Backpacker Magazine Anchorage, AK: Bird Point 

Watch the bore tide in Turnagain Arm and tour a scenic section of the Indian-to-Girdwood bike path on this easygoing, 1.9-mile hike less than an hour from Anchorage.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 11 Sep 2009 4:30:04 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: Alaska (AK)
Distance: 1.92 mi  (Change units)
Difficulty: 1 / 10
Tags: Alaska, Anchorage
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

This easy, 1.9-mile hike on Bird Point visits a viewpoint overlooking Turnagain Arm and tours a short section of the Indian-to-Girdwood bike path. From the large parking area on the south side of the Seward Highway, pick up the paved connector path that travels past several beluga whale sculptures.

After passing the sculptures, walk through the tunnel below the highway and bear right onto the Indian-to-Girdwood bike path. The scenic path leads northeast past views of Turnagain Arm to a retired avalanche cannon mounted next to the trail. Read the interpretive sign, then turn around and return to the Bird Point parking area.

Next, walk up the ramp that starts on the south end of the parking area; several interpretive signs line the walkway. Stop at the enclosed area at the top of the ramp to read about Turnagain's bore tides. Continue along the walkway to a telescope overlooking Turnagain Arm and the Kenai Mountains. (If you have time, stay to watch the bore tide.) Take in the majestic scene from the overlook, then return to the parking area

-Mapped Kim Phillips

TO TRAILHEAD: From Northern Lights Blvd. and the Seward Hwy., head south on AK 1/Seward Hwy. In 29.3 miles, turn right into the large parking area at Bird Point.

Position Format: Datum:

Bird Point

Distance: 1.92 mi Points: 194
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 60.929098, -149.346465
From the large parking lot, follow the sidewalk northeast toward the beluga whale sculptures.


Location: 60.929384, -149.345655
Pass by the beluga whale sculptures, then bear right onto the paved path.


Location: 60.929640, -149.343789
Walk through a narrow tunnel that travels below the Seward Highway.


Location: 60.930736, -149.341683
Turn right at T-junction onto the Indian-to-Girdwood bike path. Head northeast.


Location: 60.931781, -149.337192
Bear right at Y-junction to check out views across Turnagain Arm.


Location: 60.934329, -149.326413
The trail passes an old avalanche cannon displayed next to the trail. Read about its history before turning around the heading back to Waypoint 1.


Location: 60.929059, -149.346498
After you return to Waypoint 1, climb the ramp that leaves from the parking area.


Location: 60.929059, -149.347222
Pass an interpretive sign about beaver dams.


Location: 60.928801, -149.346661
This small room has several interpretive signs. One of them explains the bore tide.


Location: 60.928415, -149.347254
This interpretive sign is dedicated to beluga whales.


Location: 60.928193, -149.347367
Look through the telescope at the end of the walkway to get close-up views of the bore tide.

Rainbow at Bird Point

Location: 60.929108, -149.346165
© Matt Vellone

Beluga Whale Sculpture

Location: 60.929379, -149.345527
© Matt Vellone

Views from Bird Point

Location: 60.929408, -149.344303
© Matt Vellone

Bike Path

Location: 60.930742, -149.341632
© Matt Vellone

Milepost 96

Location: 60.930761, -149.341514
© Matt Vellone

Bike Path

Location: 60.931502, -149.338354
© Matt Vellone

Views from the Trail

Location: 60.931558, -149.338093
© Matt Vellone

Towering Lines

Location: 60.931819, -149.336701
© Matt Vellone

Bike Path

Location: 60.932903, -149.332534
© Matt Vellone

Turnagain Arm

Location: 60.933023, -149.332051
© Matt Vellone

Bike Path

Location: 60.933170, -149.331374
© Matt Vellone

Avalanche Cannon

Location: 60.934319, -149.326853
© Matt Vellone

Avalanche Cannon

Location: 60.934365, -149.326559
© Matt Vellone

Avalanche Cannon

Location: 60.934336, -149.326703
© Matt Vellone

Bike Path

Location: 60.933647, -149.329611
© Matt Vellone


Location: 60.930776, -149.341385
© Matt Vellone

Interpretive Signs

Location: 60.928799, -149.346640
© Kim Phillips

Views of Turnagain Arm

Location: 60.928798, -149.346750
© Kim Phillips

Interpretive Path

Location: 60.928692, -149.347007
© Kim Phillips

Turnagain Arm

Location: 60.928677, -149.347021
© Kim Phillips

Interpretive Sign

Location: 60.928664, -149.347034
© Kim Phillips

Turnagain Arm

Location: 60.928311, -149.347158
© Kim Phillips


Location: 60.928196, -149.347313
© Kim Phillips

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