McHugh Creek Trails

This trailhead has a number of different adventure opportunities.  All ranges of hiker ability can be met depending on which trail one chooses.  The 3 mile hike back to Potter creek is easy.  The one hour climb up a thousand feet up to table rock is a perfect moderate hike.  For a long and arduous hike, backpackers can climb up and out to the south for about seven miles to McHugh and Rabbit Lakes.

Head south on the Seward Highway out of Anchorage toward Girdwood.  Roughly three miles past the end of Potters Marsh, the parking lots will be on the left side of the road and are announced by the brown and white state signs.  The turnoff will be found shortly after rounding one of the rock outcroppings so keep eyes peeled.  The mileposts are missing in this area, but the turnoff would be near the 112 mile marker.  If you come to Beluga Point, turn around and head back toward Anchorage about one mile.

There are three levels of parking at McHugh Creek Trailhead.  The bottom level is accessible anytime.  There is a gate that blocks the road into the second and third lots closing off the park between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.  Up at the second lot there are picnic areas with tables.  There is also a walkway that features views of the creek falling into a small lake just below the first parking lot.  Toilettes can be found at both the second and third levels of parking.  The trailheads for all routes are located at the top of the third parking lot.  There is no fee to park here.

Claimjumper and I have only taken the trail up to table rock.  Even though it climbs rather high above sea level, the path switches back and forth across the hill, so the climb is not steep until just under the rock.  We arrived at the top as the tide just began coming back in.  We watched and ate dinner as boar tides were formed and moved across the silt bars.  Whirlpools formed in the low-lying sinks in the pattern of channels that make up Turnagain Arm.

Last Visited: August 2000


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