Drive across the railroad tracks and wind your way through towers of colorful shipping containers. At the end of the road you’ll find the the Ship Creek small boat launch.
For being a busy industrial area, it’s surprisingly peaceful. You can watch the fishermen try to get lucky, boats heading into Cook Inlet, or listen to the ocean and watch the sun sink across the water as you lean against a graffitied orange wall.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the area is great for bird watching as well:
Ship Creek is a favorite local spot for fishing and shorebird viewing near downtown in the industrial environment of the Port of Anchorage. With the Anchorage skyline as backdrop, the mud and sedge flats and ocean-fed waters provide not only salmon runs but habitat for plovers, sandpipers, godwits, and other migrating shorebirds.
You can also stop for a photo op with the anchor from the original USS Anchorage.
My first visit to the boat launch was when I was a teenager and my dad was showing me a side of Anchorage I hadn’t seen before. I loved the way Ship Creek curved through the grass and wound its way through the mud flats, and remember being surprised that I’d never discovered such an interesting place before, especially because it’s just minutes away from where I grew up.
These days, there are big plans for the future of Ship Creek, and I hope they, or some version of them, become a reality. But if they do, I hope the peaceful vibe of the boat launch says the same.