Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bird Creek Campground and Area

For at least the past year, the campground at Bird Creek has been under construction. We'd stayed at that campground once before and loved it: it was cozy and intimate, with trees hanging over the sites and plenty of privacy. I was so excited to see that the campground is open again, as it is a great taking-off spot for the Anchorage area and exploring Turnagain Arm. We needed a place to stay on our way up to pick up Aurora from the airport the other week, and saw that the Bird Creek Campground now has 2 cabins for rent, so we reserved the smaller one, the Beluga Cabin, online. 

Nicely paved trail to the cabin--about a 50 yard walk from the parking lot

Beluga Cabin at renovated Bird Creek Campground

Cabin with out-the-door access to Indian to Girdwood paved bike path
Cabin has 4 bunks, loft, large table, firepit, front and back decks
The cabins are nice, though basic. If you want heat you have to bring a propane tank (like for a grill) and hook it up; there is no wood stove or other indoor heating. Obviously there is no electricity, and the bathroom is the pit toilet in the campground. There is a "kitchen" area for cooking with tiles built into the countertop to put campstoves on. The two cabins were in a pretty woods. It was an okay deal for $65 per night, though we found a motel in Indian a mile or so away that is the same price per night for a room with a shower, though it only sleeps 2, not 8 as the cabin does, and is above a bar as opposed to in the woods.

The redone campground is now wide open with no privacy
What was stunningly disappointing was the campground: it was clearcut and is now wide open, one big field, with no privacy at all. Any character that the campground had before is gone. It has to be the ugliest campground I have ever been to. There was only 1 water pump (orange water), and few restrooms, so it was a walk to get to them. We would stay there if we had to, if we wanted to stay in that area, but it would not be an aesthetically pleasing experience.

We got settled in the cabin, then took a walk in the rain. We'd planned on hiking up to Crow Pass that day but it was so wet and drippy with low cloud cover that we thought that would not be fun and we wouldn't be able to see anything. But the walk proved to be interesting, exploring an area we have driven by many times but never actually walked.

Bird Creek at high tide
Bird Creek is right along Turnagain Arm so it is flooded at high tide. At certain times of the year it becomes a zoo, so I am guessing it is a good fishing river when the season opens.

Train trestle over Bird Creek

Walking bridge over Bird Creek

Old logging relics along Bird Creek

The entrance to the Bird Creek interpretive trial is obscure

Once over the walking bridge (on the Anchorage side) there is a short interpretive trail (20 minutes round trip, out and back, for us) that leads to some old logging relics, when large cedars were floated down this river. The trail is not kept up so we were dodging under and around branches over the trail.

After that we hiked up to the overflow lot where folks can camp in a parking lot, and there are short trails around up there as well. It is quite a complex of trails and parking lots for this river and it is beautiful so I'm glad we finally got a chance to check it out more.

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