There are at least two easy-to-visit waterfalls in the Anchorage area. This is the easier of the two to visit, South Fork Eagle River Falls (which shows up on Google Maps as Barbara Falls). There is some steepness, but the trail is short at 0.5 miles one-way, meaning you won’t exert yourself too much. (There is another trail that is longer that also leads to the falls.)
Now, one thing I want to mention about the falls is that the parking area is VERY near private property. Make sure you do NOT trespass on any property, and it seems to be all around the path… I even doubted that there was parking allowed, but it does seem to be. Once you get to the falls, there area a lot of barriers preventing further exploration, and I decided not to do that. It just doesn’t seem safe or appropriate. The fencing must be there for a reason. This did mean that I wasn’t able to get the greatest of photos, but that was more due to the angle of the sun. It actually brightened the trees up a lot, but didn’t really ruin the waterfall itself.
August 2014 “Update”: There’s not really a whole lot to update. I followed the same set of directions, with the same set of warnings about being careful about private property! This time, the sun wasn’t really out, so the view was much better. (My camera also wasn’t broken, which usually helps!)
- Head north of Anchorage along AK-1 to the exit for the Eagle River Loop.
- Drive only 0.2 miles to Hiland Dr., and turn right.
- Drive on Hiland Rd. for a little over 3 miles, and turn left onto River Park Drive.
- It gets very confusing, as River VIEW Drive then turns into Waterfall Drive suddenly.
- Head to the end of Waterfall Drive, and turn right onto River PARK Drive.
- Head to the end of River Park Drive, and take the LEFT fork onto Ken Logan Circle.
- The parking area is at the very end.
- From the parking lot, head to the blocked road, cross the bridge, and then turn right at the sign indicating the Falls.
- Head up the trail. Near the end, it splits again. Head right. (The left is marked as private property). Heading right, you should end up at the waterfall in a very short distance.
Accessibility: 8/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip
Where in the World is South Fork Eagle River Falls?