The Chugach Park Fund was established in 2016 to enable Alaskans of all abilities to experience the beauty of Chugach State Park by enhancing trails and facilities. The Fund will achieve this mission by helping increase stewardship through philanthropy and partnerships.
What’s Up in 2022?
The Chugach Park Fund will focus its trail improvement efforts in Chugach State Park on brushing projects — cutting back the multi-year growth of alders and other vegetation that has made many trails dangerously narrow and difficult to navigate. In addition, the Fund will put effort into addressing drainage issues on a number of trails.
Brushing work, both by paid trail crews and volunteers, on the Rabbit Lake Trail shown below and several Anchorage Hillside Trails began in Fall 2021, and will continue in 2022 in those areas and in Eagle River.
Funding for the brushing and drainage work has been jump-started by a grant from Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s Outdoors Fund, and contributions by many individual donors although significant additional funding will be needed to address a large backlog of this type of work in the park.
On a smaller scale, the Fund expects to work with park staff to procure several new trail and parking lot signs to orient visitors to the park.
2021 – Little O’Malley Peak Trail – Phase Two
Access to alpine landscapes is one of the primary reasons why Chugach State Park hosts over a million visits annually. The Little O’Malley Peak trail leads hikers to a large alpine area called “The BallField,” located at the base of O’Malley Peak. For more than 30 years, a steep and treacherous route went up the O’Malley gully.
In 2021 and 2020 (marking Chugach State Park’s 50th anniversary) a new 1.5-mile trail to the Ball Field was built at a sustainable grade. The Chugach Park Fund raised more than $100,000 in private donations to supplement public funds to support on-the-ground construction work by Alaska Trails and volunteers. By the fall of 2021, the new trail with its gradual ascent and well-planned drainage had already become a popular hike in the Chugach front country. The erosion-prone and unsightly gully route will be abandoned.
For 2021, the Fund was pleased to have received grants from GCI, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and the Atwood Foundation and grateful for the generosity of Marianne Holman, Genevieve, Jean Pierre, and Andre Rosay in memory of Melanie Rosay. The Little O’Malley project was also made possible by a grant from the Basic Needs grant program of The Alaska Community Foundation and the efforts of the Anchorage Petroleum Women’s Association.
2020 – Little O’Malley Peak Trail – Phase One Completed
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Chugach State Park, the Chugach Park Fund led the effort to improve re-route the Little O’Malley Peak trail. During the pandemic, the project had to be done entirely by Alaska Trails crews, without the anticipated volunteer labor. CARES Act funding helped in the effort to complete Phase One (the switchbacks pictured above). Achieving this goal was possible with the help of the businesses, community organizations, and individuals who care deeply about improving trails in Chugach State Park for this and future generations. The new trail provides a welcome addition to the outdoor options that are so important to Alaskans during COVID-19.
Rasmuson Foundation, Marcia Bandy, GCI, and many individual donors have generously provided funds. Construction began on June 1. The Chugach Park Fund was also selected as the non-profit partner of the Anchorage Petroleum Women’s Association.
The Chugach Park Fund has provided support to the park for several other projects, including:
- New interpretive sign at Flattop Sunnyside trailhead
- Funding for a portion of the Middle Fork Loop trail rebuild
- Avalanche warning signs as part of an Eagle Scout project
Want to Learn More? If you have questions or want to discuss our projects in more detail, contact us at email@example.com.