Bird Creek is at milemarker 101.5 of the Seward Highway,
about a 20-minute drive southeast of Anchorage. And what a great 20
minutes it is. The Seward highway is one of the most beautiful highways
in North America. If you have just arrived in Anchorage and are driving
to the Kenai Peninsula for the first time, you will be amazed how close
“Real Alaska” is to Alaska. Bird Creek is a good taste of
Alaska, although crowded during runs and not unspoiled, but it does
make a good stop to get into the feel of things.
The state has done a great job of making the creek accessible.
From 2003-5 they were busy constructing a new parking area just north
of the creek .
To the south of the creek
there is overflow parking at the Bird Creek State Recreational Area.
Great care has been given to make sure that pedestrians can safely reach
the creek without having to walk through traffic. Walking bridges allow
fishermen and tourist to access the creek from either the north or south
without having to walk across the highway.
The creek is accessible from the mouth up to the marker
about 500 yards upstream from the bridge .
Parking historically has been a problem and dangerous
at Bird Creek. Before the recent construction there were lots of fishermen
that were parking along the Seward Highway which is one of the most
dangerous highways in the state. Now there should be ample parking for
all but the largest crowds. But because of Bird Creek’s popularity,
you may want to be sure to get there early. Or maybe try for a camping
site at the campground.
Watch your gas gauge when driving the Seward Highway.
This stretch is not too bad, but going South of Girdwood, gas stations
are few and far between. For Bird Creek, the closest gas is at mile
, just southeast of the creek. Other than that, the only gas is located
ten miles southeast at Girdwood, or back in Anchorage, twenty miles
to the northwest.
There is a homey cafe and bakery just south east of
, otherwise there is not much other than Anchorage and Girdwood. If
you bring your own food, there are picnic opportunities at the creek
and the campground.
There is a small motel just southeast of the creek.
Otherwise lodging is available in Anchorage and Girdwood. If you are
for deluxe accommodations try the Alyeska lodge in Girdwood. If you
are camping and would like to fish Bird Creek, the Bird Creek State
Recreation area is great .
We have used it many times the night we arrive in Anchorage.
If you have fish to be processed try Indian Valley Meats.
Click here for their
website. The offer free samples of their and will vacuum pack, can,
or custom smoke your catch. Definitely consider dropping off some
fish for smoking, they can arrange shipping and send it directly back
Other Area Fishing
Bird Creek is the biggest easily accessible fishery
between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. It can be seen as either
a quick trip destination from Anchorage or a waypoint on the way to
the Kenai Peninsula. If you are looking for other, less crowded fisheries
in the Turnagain Arm area you will be looking at smaller water. You
can try Indian Creek just west of Bird Creek or Penguin Creek. Also
look at Glacier and California Creeks near Girdwood.
Other Area Attractions
Bird Creek is a short drive to all the attractions in
Anchorage and Girdwood. But this stretch of the Seward Highway is
a destination in its own.
Just northwest of Bird Creek is the Indian Valley National Historic
Park that has a gold mine and Gift Shop. You can get some quick instruction
on gold panning and if you feel really lucky, you can try your hand
and finding gold in Indian Creek. Also, check out Indian Valley Meats,
they have beautiful ground and a nice gift and meat shop.
If you are looking for a hike in the area, there are lots of trailheads
in the area. Here is a list of some of the closest.
Bird Ridge Trailhead 102
Falls creek trailhead 105
Windy Corner Trailhead 106
Rainbow Trailhead 108
McHugh Creek trailhead 112
If you are hoping to see wildlife, look for Dall Sheep coming down
to the road at milepost 106. Also, beluga whales can occasionally
be seen at Beluga Point at mile marker 110. If you are a birdwatcher,
try any of the area trails, or check out Potter Marsh to the northwest.
One of the most unusual attractions in the area are the bore tides.
These tidal waves sometimes reach as high as six feet and can draw
large crowds and surfers.