Explore the most popular walking 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.

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.

Easy trail with a winding path up. Takes about half as long to get back down!

5 days ago

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!

12 days ago

Great hike to a beautiful lake. At least the views that I could see below the low clouds.

13 days ago

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.

15 days ago

Nice easy stroll. Went last weekend for a few hours, with my kiddos and wife. Beautiful lakes all around the area. A few slight inclines but nothing my children (2 &4) couldn’t manage. Nice place for a picnic.

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!

we just did unguided option - that's about 1 mile in & out. Great experience to be and feel glacier. Great views and sound of melted water beneath the glacier is amazing.

$30 seems expensive for a hike however, understandable as this is privately own. i do recommend guided tour ($100) if time permits.

lovely trail. lots to view. we took our 9month old son and he enjoyed the hike. it wasn't too bad in elevation and it was a easy hike.

16 days ago

this was so fun! we went yesterday 7-28-18, but the lake was so worth the climb. my Fitbit said it was a 642 elevation and it took us 45minutes to climb with my bad knee. we took our 9month old son as well loads of fun and an easy hike.

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.

I highly recommend this trail. It’s the reason I love hiking in Hatcher Pass. The parking is easy to find and usually not too busy. The trail is easy and relatively flat in the beginning and then inclines up to the lake. The view is wonderful and you can overlook the mine.

21 days 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

21 days ago

Went up a couple days ago. It's to the right of the Independence Mine as you're walking/driving up towards it. Short and easy hike up, absolutely gorgeous on a sunny day. The Lake is so clear and there's plenty of space to walk around and explore. Probably go during a weekday to avoid any crowds.

Booked this through Adventurous Wino’s and had an excellent time. Our guide was Allison, she was very informative and fun. The trail is moderate, my cousin and mother in law had no problems and they both have knee and hip problems. Loved this and would absolutely do it again.

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

Such a fun trail! Lots of trails to connect with, beautiful views, and gentle elevation changes. We'd have hiked for several more hours if the bugs hadn't been so bad. Make sure to take bug dope, sunscreen, water, and a well charged phone. My phone died, so only half of our hike recorded.

Hiked up to marmot ridge. Nobody but us!! Beautiful and total isolation. Old mining equipment and a man made mining tunnel.

1 month ago

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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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!

The road was still closed due to the amount of snow but it was open to pedestrians on foot. There were quite a few people walking up and back from the old mining town. Lots of signs to read and learn from. It was kind of neat to have waste deep snow and then we drove 10 minutes down the road to the Gold Mint Trail and took our jackets off because we were too warm!

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....

1 month 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!

I don’t think I would categorize this as a “hike” simply due to the fact that there is next to no elevation gain/loss, but it is a very nice nature walk.
The trail travels over the top of some old abandoned train tracks with portions of rail still exposed and various derailed train cars for viewing as you pass by.
At several points along the trail, you can exit and walk on the MatSu riverbed.
Recommended for a pleasant, low impact stroll.

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