Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Near Point is so named because it's one of the closest Chugach Peaks to Anchorage. However, viewed from town it doesn't look like much of a peak, more like a knoll that leads to the mountains behind. The backdrop of larger peaks is deceptive because it's still a rise of more than 2,000 feet to the summit of Near Point. As a fairly short and easily accessible hike with respectable elevation gain, Near Point makes an excellent training hike for taking on the Chugach, and it's among the first to melt out in spring. Even though it's not the most impressive peak, the views are still pretty incredible. You can see all of Anchorage plus ocean and mountains beyond, and also find an inspiring view deeper into the Chugach range.

The typical starting point is Prospect Heights trailhead, but an alternative with similar mileage is the trailhead on Basher Drive. Either way, you'll begin among leafy forest on well-trodden trails, perhaps encountering some mud here and there. The trail soon enters a powerline clearing, where you'll find early views over Anchorage. Next, re-enter the forest and take the trail through some rolling terrain, following signs for Wolverine Peak and Near Point. At a larger 4-way junction you'll depart the Wolverine Peak Trail and head for Near Point. Soon the gradient increases, and before you know it the trees are behind, traded for thickets of alder surrounding the trail. That's where the views get really good, and stay good for the rest of the way.

It's a bit of a grueling ascent, on a dirt trail that's rocky and loose in places, and without much respite until reaching the top. You can of course pause anywhere to catch your breath and take in the vistas. At a certain point the trail rounds a shoulder of the ridge, and suddenly a new perspective opens up. You'll gaze across the bowl of Wolverine Peak to its triangular summit, but you'll also see a horizon of more distant, more rugged, and snowier peaks that aren't visible from Anchorage.

Keep going higher to see even more, and soon enough you'll stand on the rounded summit of Near Point. It's possible to continue over the top, on a trail that keeps going out the ridgeline and eventually drops into the valley to the north. Explore as far as you like, then turn around and tackle the knee-jarring descent by the same route. You'll likely have to ignore the panorama in order to watch your feet, because a slip could certainly turn into a sliding fall. The steep part should go much faster on the way down, though, and then you'll have only the jaunt through the forest to finish the hike.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

$5.00

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic workout. Close to town.

Trailhead Elevation

950.00 ft (289.56 m)

Highest point

3,050.00 ft (929.64 m)

Features

Family friendly
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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