Hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River

Barbara Falls (also known as South Fork Falls) is the easy waterfall hike that you’re looking for. This hidden gem is tucked away in Eagle River, Alaska. It’s one of the best hikes in Eagle River.

This easy trail has an upper and lower viewpoint that makes for a great adventure with the kiddos or pups. If you hike Barbara Falls in the winter, you can expect a frozen waterfall.

In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River, Alaska. You can also watch my YouTube video below to get a better idea of what to expect.

Barbara Falls (South Fork Falls) Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 101 feet
Difficulty: Very Easy
Dogs: Yes

How to get to Barbara Falls (South Fork Falls)

  1. From Anchorage, head North on the Glenn Highway
  2. Exit the highway at E Eagle River Loop Rd.
  3. Take the first right at Hiland Rd.
  4. Turn left at River View Dr.
  5. Turn left at Waterfall Dr.
  6. Turn right on River Park Dr.
  7. Turn left on Ken Logan Cir.

Please be respectful of the private property and do not park in front of the NO PARKING signs. There is space to park up the road. The trail starts behind the metal gate.

Barbara Falls Alaska Winter Upper Viewpoint South Fork Falls
Upper Viewpoint
Barbara Falls Lower Viewpoint South Fork Falls
Lower Viewpoint

Hike Barbara Falls (South Fork Falls) in Eagle River

Barbara Falls Upper Viewpoint

Barbara Falls Trail starts just behind the metal gate at the end with signs that read “Do Not Block Gate” and “Private Property.” The owner has allowed people to pass through to visit the waterfall. Please be respectful of the property.

Once you pass through the gate, you’ll follow the trail and cross over a wooden bridge. Continue straight until you see a sign that says Barbara Falls with an arrow pointing right.

Follow the trail to the right and you will come to the upper viewpoint. The upper view is great, but it definitely doesn’t compare to the lower viewpoint of Barabra Falls waterfall.

You may notice a trail to the left of the upper viewpoint that appears to lead down to the lower viewpoint. This trail is very steep and is not the way to get down to the lower viewpoint.

barbara falls upper viewpoint
Barbara Falls Summer Upper Viewpoint

Barbara Falls Lower Viewpoint

The trail to the lower viewpoint at Barbara Falls comes unexpectedly. Before passing the first wooden bridge over the creek, you’ll find a trail just off to the right. The trail continues to follow the creek.

You’ll use a hand rope to cross a small section before walking through some trees. Continue on this trail and you’ll make it to the lower viewpoint in no time. If the creek is frozen, you can cross over to the left side.

Briggs Bridge to Barbara Falls

If you want to go on a longer hike to reach Barbara Falls you can start from the Lower Eagle River Trail which starts just south of Briggs Bridge on Eagle River Loop Road.

The River Woods Trail is about six miles to the falls and since you have to cross the river it’s much better to use this trail during the winter months when everything is frozen. It’s also a great trail to ski and fat tire bike.

Barbara Falls: Summer vs Winter

You can visit Barbara Falls (South Fork Falls) year-round. It looks just as beautiful in the summer as it does during the winter in Alaska. Take a look at the photos below for a comparison.

south fork falls summer
South Fork Falls in summer
hike barbara falls
South Fork Falls in winter

Happy hiking!

Watch YouTube Video: Hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River

Pin For Later

Visit Alaska and Hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River Summer and Winter

Do you have any questions about hiking Barbara Falls (South Fork Falls) in Eagle River? Let me know in the comments.

About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

5 thoughts on “Hike Barbara Falls in Eagle River”

    • Hi Denise, The access is within neighborhood roads but I would probably recommend a vehicle with 4-wheel drive or good studded/winter tires. I say this because the first road into the neighborhood is steep. If this isn’t possible, try to go on a day when you know the roads have been plowed and no icy conditions. Have fun! – Andrea


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.