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.

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.

hiking
10 days 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.

hiking
13 days ago

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.

hiking
14 days ago

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....

hiking
16 days ago

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!

hiking
1 month 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.

It was an interesting experience to hike on a glacier, but not quite as thrilling as I had expected from my research. The trail and glacier were fairly well populated, so it didn’t necessarily have a really isolated, backcountry feel like many hikes do. If you have the time (and money) while in the area, it’s an interesting stop, but I wouldn’t call it a must-do Alaska experience.

Beautiful views, but the trailhead from the unpaved parking lot is definetly not "easy". Would recommend starting at the paved lot.

GPS took us to the hard side which was really fun but steep toward the top. We decided to take the longer and easier way down which put us about 2.5 miles away from our car. The walk back to the car was not bad there is a bike path in the main road.

hiking
1 month ago

This was such a fun hike to do with my 4 year old who hiked the whole thing! He did great on the stairs as well and the view up top is simply breathtaking!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike with some good elevation gain all at once. The first half of the trail is a nice easy stroll through the woods and then you hit the stairs and find that elevation. The views at the top are quite the reward. We took the path up via the paved parking lot which has a $5 fee but was very well maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

Our first hike as a family was the Butte!! Easy to navigate. Trail was muddy but avoidable by walking around in the grass. Decent workout great views from the top of the glacier and valley.

hiking
1 month ago

I wouldn't call this easy. We went up the trail from the paved parking lot. I am out of shape, and it was easy until we hit the stairs. Right before the stairs there are some benches and a beautiful view. From the stairs forward I would say this is more of a moderate hike, and well worth it. Really enjoyed the affirmation posts. For anyone who hasn't been here before, be aware there are 2 trail heads. the trailhead at the paved parking lot side is an easier hike than from the trailhead at the dirt/gravel parking lot side.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous nice short walk it is!

Amazing trail! We hiked the “hard side” and had a blast!

hiking
1 month ago

Not sure if I would rate this as easy. wasn't too bad, steeper than expected for an "easy" trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging trail for distance , mostly incline , good workout , definately loved views .

hiking
2 months ago

A fairly quick hike with fantastic views. We did it with our 5 year old and dog. The trail is steep and can be very dusty if its been dry or very muddy if its been rainy. There are benches at the top.

Missing one star due to dog poop along the trail and loose dogs that weren't well trained/friendly. As well as trash people have left.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a short but steep hike. Visited Alaska from Savannah, GA and this was one the highlights for me. The challenge and the views were awesome, it’s very peaceful at the top.

You can only do self-guided tours in the summer time, I think June-September. Otherwise, you'll need a guide and the cost is $25-30 if you're an Alaskan resident. I was told tour times are at 11am and 2pm, so call ahead of time if you want the tour. Did this with guide a couple weeks ago and it was beautiful. Took us through some caves and was very informative but she didn't talk our ears off. They will provide you with crampons if needed. Overall it's just beautiful, the different colors of the glacier are amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Very fun hike, easy enough to do with my four kids (youngest is 4) but challenging enough that they feel like they really accomplished something!

Scott Evans where did you rent crampons and how much were they. We are planning to go next month. My wife is wary about not getting a guide. I am not sure it makes sense to spend an extra $200 for a guide. Anyone have thoughts here?

hiking
3 months ago

A lot of people, but overall fun, a good little work out. Not the toughest thing I’ve hiked but for not doing it for a couple years I was sweating at the top. Gonna try lazy mtn today to see if that’s gonna send it.

Easy trail to hike summer, spring & fall or cross country ski in the winter. Great sledding hill for the kids too

3 months ago

THIS IS NOT THE EASY SIDE!!!

Beautiful views make the vertical climb worth it, but this is definitely not the easy side.

hiking
6 months ago

A bit more populated than I usually like but it’s a great hike if you want something quick and close to town with good views.

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