Special Places

What to do, where to go, what to see.

The Chugach is full of special places, from the Kenai Peninsula to Prince William Sound, to the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta. We are pleased to highlight a number of different and interesting spots.

Highlighted Areas

Portage Glacier & Portage Valley

Welcome to the land of ice & rock...

Portage Valley is a 14 mile isthmus that connects the Kenai Peninsula to mainland Alaska. Portage Glacier once extended the entire length of the valley. The glacial remnants seen today are Explorer, Middle, Byron, Burns, and Shakespeare glaciers. While still massive in size, these glaciers stand as smaller reminders of the immense ice sheets that once covered this landscape.

Russian River

In the fall of 2020, crews began removing hazard trees and thinning out tree stands within the campground and along the surrounding access trails to improve visitor safety and the health of the forest. The removal of dead spruce trees will improve safety, prevent potential damage to buildings and campsite structures, stimulate understory vegetation for wildlife, and improve overall vegetation health. Visitors to the campground may notice a change in site appearance as tree removal will allow for new vegetation growth. News Release

Big Fish On!

The summer sockeye (red) salmon runs are the ones that draw the infamous crowds, but find solitude and fish on the shoulder season, as well.

With a season that starts in early August and continues into late September, this is your chance to catch the “big one” (coho or silvers average between 10-12 lbs) without all the crowds of summer. Fall silvers can be energetic, so be sure to bring your waterproof gear and a camera to capture your catch and the fall colors.

Please be Bear Aware while you are on the Chugach National Forest.  Remember: Bears are especially attracted to fishing areas.

Our new (September 2018) Russian River flyer  has a comprehensive updated map of the area, angler ethics, regulations and bear safety tips.

Spencer Bench Cabin

The newest cabin on the Chugach National Forest, located at 1,900' elevation overlooking Spencer Glacier.  Alpine meadows just above cabin offer excellent off-trail exploring; nearby creek for water.  15' x 17' trapper-style cabin with wooden bunks (no mattresses), table, counter, kerosene heater, fire extinquisher, and separate outhouse.  Bring cook stove, cooking utensils and all items you'll need to be comfortable, including during the hike up 1,800' over 5 miles, from the Spencer Whistle Stop Train station. 

Glacier Discovery Train: 2021 scheduled service Anchorage to Whittier, May 15 & 22, 2021; Anchorage to Whittier & Spencer Glacier, May 29 - June 4, 2021; Full route, June 5 – September 6, 2021 https://www.alaskarailroad.com/ride-a-train/schedules 

2021 Alaska Railroad Spencer Bench Cabin rental season -  June 1 - September 5, 2021 Reservations open in March 2021.