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Photo of Virgin Creek Falls courtesy Paxson Woelber. Take advantage of snowmelt in the early summer to see these waterfalls at their peak flow.  Thunderbird Falls These 200-foot falls are impressive to view and easy to access. Just north of Eagle River, the trail starts with a climb of about 100 feet elevation gain, then levels out for a one-mile walk to a viewing platform. The trail continues to the base of the falls for those seeking more up-close adventure. Virgin Creek Falls Head south from Anchorage to Girdwood for this hike. The half-mile trail starts in a neighborhood and passes through lush forest to the small cascade. Continue past the falls to reach the top of Max’s Mountain.  Serenity Falls Accessing these falls is an all-day journey. It’s a 13-mile trek along the Eklutna Lakeside Trail to views of these falls that twist hundreds of feet down a mountain…

A bull moose rubs his antlers on weather instruments in Anchorage. Photo courtesy Dan Peterson, NOAA/NWS/WSFO Anchorage It’s uncommon to see wolverines in Anchorage, but one rogue wolverine ventured into the city where it could prey on chickens and chase stray cats. Biologist Dave Battle got a call one day that the wolverine had killed someone’s rabbits and stashed them under a low deck. Every time the homeowner approached the deck, the wolverine growled. To solve the dilemma, Battle first used a garden tool to pull the rabbits out from under the deck. Then, he and a fellow biologist turned on the hose and jetted water at the animal. The wolverine sprinted out from under the deck and never returned. “Not every day that you spray a wolverine out from under a deck with a garden hose,” Battle says. Battle, who has worked as the management biologist for the Anchorage…

Anglers line the shore of Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage. Courtesy Ken Graham/Visit Anchorage The thought of king salmon fishing usually conjures images of casting off the shore of a remote river, or trolling behind a boat surrounded by wilderness. But in Alaska, you don’t need to travel any farther than downtown Anchorage, the state’s largest metropolis, to catch a king. Just a few blocks from downtown, with high rises on the horizon, anglers cast a line from the shores of Ship Creek to catch a salmon. Local outfitters rent gear and sell licenses to travelers. Even for those who don’t enjoy the sport, it’s fun to take a short walk from downtown Anchorage to watch the combat fishing. Every summer, the city of Anchorage celebrates with the annual Slam’n Salm’n Festival. It’s hosted by The Bait Shack and benefits local nonprofit organizations. Anyone who enters the derby has a…

Hikers navigate the trail to Eagle and Symphony Lakes. Photo by Scott Banks. Whether you live in Anchorage or are visiting the city with time allotted for outdoor adventures, you’ll find a variety of day or overnight backpacking trips in Chugach State Park, less than an hour’s drive away. With some route tweaking, you can elevate those excursions from awesome to epic. Either way, you’ll be happy you took the time to explore the area’s mountain playground. Williwaw Lakes 5.9 miles one way This gradually ascending hike leads to a stunning series of lakes strung like rosary beads along a u-shaped, glacially sculpted valley. Level tent sites abound surrounding the lakes, all with views of the 5,445-foot Mount Williwaw, which towers over the end of the valley. If you hike to the last lake, a 500-foot climb up the north side lands you at Walrus Lake, above and out of…