Explore the most popular 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.




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Palmer, Alaska Map

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

scenic driving
3 days ago

Stunning views from start to finish.

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 ❤️❤️❤️

7 days ago

Steep and a tad difficult, but definitely worth it. 4 miles each way, so 8 total. Don't let the false peaks fool ya!

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!

Just awesome, a few different routes it looked like to get yourself up there, one being more difficult than the other according to the signage. Took the harder one so I’ll have to go back and try the other and see how that is. Either way, nice challenge, steep all the way up and down, the work to get to the top makes the view all the more worth it!

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

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.

10 days ago

Great challenging trail that hits you with steep inclines just a few meters out of the parking lot. Steep incline the whole way up and the false summits definitely trick you if you are thinking your done. Views at the top definitely well worth the pain of hiking the incline. My lab and me both enjoyed the hike

If you enjoy STEEP incline and STEEP decline (NO JOKE) this is absolutely for you. 1 star because the views, other than that, not my cup of tea. Enjoyed the challenge though!

Such a pretty view!! Lots of stops on the way up with beautiful views

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.

We visited Alaska from Michigan for a week. We laugh because when something says "scenic drive" we're like: "Where isn't it a scenic drive?". Everywhere was so beautiful and Hatcher's Pass was no exception!

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!

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....

Great views! Difficult trail and really paying for it but still worth every bit.

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!

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.

Went up yesterday..Still lots of snow but made for a fun and slipery hike! Sun was shining and everyone had fun!!

29 days ago

This trail is steep and difficult. We actually went up the Lazy Moose side about 4.5 miles one way and down the steeper side about 2ish miles. Round trip 6.60 miles according to MapMyHike. There are serval false peaks that get your hopes up but the view at the end makes the pain worth it! I would not recommend this trail if it has been raining as the few muddy spots we encountered were very slick. We encountered a moose on our way up the Lazy Moose trail definitely keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings!

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.

1 month ago

Pretty steep all the way up. Went up and down the steeper route. Would recommend going down on the Lazy Moose Trail. Hike is really only worth it if you go all the way to the top and not stop at the first picnic table.

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.

Went up hard steep route due to a moose and switchback on way back. Busy trail — too many people for me. Ok trail but was expecting more . Won’t do it again but crossed off our list .

Beautiful hike. The trail splits at the beginning, to the right is the easier, less steep trail but it's 4 miles long to the top. To the left at the split is the harder trail that is quite steep but only about 2 1/4 miles to the top.
At the halfway point of the shorter trail, the two meet at one of two picnic tables and its about a mile to the peak from there.
We took the longer/easier trail up then the shorter/steeper trail down all in about 3.5 hours with a 30 minute stop at the top.
I would rate the short trail as hard, physically, and the long trail moderate. Both are well kept trails though, mostly dirt, and then some gravel/rocky sand up closer to the top.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Love this spot. Still too much snow to hike the pass but we did enjoy the drive.

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