Penguin Creek Bridge — Chugach State Park
Coordinates: 60.981108, -149.426507
Game Management Unit: 14C
Land Manager: Department of Natural Resources (DNR); Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Located just outside of Anchorage near Indian, the Chugach State Park Management Area provides hunting and trapping opportunities for moose, bears, goat, sheep, wolf, and wolverine. The Bird Valley Trailhead serves as the primary access point into the Bird Creek and Penguin Creek drainages within the management area. The trailhead is located at mile 100.5 of the Seward Highway. This trailhead leads to approximately 7 miles of trail extending into the Chugach Mountains.
In the past, users could choose any of three bridges on this trail network to cross Penguin Creek, an anadromous salmon stream, but two became dilapidated and unsafe over time, requiring users to either ford the creek, or rely on traveling additional miles to the remaining bridge for access to the trail system and hunting areas.
This objective of this project was to remove one of these dilapidated bridges and install a new ATV accessible bridge crossing.
This project was completed in July 2019. The derelict bridge was replaced with a 60-foot bridge that is designed to accommodate ATV traffic. The new bridge restores an essential stream crossing over Penguin Creek, preventing stream bank erosion and resource damage to an important anadromous salmon stream. This new bridge provides connectivity and direct access into the Chugach State Park Management Area. Additionally, the bridge provides an alternative crossing over Penguin Creek in the event the only other existing bridge becomes unusable in the future.