Anchorage lies at the foothills of the Chugach Mountains and it’s just a 40-minute drive northeast to Chugach State Park and the Eagle River Nature Center. Start at the log cabin visitor center, where you’ll get the lay of the land — literally. Guides will tell you about the hiking trails and point you toward recent wildlife sightings and viewing platforms. Trails include everything from a short introductory loop to an aggressive 26-mile route through the park. There’s a free Junior Naturalist Program for kids in K through 6th grade and a Kneehigh Naturalist Program for children ages 3 through 5. Cost: $5 parking fee per vehicle.