Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Pioneer Ridge Trail is a 13.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Palmer, Alaska that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length13.6 miElevation gain6637 ftRoute typeOut & Back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWild flowersWildlifeBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleSnow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (94)
Photos (200)
Recordings (82)
Completed (180)
View user's profile page
Ian Dicks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

It’s 3OCT20 and I haven’t seen to many people post about Pioneer Ridge Trail. A friend and I hit the trailhead right before 8 this morning. Switched to T-Shirts as it’s non-stop up the entire trail. Mud! Mud everywhere going up to the second picnic table. Be ready for it. Water from running streams was readily available up until that point. This is where the jackets went back on. We don’t use poles or crampons or anything, but a pair of gents that started after us had both. Moose, Bull and a Cow sited around 3200 ft. Nice! At the flag pole we regrouped, grabbed a snack from the pack, swapped socks and I swapped shoes to boots. We put on our hats and light leather gloves as well. Termination dust started slapping us in the face right at 3750 ft! From then on it was ice, wind ripping around 30 MPH. We stopped again north of the iced over stream that feeds the runoff for another snack. Up up up to the third picnic table that’s laying in pieces buried almost completely by the snow already. Across the ice/snow fields ( knee deep already), along the ridge until you get to the real nasty stuff. We dropped our packs here on the top of the ridge and it turned into straight rock climbing. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you seen the wild looking rocks jutting out. 1inch thick ice is already formed on the windside of the rocks, so be extremely careful. We had to actually crawl across a lot of sections for the last 2 miles up. Don’t expect to see any trail along these ridges. We tried to stay on top of the ridges for the most part. Vertigo was real. Views from the summit were spot on. Glaciers clearly visible back through the Chugiak Range, and the Knick wrapping wildly around. We saw one Dall Sheep on the interior side of the mountain. I don’t think this trail will be passable in the coming weeks. I’d wait until summer if I were ever to do it again. Not kid/pet friendly.

View user's profile page
Anthony Dorris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Hurt so good.

View Anthony's Recording
View user's profile page
Roger Eric Tysinger, Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

Saturday, 5 SEP 2020: Epic hike. Definitely my favorite day trip around the Mat-Su area. We started at 0800, ate lunch around 1200, and summited at 1500. Hung out for a while at the top and got back to the truck at 1930. A little mud in the lower areas, some termination dust at the upper bench but the sun had melted any away along the ridge. Almost chose to fix the flag along the way (State flag goes beneath the US flag -but the Alaskan flag is bigger and would have touched the ground if we reversed it so we left it the way it was ). Used poles most of the way but put them away for the last mile of scrambling. You have to fight to stay on the ridge because the terrain and goat trails try to push you left. When in doubt, stay right or climb along the top but be very careful in that area -lots of loose rock, broken shale, and small scree fields. Views are magnificent though and well-worth the effort. You can see from Knick glacier all the way around the Chugach range toward Mt Susitna and the Cook Inlet. Briefly considered going for the north peak but decided neither our skill level, time, or energy were high enough this time. My son and I brought almost 7 liters of water between us (including what we cooked with) and barely had enough so don’t skimp on water weight (there aren’t any streams past the lower elevations). Also, I don’t recommend hiking alone -ever- but take a friend and have fun! https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/pioneer-ridge-trail-f50c703

View user's profile page
Jason Opheim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Great challenging hike. It feels longer than it is with the elevation gain but on a good day this is a spectacular hike. Weather can change quickly so be prepared and bring extra water as there is no water source until maybe Pioneer Ridge.

View Jason 's Recording
View user's profile page
Mae Grundman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
WalkingBugsGreat!MuddyRockyScramble

Long hiked, but worth it. One of my favorites. Beautiful view lots of dall sheep and different kind of flowers. I love the ridge

View user's profile page
John Breeding
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

Muddy and crap in place but it’s well worth it to stand on top of that beast

View John's Recording
View user's profile page
Quinn Sawyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2020
Hiking

Just hiked up to the picnic table. It was a beautiful view from there though.

View Quinn's Recording
View user's profile page
Chris Boyle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
HikingFeeRockyScramble

Lots of vert on this one so don’t try it if you’re soft! Expect 3-4hrs each way and bring at least 3 liters of water if you don’t drink snowmelt. It’s a day hike- don’t burn yourself on the first mile like some of the dudes I hiked with. When approaching the final 1/2 mile climb, stay on the ridge as best you can. There’s a defined trail, but it’s difficult to see when climbing. There are many side trails that take you off the ridge and put you in dangerous climbing situations.

View user's profile page
Tyler Charles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking
View Tyler's Recording
View user's profile page
Jayson Hebert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking
View Jayson's Recording
View user's profile page
Ashlee Allen Beutler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

Epic hike! I wanted to do this one for the physical challenge, but the views make it even better. It has incredible views once you’re above the first picnic table. At 5,300 ft. there’s a big snow field with a stream if you don’t want to carry all your water. The scramble wasn’t too bad. I can see how some people get scared, but I thought it was doable.

View user's profile page
Austin Richard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

Absurdly cool trail. Epic views. Make sure to have a gun, a bell, full body armor (jk), or bear spray....tight woods for 2 miles until it opens up....plenty of bear “evidence” all over.

View user's profile page
John Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Great hike!

View John's Recording
View user's profile page
Alfonso Espinoza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

Trial is very, very muddy until you break out of the tree line. No snow the whole way up except a tiny little patch or two so bring water. It was very consistent elevation gain until you get to the ridgeline then gets flat and minor ups and downs. Right when you’re about to summit the actual peak, it goes straight into class 2+ scrambling and climbing for the last mile roughly. Stay to the RIGHT of the ridgeline on the ascent up the peak, DO NOT follow the mountain goat trails to the left or you’ll end up on class 4 climbing back to the trail and waste a whole bunch of time like we did. You’ll see rock cairns here and there and a pretty noticeable trail. I saw a big brown bear 300m from the trail on the ridgeline over at about 4000’ so be weary of that.

View Alfonso's Recording
View user's profile page
Kyle Deschamps
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

This is now one of my favorite hikes, it pushed me, and made me push myself. The views at the top are INSANE, and can't be matched by much else. The last bit going to the peak is sketchy, be careful, and try and stay on top or on the right. Some mud, before hitting the ridge, but nothing unmanageable.

Showing results 1 - 15 of 94