HIKING & BACKPACKING IN PALMER

EXPLORE THE RUGGED WILDERNESS

Palmer and the surrounding greater Palmer area offer gorgeous mountains, idyllic rivers, and rugged woodlands perfectly suited for the aspiring adventurer or seasoned outdoors-man.  From gentle trails to intense mountain paths, you are sure to find the perfect place for hiking and backpacking in Palmer.  

Featured Hiking Trails

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Alcantra Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

This 1.6 mile trail is fully paved and perfect for people of all ages.  Though just outside Palmer, it offers a variety of activities such as disc-golf, running, biking, and even Nordic skiing in winter.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department of click on the website link above.

Bearberry Bluff & Matanuska Greenbelt
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

Part of a 30+ mile network of trails in the Matanuska Greenbelt, it cuts through the forest in a loop just over a mile long.  These dirt trails are dotted with about 100 signposts to help with navigation and provide hours of exploration.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Crevasse-Moraine
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

The Crevasse-Moraine trail system features over 6 miles of interconnected trails and is is open year round.  These trails run along what was once a glacier bed and ranges widely in difficulty from trail to trail.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Eska Creek Falls
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

This 4+ mile trail takes you up Eska Peak to spectacular views of the Chugach Range.  The trek crosses through woodland and lush alpine growth before reaching the falls and peak respectively.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Gold Mint Trail
Description:

This 16 mile (round trip) trail follows the Little Susitna river up to it's headwaters.  One of four major trails in Hatcher Pass, north of Palmer, it has a gradual incline for the first few miles before becoming much steeper.  It is open to hiking, biking, and skiing, and you can even do a little gold panning along the way.

For directions and additional information, please click on the website link above or alaska.org/detail/gold-mint-trail.

Government Peak Summer Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

Government Peak offers popular summer hiking trails just north of Palmer.  The Main trail to the peak can be daunting, though it offers some of the best views of the area all the way to the Knik Glacier.  Multiple trails for biking and horseback riding also traverse the area.  Note that the parking area is open from 8 AM to 8 PM, so be careful not to get locked in.

For directions or additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Lazy Mountain Trails
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

Two trails, the Lazy Moose Trail and Lazy Mountain Trail, are the primary ascent of the mountain.  The former is a longer, winding trail with moderate slopes and an easier climb, while the latter is much shorter and more difficult as it offers the straightest path to the peak.  From the top you can see the Chugach and Talkeena Ranges.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Matanuska Peak Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

This trail is just over 4 miles long from end to end and showcases phenomenal views of the Matanuska and Knik rivers, and of Cook Inlet.  The climb starts out easy, but increases in difficulty as you go, and you will certainly want to bring appropriate attire for changing weather.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Matanuska River Park Campground & Trails
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

The Matanuska River Park Campground, located near the Matauska River Bridge just on the eastern edge of Palmer, features a little fun for everyone.  The campground features over one and a half miles of easy trails with exquisite views of Lazy Mountain and the Matanuska River.

For directions or additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Morgan Horse Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

This trail offers an easy forested 2 mile trek through the woods around Lazy Mountain.  It also features three access points, year-round availability, as well as public restroom and picnic areas.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Sustina Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

NOVA River & Glacier Adventures
Address: 38100 W. GLENN HIGHWAY
SUTTON, AK 99674
Phone: (800) 746-5753 or (907) 746-5753
Description:

Based out of Sutton, just north of Palmer, NOVA Alaska Guides has incredible experiences for everyone. Established in 1975, NOVA is Alaska’s oldest river rafting tour company under original ownership. Since 1975, we have accomplished many firsts in guided adventure travel in Alaska, including the first to offer commercial whitewater rafting on Alaska rivers and the first guided hikes on the Matanuska Glacier more than 25 years ago.

Our early wilderness trips included several first descents and trips through the newly formed National Parks and Refuges with organizations like National Geographic, Connaissance du la Mode and the National Audubon Society. Our expertise in this theater has grown over the years to include combination trips that offer mountain and glacier trips with river trips.

Palmer Moose Creek Railroad Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

A beautiful, non-motorized trail that follows an old railroad bed along the Matanuska River.  The trail can be started either from downtown Palmer, or Moose Creek, and runs approx. 6 miles from end-to-end.

For additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Sustina Borough Community Development Department or click on the website link above.

Pioneer Ridge-Austen Helmers Trail
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

A rugged, mountainous trek for the experienced outdoors-man. This 12 mile trail ascends to over 6,000 feet above the Valley.  While you can complete this hike over a single day with enough planning, it is encouraged you make camp and spread it out over at least two. The climb is challenging and requires firm knowledge and safety skills to complete; however, the views from the top are one of a kind.

For directions and additional information, please contact the Matanuska-Borough Community Development Department or by clicking on the website link above.

Reed Lakes Trail
Description:

This trail, approximately 9 miles round trip, follows an old mining road in Hatcher Pass.  You will hike over 2,000 feet of elevation gain and witness the tarn that feeds Reed Lake, gorgeous waterfalls, the lake itself, and Reed Creek flowing down the mountain.

For directions and additional information click on the website link above or alaska.org/detail/reed-lakes-trail.

 

Map provided by MSB Community Development Department
Phone: (907) 861 - 8578
Description:

If you're looking for a quick, middling difficulty hike with phenomenal views of Palmer and the surrounding valley, you cannot beat the West Butte Trail.  Situated only 10 minutes outside the city, this trail traverses the 800+ foot Bodenburg Butte and is maintained by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.  It features several benches, a shaded ascent, and is topped by a view Lazy Mountain, Pioneer Peak, Matanuska Peak, the Knik Glacier, the Talkeetna Range, and more.

For additional information, contact the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Development Department or by clinking the website link above.