Directly to the east of Anchorage, the massive 495,000 acre Chugach State Park is a mecca of outdoor recreation. The rugged terrain here, with its lakes, glaciers, and ocean shoreline is unparalleled in beauty, making it a prime destination for trail runners looking for a challenge.
The Powerline Pass (in case you had any illusions) is a beat-up dirt service road where wires stretch over the Chugach Mountains to Anchorage. While hikers might think the powerlines detract from the scenery, runners love this route because the road offers a wide, well-maintained track for a cross-country outing. The road is about 14 miles one-way, but the most popular section is the first half, starting at the Flat Top parking lot and traversing up to the small lake at the top of the pass. While it’s possible to continue past there, the terrain is generally rockier, and snow tends to stick around well into the summer.