Take a Hike!
The renowned naturalist John Muir once said, “To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” Of course, there are plenty of trails here in the Mat-Su Valley, but if you’d like to branch out, another way to explore our spectacular wonders during your stay at Garden Gate B&B and Cottages is by popping down to Anchorage, about 45 minutes away. Alaska’s largest city has hikes aplenty amidst wildlife and natural beauty. Short, long, easy, challenging, there’s sure to be a trek that’s just right for you.
Relaxing or Rigorous – The Choice is Yours!
Nearly everyone’s list of favorites includes Flattop Mountain, which boasts sweeping panoramas of Anchorage, Cook Inlet, and beyond – even a faraway view of Denali. Roundtrip to the summit and back is 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1500’. The final assent is challenging, but Flattop has other trails that are less strenuous, like the Blueberry Loop. Flattop Mountain Shuttle provides transportation to the trailhead and back from downtown Anchorage.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is arguably one of the most scenic ways to immerse yourself in Anchorage’s spectacular scenery. The mostly-flat, 11-mile trail runs along the Cook Inlet shoreline, where wildlife like moose and eagles are common sights. There are great views of the Sleeping Lady (Mount Susitna) and the trail crosses the historic Earthquake Park where you can see how dramatically Alaska’s biggest quake (in 1964) irrevocably changed the local landscape. Don’t care to walk the entire route? You can rest on benches along the way, turn back whenever you like, and the trail is bike friendly, too.
If your Alaska #goals include wildlife viewing (Whose don’t?!), check out Kincaid Park’s 40-miles of trails, where, against the backdrop of mountain views, you just might see moose, black bears, bald eagles and beluga whales. This huge park also has single-track bike trails and, in the winter, miles of groomed ski trails.
On the way to Anchorage, or on the way back, Thunderbird Falls is a scenic and easy 2-mile roundtrip hike that’s good for families with young children. Near Eagle River in the Chugach State Park, the trail winds through a majestic birch forest along the Eklutna River canyon, and there’s an observation deck that gives you a gorgeous view of the 200’ waterfall. If you’re looking for a more rugged trek, there’s a side trail down into the canyon.
In or out of town, there are hundreds of miles of trails in the Anchorage area. You’re sure to find one or more that will exceed your expectations. And if you’re traveling alone and don’t want to blaze the trail solo, look into Chugach Guides Alaska for a guided hiking experience. They offer 3-hour, half-day and full-day adventures.
Take a Load Off
Whether you’ve hiked the Anchorage terrain all day, or taken a short, leisurely walk in the woods or along the coast, Garden Gate B&B and Cottages welcomes you back to put up your feet and plan your next day’s adventure. Whatever’s in store – more hiking, a glacier tour, kayaking, or a trek to Denali – it all begins with a delectable, hot breakfast (continental breakfast in the off season). Consider us your home away from home and choose from private guest cottages, luxury apartments, and economical inn rooms – whichever best suits your needs. Many of our comfy and relaxing accommodations have stunning mountain views. You can check out our accommodations page to see what’s available and contact us today to make your reservations. We look forward to seeing you!