Alaska on Ice
The Glenn Highway (Highway 1) is a National Scenic Byway, and for good reason - spectacular views are around every corner. Two glaciers are major highlights of this route - Knik Glacier and Matanuska Glacier. In fact, these glaciers helped form the Matanuska Valley millions of years ago, and are a big reason why Palmer is the agricultural hub of Alaska - the residual glacial silt in the soil, coupled with almost 24 hours of daylight in the summer make this area ripe for farming. Share your experiences on Instagram and Facebook using #YahooMatSu and #AlaskaGrown, and you could win an Alaska Grown hoodie.
Alaska Grown opportunities
Start your adventure at Knik River Lodge, where their restaurant, The Raven's Perch, serves the highest quality, locally sourced food. It's a treat even if you aren't staying at the lodge. In Palmer, Turkey Red specializes in food from local farmers - if you travel here from Anchorage, chances are you've traveled further than your food has. And farther north on the Glenn Highway, Sheep Mountain Lodge has created a great menu that features Alaska Grown produce.
Explore the Matanuska Valley
Activities abound at Knik River Lodge, with helicopter tours of the glacier, a dog mushing operation on the glacier and even heli-hiking. If you'd like to explore the Knik River Valley on ATVs, Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours can take you to the base of Knik Glacier. Going north, the Matanuska River offers amazing rafting opportunities with NOVA Alaska Guides, from gentle scenic trips to more adventurous trips. At Mile 100, you'll get your first glimpse of the mighty Matanuska Glacier, Alaska's largest road-accessible glacier. This small community is known as Glacier View. NOVA also offers glacier trekking trips daily in the summer. Glacier View Adventures has several companies that offer glacier trekking, a zip line course with great views and even a heavy construction rodeo - you can drive a loader and crush cars!
Stay Another Day
There is so much to see and do that you don't want to try to cram it all into one day. Close to Palmer, stay at Knik River Lodge for amazing views and seclusion. If you find yourself near Matanuska Glacier, Sheep Mountain Lodge is a local's favorite. And if you are traveling to the northern portion of the Glenn Highway, Mendeltna Creek Lodge is an inviting lodge with great grayling fishing.
Featured hike: Sheep Mountain Trails
Near Mile 113.5 of the Glenn Highway (Highway 1), there is a series of six connected trails near Sheep Mountain Lodge. These trails all vary in length, with the longest being a mile. With great views of the Chugach Mountains, these trails are perfect for those looking for a short hike.