This remote trail can be quite swampy after a rain and sees little traffic. The first quarter mile was recently burned, so the area is a bit more open for viewing the surrounding area.
Fast footwork makes this a fun trail to run.
The tough part is getting to this trailhead. Take a bike or, on some days, 4-wheelers are permitted on the Lakeside Trail, or better yet, fly to Bold Airstrip to cut off some distance.
Beginning at Mile 10.5, on the Eklutna Lakeside Trail
, there is a clearly marked trailhead sign a few steps before crossing the bridge; take the East Fork Trail that follows up the East Fork of the Eklutna River for a good length of singletrack. The trail is clear of fallen trees although there are areas of brush hanging over the trail, plus the trail gets a bit swampy when its wet. Also the trail has a lot of roots and other tripping and slipping hazards for most of the out and back. The sign for distances may be a bit off, but the deep rock canyon face is quite beautiful. About two miles up the trail, you'll pass a tern, usually with some aquatic birds hanging out.
There are a few areas where the trail gets close to the river, so be ready for side stepping loose rocks on the steep hillside. Finally, Telchina Falls come in to sight. If you are fortunate, someone has up-righted the broken post sign that points to the falls. It's a bit more running up the debris-covered gravel wash to see this gem.
The trail does cross the stream (no bridge) and continues up the East Fork of the Eklutna River. I've been beyond the falls several years ago, and found the trail minimally maintained, so get ready for a bit more bushwhacking, route finding, and climbing over and around falling trees if you choose to continue.
Bears, birds, Dall sheep and mountain goats on the rock cliffs, moose, and wildflowers.