There’s always a “best of both worlds” kind of place, and for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, that place is Eagle River. This suburb has more of a small-town, family-friendly feel than Anchorage, but is close to the freeway for easy commuting. Offering award-winning schools, this safe, military-friendly community has many attributes that make it a favorite among military families.
Eagle River is the shopping hub between Anchorage and the Valley, and there are plenty of local amenities. The area is also well situated for taking advantage of all the outdoor opportunities Alaska offers. There are beautiful hikes and even a park in Birchwood that acts as a training area for dog mushers for the Iditarod.
Though Eagle River is the most significant spot between Anchorage and the Valley, there are other residential pockets, including Chugiak (pronounced CHOO-gee-ak), Birchwood, and Peters Creek. Chugiak is notable as the home of the Birchwood Shooting and Recreational Park, the largest rifle, pistol, and shotgun range facility in Alaska.
Eagle River is very popular with military members, drawn to the shorter commute and small town feel. Families flock to the area, but singles and young couples may find it a bit sleepy.
Less urban than Anchorage, but not as rural as the Valley, Eagle River offers an abundance of beautiful, unique homes. Single family homes and townhomes are the norm, but be prepared to get cozy with your neighbors—lots are situated fairly close to one another.