At an elevation of 4625', Bird Ridge Overlook is #98 of the 120 Chugach State Park Peaks. It is the high point of Bird Ridge, roughly 4 miles past the race finish line of Bird Ridge Point. Gaining the summit reveals awe-inspiring views of Indian Pass, Ship Creek Valley, and the Eagle River high points to the north.
The portion of the trail that leads to Bird Ridge Point is described in the Bird Ridge Trail
, so I will only describe the trail past this point.
As you continue past Bird Ridge Point, you follow a game trail, generally just below the ridgeline on the east aspect, all the way to the summit. There are several ups and downs along the way, but it is a very pleasant run with stunning views of the Bird Glacier peaks off to the east, the Chugach Front Range high points to the west, and Turnagain Arm to the south. On the final approach, there is a boulder field that takes some maneuvering, but there is enough evidence of human traffic that you can follow that up the boulders to the summit.
As measured by my GPS, the trail is 13.2 miles and 6800' of total elevation gain round trip. I am an above average runner, and with some jogging along the ridge and 30 minutes at the summit, I was able to complete this in under 8 hours.
I have rated this route as a blue/black diamond for summer and fall conditions due to the length, grade, and total gain. This rating becomes a double black diamond for winter and spring conditions, where avalanche conditions may exist off-trail and on the final approach, and cornices may form along the ridge to create a hazard.