Exploring Eklutna Area and Knik Arm

A great sunny day it was today! We decided to take a drive and do a bit of hiking to.

Our first stop was in Eklutna to visit the Eklutna Church and cemetery.

From Wikipedia…
…Eklutna (pronounced /??klu?tn?/) is a native village within the Municipality of Anchorage in the U.S. state of Alaska. The Tribal Council estimates the population at 70; many tribal members live in the surrounding communities.
…The Dena’ina Athabascan village of Eklutna is the last of eight villages that existed before construction of the Alaska Railroad brought an influx of American colonists around 1915. First settled more than 800 years ago, it is the oldest inhabited location in the Anchorage area. Its Dena’ina name is Idlughet (“by the objects”, referring to two nearby hills); the name “Eklutna” derives from Idluytnu, the name for Eklutna River, meaning “(plural) objects river”.
…Russian Orthodox missionaries arrived in the 1840s. The melding of Orthodox Christianity and native practices resulted in the brightly-colored spirit houses which can be seen at the Eklutna Cemetery, in use since 1650 and now a historical park. The cemetery is probably the most photographed graveyard in Alaska, overshadowing other features of the village.

Next we headed up to Eklutna Lake, in Chugach State Park, to do a bit of walking around/hiking. We will be back another time to do some real hiking here! It’s just plain beautiful.
We got there just in time to get some reflections on Eklutna Lake of Bold Peak.

Hoar Frost definition from National Snow and Ice Data Center…
Hoarfrost A deposit of interlocking ice crystals (hoar crystals) formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air, such as tree branches, plant stems and leaf edges, wires, poles, etc., which surface is sufficiently cooled, mostly by nocturnal radiation, to cause the direct sublimation of the water vapor contained in the ambient air.

We had extra time after Chugach so we headed to the other side of the Knik Arm Towards Goose Bay then Point MacKenzie. This is where we saw the Mushers (dog sleds/ATV’s). Heading towards Point Mankenzie we took a turn on a nice back road, nice and snowy. Traviling down this trail we crossed the Iditarod Trail then on through Big Lake and home.

On to the photos from today.

Eklutna Church

Eklutna Cemetery

Eklutna Lake Reflection of Bold Peak

Eklutna Lake with Swans

Eklutna Lake, Swans, Hoar Frost and Bold Peak Reflection

Eklutna Lake with Hoar Frost Grasses

Frosted Grasses – Hoar Frost

Another Frosty Reflection

Knik Arm Looking Towards Chugach Mountains

Dog Team Pulling ATV

A Second Team

And to finish things off, a road sign – Sled Xing

‘Til next time


  1. Thanks, Ed, for allowing me to live vacariously through your blog. I’ve known Jan, and by extension, you, since before your marriage as I moderate the immigration group Jan belonged to. Sounds like you guys are having the adventure of a lifetime. I visited Alaska in June for my birthday and fell in love with it immediately. Please keep the info and photos coming.

  2. Hey Ed, how’s it going? I finally got a minute here in the office to catch up on your blogs. The pics of the spirit houses in the cemetary are awesome to see. They dont have them around here, but over in WI in the area where my husband is from, they still use them. Enjoying all the pics, looks like you live in an absolutely beautiful country up there!

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