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Bird Ridge Overlook

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.6 ( 5 ) Favorite

Trail

13.4 mile 21.5 kilometer out and back
66% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 5,751' 1,753 m
Descent: -5,751' -1,753 m
High: 4,651' 1,418 m
Low: 164' 50 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Abe H

An amazing alpine ridge run to the high point of Bird Ridge.

Abe H

Features Views

Parking at the Bird Creek Access Lot or the Bird Ridge Lot requires $5 or an Alaska State Park pass.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#1961

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
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40%
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Featured Run Rankings

#32

in Alaska

#1,961

Overall
12 Views Last Month
992 Since Jan 24, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Summit photo above the fog
Jan 25, 2018 near Girdwood, AK
A winter outing on Bird Ridge - looking across Turnagain Arm at Mount Alpenglow.
Apr 23, 2017 near Girdwood, AK
Fall ridge view looking east toward the Bird Glacier peaks.
Jan 24, 2018 near Girdwood, AK
Ridge view looking south at Bird Ridge Point in the middle.
Jan 24, 2018 near Girdwood, AK
Ridge view looking north at the summit of Bird Ridge Overlook.
Jan 24, 2018 near Girdwood, AK
Heading down from top of Bird Ridge Trail, Turnagain Arm in background.
Mar 20, 2016 near Girdwood, AK

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