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A Handy Guide to Picking Wild Alaskan Blueberries

Flattop_blueberries

If you think Alaska’s scenery is heavenly, then you ought to try picking and eating its wild edible blueberries. These juicy, delicious treats are within reach — you just have to know where and when to look.

Below you’ll find the best places to find berries near Anchorage. Have fun, but also be mindful, because not all berries are edibleevery white berry in Alaska is poisonous.

Anchorage – Flattop

Flattop

Flattop is excellent for blueberry picking. The most accessible blueberry hill is located just above the Glen Alps Parking lot. If you’re up for a bit of a hike you can find more blueberries along the Powerline Pass Trail into the South Fork of Campbell Creek.

Directions: Head South on AK-1 / Seward Highway south to Huffman exit, turn left. Be sure to follow the signs from Upper Huffman Road to Glen Alps Road. The parking fee is $5 for a day pass (cash or credit card accepted).

South of Anchorage – Girdwood / Alyeska Resort

Alyeska Blueberry Festival

Blueberry Festival at Alyeska Resort, Girdwood

We Alaskans love berry picking so much that we created a festival during primetime berry season — the annual Blueberry Festival on August 8th & 9th, 2015.

The festival falls on the absolute best time to pick berries in Girdwood, and offers many family fun activities including live music, a pie eating contest, sidewalk sale and a Blueberry Creation Contest. For adults, there’s a beer and wine tent.

Festival Attendees are encouraged to bring their own berry-buckets to fill up. Take a free ride up to Blueberry Hill on Chair 7 and pick to your heart’s content.

Directions: Drive 40 miles south of Anchorage on the scenic Seward Highway. Turn left at Girdwood, drive all the way to the base of the mountain (about 3 miles), then follow the signs to the Alyeska Resort.

North of Anchorage – Eklutna

blueberries

Eklutna Lakeside Trail is 35 miles north of Anchorage. Eklutna Lake is Anchorage’s reservoir and a great place to hike, bike, kayak and of course pick delicious wild berries! This trip involves some hiking, but it will make your collecting that much sweeter.

Directions: Take the Glenn Highway north to Eklutna Lake Road and drive 10 miles to the recreation center. You will have to travel 5 miles by foot or rent a mountain bike and coast along Eklutna Lakeside Trail to Bold Ridge Overlook Trail. We recommend renting the bike to be used for the first leg of your journey. Hike 1.5 miles up the base for a bowl full of berries.

Click this link and scroll down the page for info bike rentals at Eklutna Lake.

BONUS: Discover some truly Alaskan wild berry recipes.

Photo credits: originalwpa, jermudgeon, thesistersoberth, paxson_woelber, Alyeska Resort