Ice Guide : Southcentral : North Anchorage : Eklutna River : Eklutna Canyon

eklutna canyon

The Eklutna canyon is home to some of the most frequently climbed ice in Alaska. Not only is the drainage a close drive from Anchorage, but the approaches are easy, letting you conserve your energy for the climbs. Drive north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway and get off the Glenn Highway at the Thunderbird Falls exit (No. 25). Park at the Thunderbird Falls lot. From the North, take the Eklutna exit, cross the highway, turn right on the access road. Turn left in the Thunderbird Falls parking lot. Don't forget to pay the Alaska State Park User Fee to park here. Access the bottom of the canyon on the north side of the parking lot. Crampons may be necessary for the descent to the river. Turn upriver to find the climbs in the canyon. Another option is to take the Thunderbird Falls trail which leaves the parking lot and rappel down over the first climb, Mad Dog.

Alert: The Eklutna Canyon drainage is private property belonging to Eklutna Incorporated and their website indicates ice climbing is not allowed on their property. It is strongly suggested that before venturing into the canyon, check with the climbing groups within the community regarding the current access status for the canyon. Alaska State Parks require vehicles parking in the Thunderbird Falls Trailhead parking lot to have a current Alaska State Parks parking pass.

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