"The earliest evidence of humans along Turnagain Arm is at Beluga Point, which prehistoric hunters used as a view point to search for Beluga whales and sheep. The first white explorers arrived in 1778 aboard Captain Cook's ships, Discovery and Resolution. Cook sailed up Cook Inlet hoping to find the Northwest Passage, but had to "turn again", leading him to name the water body River Turnagain. In the late 19th century, miners and trappers began traveling into interior Alaska from Whittier and Seward along old trails that soon became established routes with roadhouses. In 1895 prospectors crossed from the south side of Turnagain Arm to the north and searched for gold from Girdwood to Rainbow Creek.
In 1903, the Alaska Central Railway began building a railroad from Seward to Fairbanks, but the company soon went bankrupt. The U.S. Government bought the railroad in 1915 and improved the trail along the arm to handle the horse and wagon traffic needed for railroad construction. The trail was also used to deliver mail between Anchorage and Seward. IN 1917 telegraph lines were laid along the Turnagain "road" and by 1918 the railroad extended from Seward to Anchorage, with flag stops at Bird Creek, Indian, Rainbow and Potter. Remnants of construction camps remain along the trail, but are barely discernible. Part of the original trail was covered by the highway which was completed in 1950 and paved in 1954."