The Chugach Mountains is a range of mountains that, along with the Kenai Mountains and Robinson Mountains, make up the coastal mountains of Southcentral Alaska. The western edge of the Chugach Mountains border Anchorage and so are a popular destination for hunters, skiers, and hikers.

Arctic Valley

Arctic Valley

Arctic Valley is a popular valley located just northeast of Anchorage. Summer and fall activities include hiking and berry picking, and a small ski lodge offers winter activity.


Mountains with autumn color

During the years that I lived in Chugiak, this is the view I had out of my bedroom window.

Crow Creek Valley

Valley views from high

Crow Creek Valley is located north of Girdwood, about an hour's drive east of Anchorage. Recreational gold panning is available during the summer months, and skiers and snowboarders are attracted to the steep mountainsides during the winter.

Eagle River Valley

Snowy mountain peaks

A mid-September snow has blanketed the peaks of the mountains along the Eagle River Valley. This valley is popular due to the presence of hiking trails, the Chugach State Park headquarters, and river rafting on Eagle River.

Glen Alps

Chugach Mountains Chugach Mountains

The Glen Alps is a recreational area east of Anchorage. Adequate parking, extensive hiking trails, and a nice view from the mountains make this a popular area.

Mt. Gordon Lyon

Rubble-strewn valley Mountain and town in valley

Mt. Gordon Lyon is a small mountain located along the trail to Symphony Lake. There are several hiking trails on this mountain and it's a moderate climb to the top.

Matanuska Valley

Matanuska Valley King Mountain

The Glenn Highway travels along the Matanuska Valley. Several pulloffs in the valley provide excellent photo opportunities. The valley is formed by the Talkeetna Mountains on the north and the Chugach Mountains on the south. King Mountain (second picture) is one of the more impressive mountains along the valley.

Maynard Mountain

Mounain, river, and road Small waterfalls Mountain and lake

Maynard Mountain is located near Portage Glacier and borders the northern edge of Portage Lake. This mountain is well-known for the shared highway/railroad tunnel built through it to connect Whittier to the rest of Alaska's highway system.

Pioneer Peak

Snow on Chugach Mountains

Pioneer Peak is a well-visible mountain along the Old Glenn Highway south of Palmer. Like other mountains in the immediate area, it is steep and very jagged-looking.

Symphony Lake Trail

Hiking trail in valley Trees on valley floor Valley floor River below with mountain behind Unknown mountain Boulder-covered valley floor Looking down valley

The Symphony Lake Trail is a trail through one of the many valleys near the town of Eagle River. It's not a very long hike, perhaps 5 to 6 miles (8 to 10 km) but can be slow going due to occasionally rough or muddy trail conditions. The trail is frequently used and is usually in good condition. There is a nice view of Cantata Peak as you're hiking up the trail, and Symphony Lake is supposed to have some good camping and Grayling fishing.

Tahneta Pass

Chugach Mountains Chugach Mountains

Tahneta Pass is a wide pass along the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and Glennallen. There is a nice view of the Chugach Mountains so the south, the Talkeetna Mountains to the north, and several small lakes and ponds in the valley.

Thompson Pass

Chugach Mountains Chugach Mountains

At around 2,600 feet (792 meters), Thompson Pass is one of the highest points of the Richardson Highway. From the top of the pass, you can look down the valley and see the highway after it descends to the bottom of the valley below.

Heiden Canyon, Keystone Canyon, & Tsina River Valley

Chugach Mountains Chugach Mountains Chugach Mountains

Heiden Canyon, Keystone Canyon, and the Tsina River Valley are three scenic valleys along the Richardson Highway near Thompson Pass. Several guided river rafting trips are available on some of the rivers in this area.

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