The Eagle River Nature Center

You’ll discover the beauty of the Eagle River Valley as you begin your drive along Eagle River Road. Residential areas will give way to breathtaking views of glacially-carved mountains. At Mile 12 you will reach the log cabin nature center – a threshold for connecting to the ever-changing landscape beyond.  The Nature Center is operated by a small, grass roots non-profit organization.  We hope you'll visit us and take some time to enjoy the trails and programs we offer.  

NATURE CENTER BUILDING REMAINS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19 SAFETY CONCERNS.   ALL THE TRAILS & CABIN/YURTS REMAIN OPEN.  Please keep a physical distance from other hikers on the trails and/or wear a facial covering.  Cabin/Yurt use should be limited to household members only.

There are trail maps available at the front door of the Nature Center.  Staff are keeping the latrine stocked and clean in the round-about in front of the parking lot.  Our new parking lot will be open on busy weekends.  The road is paved and provides parking for 32 vehicles (no RV's, no trailers).  Please pay your $5 parking fee at the front of the building- you can use credit cards.  Don't forget to enter your auto license number which is required.  Many thanks!


November - December 2020:  Building will be closed, but we'll still be working for you on the trails and in the office.

Video by KTVA about the Nature Center

Contact Information

  • Phone: 907-694-2108 
  • Fax: 907-694-2119 
  • Eagle River Nature Center  32750 Eagle River Road  Eagle River, AK 99577 
  • 501c3 non-profit #92-0156981.  Established 1996. 

Parking fee:  $5/vehicle per 24 hours.  The pay station takes credit cards and cash only and does not give change.   Limited parking area for RV's and vehicles with trailers.  Our Lower Parking Lot and overflow parking area is NOT suitable for RV's or trailers.  Please DO NOT park along Eagle River Road or side streets where "NO PARKING" is indicated - you may receive a ticket.  You may park further down Eagle River Road where there are no signs. 

The trails are always accessible.  Trail maps are located at the front door of the Nature Center, inside when open, or on our website.

Group field classes (guided and unguided for schools, camp groups, scouts, etc) are available by appointmentCommercial Tour Operators must have a Nature Center permit to operate here.  Contact us for details.  




  • Thank you to the Alaska Community Foundation for awarding the Nature Center a grant to purchase a credit card pay station and tools to use for online programs and classes.
  • Please consider taking a wildlife survey by a local Alaska Pacific University student completing a thesis.  Link to  
  • A new parking lot providing 32 extra spaces has been completed.  More info and photos.
  • New Wayfinding Trail Posts and Signs Go Up
  • Rock Garden Rocks!
  • Community mourns the passing of Ben Schneider.
  • Long-time staff naturalist Ute Olsson has announced that she will be retiring at the end of August 2020 to spend more time with her family.  Ute has been an integral part of the Nature Center team since 2000 leading the naturalist department:  developing and conducting programs for schools and the general public; providing outreach to school classes, scout groups, summer camp groups and other organizations; developing interpretive displays; and much, much more.  She will be greatly missed by all of us.  Fortunately, she will remain connected to the Nature Center by being a substitute/on-call naturalist in 2021.  We can't thank Ute enough for her dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism, and service to the community.  
  • MOST IN-HOUSE PROGRAMS ARE CANCELLED until further notice, but check our new online ZOOM programs and Friday Facebook Little Explorers
  • Thank you to everyone who has supported the Nature Center through donations at Pick Click Give.
  • Congratulations to Isabella Higgins for receiving her Junior Astronomer Certificate.  Great work Isabella!  More on our blog.
  • Volunteer Andrew Fisher has been working hard all year cleaning and making new owl nesting boxes.  2020 turned out to be a successful year.  Find out more on our blog page.  Thank you Andrew!

Thank you to our very generous sponsors:

Alaska Airlines**, Alaska Chapter of Women in Insurance & Financial Services***, Alaska Community Foundation and the Trails Trees and Kids Fund**, Alaska Regional Hospital Auxiliary **, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.**, Barbara Winkley Legacy*, Ben Schneider Memorial Fund **,  BP*,  Camp Denali **, CIRI**,  ConocoPhillips*,  Dick Griffith Matching Fund*, Eagle River-Chugiak Rotary ***, Erin Johnson Memorial Fund **,  Fire Lake Preschool ***, GCI *** , Jeffrey and Rebecca Moore Family Foundation **,  Latouche Pediatrics,  MEA Charitable Trust**, The Meyers Charitable Fund **, REI Co-op*, Pick. Click. Give. , Rasmuson Foundation*,  TOTE Maritime Alaska** and  Walmart***.

* $5000 or more; **$1000-$4999; ***$500-$999