Rendezvous Peak Trail
Rendezvous Peak Trail is an easy 4-mile round trip hike, great for kids and beginning hikers. The one-mile hike from the trailhead (Elevation ~2,600’) to the Saddle (Elevation 3,468’) is a relatively gentle climb, and the added push to Rendezvous Peak (Elevation 4,101’) is well worth the spectacular scenery that awaits. The view from the peak takes in the Anchorage Bowl, Cook Inlet, Knik and Turnagain Arms, Fire Island, Mount Susitna, the Ship Creek and Eagle River Valleys, Mount Foraker, and Denali. Site Summit (the old Nike missile site) is also visible from the trail, but is off limits to hikers. There is an alternate trail that branches off to Mount Gordon Lyon. It is also possible for more experienced climbers to make the trip to the South Fork of Eagle River from Arctic Valley along the ridge southeast from Rendezvous Peak; however, there is no improved trail. If you stay on that ridge, it is roughly 10 miles one way to Triangle Peak (Elevation 5,495’).
From the parking lot, look uphill to where the far left ski lift ends; Rendezvous Peak sits at the left end of this ridge. Rendezvous Peak trail may be accessed by going up the old military utility road just to the left of the kiosk, and then turning right onto the gravel trail. The trail will follow along on the left side of Toklat Creek, until the footbridge. Cross the footbridge and turn left on the trail, headed towards the Saddle overlooking Eagle River Valley. Ignore the various smaller trails formed by berry pickers, and the side trail that heads uphill under the ski lift. Turn right at the Saddle to make the final hike up to Rendezvous Peak, or left to go up Mount Gordon Lyon. Stick to the main trail, which wraps around the peak, rather than following the ridge directly. After traversing for ½ mile along the ridgeline, the trail turns sharply right and becomes steeper – but is still manageable even for young children.
The Marston Trail begins just across from the lower parking lot, where three interpretive panels (provided by the Marston Foundation) give a history of the area. This easy, half-mile trail ends at a bench overlooking Ship Creek Valley. From this vantage point, you have great views towards Anchorage and east up Ship Creek Valley. The trail is gravel, well-graded, and does not have a significant elevation gain, making it perfect for a quick, easy stroll to a beautiful viewpoint.
Please be careful around potentially hazardous ski area equipment. Watch for and be aware of wildlife. Avoid dehydration by carrying water. This applies to dogs as well. Toklat Creek is part of the Ship Creek Watershed, however, it is recommended that hikers filter or treat water that is to be used for drinking to remove the possibility of contracting giardia. Avoid damaging fragile plants by staying on the trail as much as possible in sensitive areas. Once damaged, the delicate alpine ground cover can take decades to re-establish itself. Avoid disturbing birds nesting in the tundra. But most importantly, have a great day up at Arctic Valley!
The trailhead has outdoor toilets, picnic shelters and an informational kiosk. One thing you’ll notice that we don’t have is garbage cans. Please pack out all of your garbage in order to keep from attracting bears. We have looked in to bear proof garbage cans, but there is a lot of experience that shows that if they fill up before they can be emptied, people just stack their garbage around the container. Which defeats the purpose of the bear proof can! Please do not throw garbage in the outdoor toilets, as it clogs the pumper.
Please support this access to Arctic Valley and Chugach State Park by paying your user fee. The fee station is located at the kiosk in the upper parking lot.
The Rendezvous Cafe is (mostly) Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, noon-8pm from Memorial Day to the end of September. We offer espresso, drip coffee, hot chocolate, a variety of cold drinks, and pre-packages snacks. We take credit cards and can sell both day parking passes and annual memberships.
Join us to warm up before or after your hike, get some beta on our hikes, and learn more about Arctic Valley!
The Anchorage Ski Club, Inc. is a self-supporting non-profit organization. We do not receive any tax income from the municipality, state or U.S. government to maintain this park access. Please support this access to Arctic Valley and Chugach State Park by paying your user fee. The fee station is located at the kiosk in the upper parking lot. We also sell day parking passes, and $25 annual memberships (valid Nov 1-Oct 31) at the Rendezvous Cafe. The daily fee is $5 per vehicle.
Why do we charge a parking fee?
In 1997 the military began charging the Anchorage Ski Club for the maintenance of the six-mile long Arctic Valley Road. We need your help to keep it open to the public. The daily user fee is $5 per vehicle or for $25 you may purchase an Arctic Valley Basic Membership, which includes parking privileges. Buses and commercial vans pay $2 per passenger. Your fee goes directly towards the cost of sewage disposal, trailhead construction and maintenance, parking lot and road maintenance, and also assists us with establishing and maintaining summer trails and the groomed winter trails utilized by cross-country skiers, back country skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers.
The Anchorage Ski Club’s presence at Arctic Valley predates the formation of Chugach State Park. The ASC leases the land from the State of Alaska. It is not military land.
NOTE: State Park and military decals are not valid at Arctic Valley. The Anchorage Ski Club does not receive any income form the sale of Chugach State Park Stickers.
Please support this access to Arctic Valley and Chugach State Park by paying your user fee. THANK YOU!!!
Arctic Valley Road is owned and maintained by JBER. It is impacted by two live fire ranges that occasionally affect access up the road. The Anchorage Ski Club and JBER have a Memorandum of Agreement regarding Arctic Valley Road to allow public access during live fire exercises. For most exercises, road guards will allow traffic to flow every 20-30 minutes in each direction. For some exercises, the waits may be 30-40 minutes. The road (unless noted below) should not be 'closed'. If road guards are communicating longer wait times than those listed above, or telling you the road is closed, please call JBER Range Control at 907-384-6230 and report the issue. They will work to make sure the units conducting training are following the road access rules.
Current JBER live fire exercise schedule (updated 8/9/19)
August 11 (Sunday) - 6am-4pm
August 13-14 (Tuesday-Wednesday) - 8am-8pm
August 20-22 (Tuesday-Thursday) - 8am-10pm