Best lake trails in Palmer, Alaska

909 Reviews
Explore the most popular lake 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.
Map of lake trails in Palmer, Alaska
Top trails (8)
#1 - Gold Cord Lake
Independence Mine State Historical Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(255)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 56 m
This trail is located by the Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass. The trail is easy and fairly straight until you hit the boulder field where you will find some switchbacks as you gain elevation. It is easy to follow and in good condition. There is an old cabin along the trail and a boulder field towards the top that is very easy to manage. At the top, there is a crystal clear tarn and lots of places to relax by the water. Wildlife consists of birds and marmots. Show more
#2 - April Bowl Trail
Hatcher Pass East Management Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(197)
Length: 2.2 mi • Est. 1 h 28 m
This is a consistently steep and scenic trail up to a set of glacial lakes. The trail gets rocky as you traverse up along the ridge to the first peak with great views of the lakes below as well as willow on one side and the Mat-Su Valley down the other. The trail continues up the ridge until you reach the top. This point is roughly 1,000 feet in elevation gain from the starting point at Hatcher Pass. Show more
#3 - Reflection Lake Trail
Palmer, Alaska
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(212)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 29 m
#4 - Hatcher Pass Scenic Drive
Palmer, Alaska
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(72)
Length: 50.7 mi
#5 - Lower Reed Lake Trail
Independence Mine State Historical Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(42)
Length: 6.5 mi • Est. 3 h 51 m
#6 - Long Lake Loop
Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(86)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 2 h 3 m
#7 - Old Glenn Highway Bike Path
Palmer, Alaska
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 10.8 mi • Est. 4 h 51 m
#8 - Gold Mint Trail and Reed Lakes Loop
Hatcher Pass East Management Area
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1)
Length: 20.5 mi • Est. Multi-day
This trail combines the Gold Mint hut trail, Bomber glacier, and Reed Lakes in a single loop-style. If starting at the Mint Hut trailhead, expect to get muddy and wet throughout the valley. The elevation really starts just before Mint Hut - expect it to be slow going from the valley floor, to the Hut, and onwards up the pass. When scrambling up the pass, be careful of the "path" as it is the most unstable rock; climbing just adjacent to the beaten path will provide much more stability. Once at the top of the pass, there are 2 static lines to help you descend to Penny-Royal Glacier (though these can get covered in snow). Follow the stream from Penny Royal Glacier, then cut west at the small lake (or continue all the way to Bomber hut). There is no trail up to Bomber glacier, but it's hard to miss - stick to the east as you hike up to the glacier, then cut across (SW) to the pass that will take you to reed lakes. Near the top of the pass, there are once again 2 static lines to help you get up. The path is then very steep and rocky (no trail) all the way down to upper reed lake. From there, the path is easy to follow and relatively dry; lots of boulder fields on the way out.Show more