Nestled in between Anchorage and the MatSu Valley, there is an easily accessible location that is popular to photographers, bird watchers, and fishermen. This place boasts some of the prettiest blue-green waters which also does not freeze during the winter. It was one of the first places we checked out in Alaska, and it’s still one of our favorite places. This place is Eklutna Tailrace.
Eklutna Tailrace is probably best known as a popular spot for salmon fishing. Come here during the salmon season, and you will find the banks lined by fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder all trying to catch the salmon. While we have definitely joined in on these fishing festivities, I also have to admit that the summer is not my favorite time to visit these beautiful waters. It’s just too busy.
Come here during non-busy times and you will often catch glimpses of beautiful birds. This body of water often holds a trumpeter swan or two, and the kids are always so excited to find these gorgeous animals. A variety of other birds can also be seen in this area from time to time, including a variety of ducks and bald eagles.
This isn’t a very intense hike, but it can be a lovely stroll. There are two parking lots of Eklutna Tailrace – the main parking lot which is open during the warm months and a small pull-off parking lot across from the Eklutna Power Plant. The two parking lots are connected by a flat trail that runs along Eklutna Tailrace. A round trip stroll along this path is about a mile long. It is a perfect little excursion for families who want to get outside and enjoy nature but don’t want an intense outing. Keep your eye out for moose – moose sign is ALL along the trail!
Visit the Abandoned Cars
Along the banks of the river, you will also see old abandoned cars. There are several dozen. It is a very fun place to explore with your kids, though please be careful as the metal is sharp and there are many tripping hazards. Our kids love to look into the different cars and explore in this area. And quite honestly, it makes for a rustic and fun photoshoot area, as well.
During the winter, this is a beautiful place to come watch the Northern Lights. While we have yet to do this, the photos we’ve seen of others who have watched and photographer the Northern Lights from the Eklutna Tailrace are absolutely incredible. Blue-green water matched with the blue-green lights of the Aurora Borealis? Breath-taking!
Eklutna Tailrace – Simple and Beautiful Family Outing
Eklutna Tailrace is a perfect place to bring your family for a simple, yet beautiful, family outing. We visit here often during all seasons since it is easy to get to as well as easy to get around no matter the season. Be sure to bring your camera as the views never disappoint! Other easy trails in the area are the Wasilla Creek Trail and Reflections Lake.
If you want to see one of our Eklutna Tailrace adventures, hop on over to our YouTube channel and just take in some more of that beautiful scenery (and view some pretty sweet earthquake cracks!). Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you don’t miss any of our upcoming videos!