Explore the most popular birding trails near Palmer with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a great hike. The lakes are very blue and beautiful. I went when there was snow on the ground so it was very easy finding a place to camp. Would no suggest bringing a dog since there are a couple spots that you may have to rock hop.

got my back window broke and all my stuff stolen at this trail head.

beautiful hike. it is very easy to miss where the trail veers to the right near the top. we ended up following some sheep trail which was extremely rough and had to backtrack to find trail to top. would be nice if marked. cannot describe how beautiful the views are on this hike. very long day for my group, 9-9 1/2 hours

Very nice trail in Autumn and I look forward to skiing it.

I really liked this trail because it brought us to the beautiful lake!!! Lake was an amazing especially if we are talking about Autumn! We did not make a loop around the lake because we had poppy just 8 weeks old! You can see here pictures when she was doing the whole trail by herself!!! I am so proud of here!!! It was very interesting and kind of easy!!! We did not run still because of the poppy Aurora!!! Mom Destiny and Dad Ice, their poppy Aurora and uncle Bandit were on the trail also!!! 4 Siberian Huskys - that is how we did it!!! Almost 14 km for poppy!!! Good job Aurora!!! Our girl!!!

Absolutely beautiful, I highly recommend this to anyone.

My group made it to the Bomber! Another note from the field. To get down to the glacier you must climb down one of two vertical or near vertical ropes. You pet won't make it.

Pretty views, definitely moderate to hard. Had to stop every 50 feet to catch my breath!

Great hike, but here are some notes from the field:
- No facilities at the hike entrance. About 3/4 on the dirt road is one lonely out house. Might want to use it.
- The hike is in a valley with lots of running water. An extra pair of socks, a pair in the car, or water proof shoes/boots might make you more comfortable. Also, if it rains or even sprinkles, be prepared for ankle deep water.
- Moderate hike, but at about 2.5 miles in you are boulder-hoping (no trail ) for about 1/4-.5 miles.
- In regard to boulder hoping, if your pet is squeemish, might want to leave them home. Also, please control your pet for the sake of other hikers.
- You must CROSS the glacier to get to the bomber. Bring your Kahtoolas (micro spikes) and poles.
- Parking is along the road if lot full and they patrol the whole thing.
With these in mind, you should have a great time.

Dirt trail straight up the mountain. Slipped and fell 4 times on the way down. Don't do this trail during or after rain, it will be a slip n slide. I did it dry and it was bad enough. Should have been listed as moderate rather than easy in my opinion, but I kind of knew what I was getting into since I had looked at the topo map. Nice view from the top however. It's 1 mile to the first peak and 0.5 miles from there to the second peak.

Amazing once you get through the crowd of people at the beginning picking berries. Pretty steep all the way up. Once at the top, the trail continues along the ridge where you can see everything!

We parked at the unpaved lot / harder side and I agree that it was a moderate hike. My wife had our dog and I had our 4-year on my back. It was pretty much straight up the entire way and got a little sketchy on some of the rock climbing sections. There were many slippery parts from recent rain so be careful (especially if you’re carrying a child). Also, part way up we stopped at some blueberries and snacked on a few. Trekking poles would also have been useful on the way down. The view at the top was definitely worth it though!

Amazing hike! The trail is indeed moderate until you get to the terminus of the Reed Lakes trail, but the scramble up to Bomber Glacier is very tough - steep and sketchy rock slide-outs. If you give the glacier a shot, give yourself lots of time to tackle it safely. You will be rewarded with some incredible views.

Awesome, quick post-work hike with the hubby and two bullmastiffs. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we had amazing views for minimal effort. We did take the longer, but easier, route from the paved parking lot (on Google maps it’s the “north” trailhead; at the Butte it’s the “west” trail).

One of my favorite hikes in Alaska!

Ranks as one of the steepest hikes that I’ve been on. Too bad the cloud ceiling was so low that I couldn’t see anything. I’m guessing that the views would have been outstanding.

July 29. Great hike with amazing views. Give yourself plenty of time and bring plenty of water. If you plan to make it all the way to the end, be prepared for a narrow trail on the ridge next to a steep scree slope that requires a bit of scrambling. The descent is quite rough on the knees. Overall great hike. Enjoy!

It’s a nice trail system to ski and walk on. The reason I give it a 4 is because it’s fairly boring and the trees don’t allow you to view much of the surrounding mountains. Nice for walking dogs, but I’ve seen several moose while on this trail.

2 months ago

This hike was breathtaking, recommend waiting for a clear day. Bring a change of socks or breathable footgear as the decent seemed endless on the feet and knees. Trail is not clearly marked toward the end of the ridge line, Cairns aren’t always visible. Stay right on the way up and be prepared to scramble a bit! Overall, well worth the effort but it is taxing so be prepared! We ran out of water half way down so bring a gallon per person minimum

I love this hike!! Such a good workout and beautiful views! It does get super windy and very slick in the winter.

Very good workout. Not too long but it is pretty steep in some places. Lots of dust so you will be dirty at the end of it. The view is well worth it! We brought our dog along and he was able to do it, even climb up some of the rocks! Would definitely do it again

I loved the hike, I went last year and planning to go back again ❤️❤️❤️

Went with a group of 5 with varied experience (from a homegrown Alaskan to a first time visitor), and we all managed to make it to tracks end. Steady, rolling steep inclines made for a good challenge. Most made it on the ridge peak (advised for more experienced hikers) where it does get a bit more technical, lots of shale etc, but got turned around for various reason. If uncomfortable with heights/climbing etc that portion is not for you. Descent was just as steep and rolling so hope you don’t skip leg day. Advise to consider your water, if you’re thinking “should be enough” bring a little more. All in all fantastic experience with amazing scenery, would def give it another go!

Good for a workout. View doesn’t change much. Footing is terrible. Not heading back any time soon.

3 months ago

Simply put, this was amazing....one of the best experiences in my life.

For a more lengthy description.... for me, this was a hike of a lifetime. It was “one down on my bucket list”, and yes, I’ve heard of and plan to hike Kesugi, AT, CDT, and PCT.....in a perfect world.

Prelude: This was my experience. Yours may differ. My reasons for a hike like this are my own. It wasn’t a race, nor was it for bragging rights. The best views are what’s important to me on a hike. That’s just one of the reasons why I did this hike. I’m in good shape, not just decent. But I’m not part goat either, like some people, so I use poles.

The reviewer’s description is on point, with respect to difficulty. The first 3 miles of switch backing brush will wake up your thighs for sure. It was 02 July 2018 when I started this hike. The path was well marked with distance markers, not to be confused with elevation markers, up until about 30k. Where there was water in the brush, there was mud. Tall brush too, around the curves. Stay vigilant.

Once you’re out of the brush, you’ll come to what I call “selfie rock”. Say goodbye to the roots, and hello to the rocks and soft tundra. The path up......AND I DO MEAN UP, to the ridge line is beautiful and aggressively taxing. There were so many times I stopped, smiled and laughed. This truly is an Alaskan gem.

Once you’re on the ridge line to the ‘summit’, on a day like I had, words can’t describe the beauty. Keep pushing. You’ll lose the trail, find the trail, and climb over rock formations that you’ll think twice about yet do anyway.

And that’s where I lost it. I think I was somewhere around 5400 feet in elevation, climbing (not hiking anymore...the sign at the entrance DID READ something like ‘experienced hikers only beyond this point’), when a rock that shouldn’t have broke in half under my feet, broke in half. According to the app, I was less than 1 mile away to the summit, but I decided to turn back.

I ran into a few people who passed me on their way down. They said this wasn’t technically Pioneer Peak, but rather a false peak, and the true Pioneer Peak was two peaks after the app tells you to stop at. Heartbroken (again). Big thanks to the guys that let me follow them off the ridge, and to the woman in the red jacket that prayed for my leg. It helped after you all left.

App said over 7k calories burned. I consumed 2gal of water, one from existing water source from way up top. FYI, make sure if you use a lifestraw, that it fits your jugs or use ziploc bags.

I would do this again in a heartbeat. Follow me to see pics and other info if you wish. Cellphone died with a little over a mile left to the parking lot.

Hope this helps someone.

Take care.

It’s a good hike for some decent workout. Love the views from the top: 360 degree view. Only con, it’s way too dusty trail and we weren’t prepared for that; aftermath was absolutely disastrous. Wear clothing accordingly.

Whoever rated this as easy is insane. haha. Moderate at the least (if you're in good shape) and Hard if you aren't in great shape. It's an uphill climb all the way to the top. The views are gorgeous. When we got to the top the wind was so strong you had to keep your footing solid to stay on your feet!

Such a nice view from the top! Make sure you go down the same way you go up or you'll have to hitchhike back to your car....

Not easy at all! It is short though. My app said it was .77 miles and let me tell you—that is straight up! Near the horses, go to the left; at the next fork, go to the right. That is the least steep way to get up there. I love the Butte. I’m going back tonight. I’ll start on this side, descend the stair side, and then turn around and go back. That’s a great workout!

4 months ago

This trail is a great workout if you like a constant incline. We seen a bear in the very far distance during this hike. The view at the top was well worth it, just be prepared for a serious day hike. Bring a jacket (tie it around your waste if you have to) as it can get super windy at the top.

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