you want to see and do. You can ride the ATVs into some of the most serene, unexplored places, making for a memorable experience you’ll cherish. For something a bit more adventurous, combine your ATV tour with a quad, kayak, or fly-fishing trip which is also offered by the professionals at Alaska ATV Adventures.
Contact: Eagle River, AK, Phone: 907-320-0007
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15 Best Things to Do in Eagle River, Alaska
- Eagle River Nature Center, Photo: Courtesy of jon manjeot - Fotolia.com
- Mt Baldy, Photo: Courtesy of Allen.G - Fotolia.com
- Eagle and Symphony Lakes, Photo: Courtesy of Ferenc - Fotolia.com
- Mount Magnificent, Photo: Courtesy of cec72 - Fotolia.com
- St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Photo: St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
- Odd Man Rush Brewing, Photo: Odd Man Rush Brewing
- North Fork Eagle River, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Twisted Sisters' Quilty Pleasures, Photo: Twisted Sisters' Quilty Pleasures
- The Quilt Cache, Photo: The Quilt Cache
- Wolf Song of Alaska, Photo: Courtesy of michaelpeak - Fotolia.com
- Pizza Man, Photo: Courtesy of hecke71 - Fotolia.com
- Jitters, Photo: Jitters
- Tinker's Rainforest Deli, Photo: Tinker's Rainforest Deli
- Jimmy's Sushi, Photo: Courtesy of weyo - Fotolia.com
- Alaska ATV Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of domarevatanya - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jon manjeot - Fotolia.com
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