Please note: Arctic Valley Ski Area and its trails are closed to mountain biking and all motorized use. While we hope to create mountain bike trails in the future, our current trail infrastructure was not designed with this use in mind, and biking on these trails would lead to additional erosion and resource damage.
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!