Saturday, August 4, 2012

Eagle River, Chugach State Park

After two days of rain and cold and RV service, we were ready for some fun. We took full advantage of the sunshine and camped at Eagle River in the Chugach State Park near Anchorage.
We spent the day on the hiking trails. The first one runs beside the Eagle River, a popular part of the canoe trail.
But the portion of the river we hiked beside has to be portaged around because of the dangerous rapids.
Dangerous area.
 Swift water.
 These are resting places for your canoe as you carry it around the rapids.
Watch your step...the trail has lots of roots sticking up.
The river is on one side; on the other side of the trail are steep wooded banks.

 Wonderful warm sunshine filtering through the trees.
A river access point for fishermen. Didn't see any today.
 I've noticed some subtle changes in the flora...signs of changing seasons.
The roses are done blooming.
 Lots of warm colors popping out.

 Berries are ripening.
Next we followed the Eagle River Road 12 miles to its end at the Eagle River Nature Center. There will be more hiking there.
 The road is scenic with views of the Chugach Mountains all around.
 It follows the Eagle River upstream.
 Foxtail grass growing beside the road.
 This little Yellow-rumped Warbler was taking a bath in a swampy area by one of our stops along the road.
 Gazing in the mirror.
At the Nature Center we hiked the Rodak Trail and part of an historic section of the Iditarod Trail.
 The views were spectacular. This area is a salmon spawning ground.
And there's an abandoned beaver pond here too.

 The salmon aren't here yet, but they are on their way up the river.
 This valley was carved by glaciers.
We learned at the Visitor Center that these are Watermelonberry.
 Yellow bumblebees were busy pollinating these flowers.
 The stages of cow parsnip: Most of the white blooms I showed you in previous posts are gone by and turning to seeds.
 Cow Parsnip seeds.
 Fungi growing on a log.
 The trail takes us through groves of huge Cottonwood trees. This one is hollow at its base.
 We saw many unusual and interesting tree forms.

 High in the mountain is a waterfall.

 Birdie walks by the hollow log of a fallen cottonwood tree.
 The boardwalk traverses a swampy area.
This part of the trail was once part of the Iditarod Trail. This man was exercising his sled dogs on it.

 Birdie spotted this big paper-wasp nest hanging from a tree.
 I believe this plant is called Devil's Club.
 More interesting fungi.
On the way back to the campground we passed this rushing mountain stream where it passes under the road.
An early Eskimo tribe in this area called themselves Cuatit, which early Russian explorers recorded as Chugatz. In 1898 Captain Abercrombie spelled the name Chugatch and applied it to the mountains. That name evolved to the present spelling, Chugach
Hope you enjoyed your visit to Chugach State Park.


  1. Beautiful views all over Alaska! Oh, and I remember a story about paper wasps!

    1. Me too...a good one to tell around the campfire sometime.

  2. More beautiful views of Alaska. Loved the little bird mirror picture-very unique. Looked an an interesting area. I can see you are back in jackets again. Happy travels.

  3. Your photos and stories are wonderful as always. I was just thinking about all of the pictures and stories you really can't share on your blog, but are stashing away in your mind. You really are blessed. Thanks for taking me along on the ride.

  4. Wonderful as always! I love your photography. Like Coleen, my favorite pic was the finch bathing. I guess I appreciate fauna more than flora. :-)

  5. I am sooooooo enjoying your pics and posts. Makes me relive my trip thru there in 07. we didn't get out of the north country til sept.. followed the trees turning all the way south. came thru an early snowfall in northern MT. heading to my cousin's place in Kalispell. God was sure showing off when He made that country,,, didn't HE? ;)

    love ya! J