DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE MORE THAN 2,000 MILES OF TRAILS IN THE MAT-SU VALLEY?
Hike, bike, ski, snowshoe or ATV and snowmobile on this vast recreational system!
Below is a list of some of the more popular trail systems groups by geographic location. Glacier Country includes Palmer and the Glenn Highway north to Glacier View; Lake Country is the Wasilla and Big Lake area; Gold Rush Country is the Hatcher Pass area; and Denali country includes Willow, Talkeetna and Denali State Park areas.
Click on a trail to find trail maps, descriptions and the best time to go. Hit the trail!
"The Butte" is one of the most popular hikes in the Mat-Su Valley. It is a 1-mile climb to the top, with stairways in steep sections and a resting area halfway up. It is very popular for families - pack a picnic for the top, which has 360-degree views of the Valley...
Matanuska Peak Trail is a challenging 10-mile out-and-back hike just outside of Palmer. It is a popular trail with quite a bit of elevation gain. Make sure to be aware about wildlife in the area.
Pioneer Peak is an iconic mountain in the Chugach State Park. The challenging hike is 13.5 miles and features more than 6,500 elevation gain. The views from the top are stunning and worth the effort.
Long Lake Loop is part of the Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area. It's a popular trail among locals and is well maintained. It is open year-round and is popular for cross-country skiing in the winter.
Crevasse Moraine is a series of loops that interconnects to the Matanuska Greenbelt. There are more than 10 miles of trails that are easy to traverse, all varying in length. It is a popular spot for horseback riding and hiking in the summer, and cross-country skiing in the...
This 13-mile trail stretches from downtown Palmer to Moose Creek, following the old Alaska Railroad. It gets lots of use for hiking, cross-country skiing in the winter and horseback riding. You don't have to do the entire 13-mile stretch, as many just do a few miles in...
Eska Falls is a challenging nearly 10 mile hike in Sutton. It's an out-and-back hike that has nearly 2,400 feet of vertical gain. The trailhead is somewhat secluded and tough to reach when the vegetation is overgrown.
Lazy Mountain is anything but lazy! This trail is very popular, yet challenging, and is centrally located near Palmer. Many trail runners use the route, as well as hikers and backpackers. It covers 3,000 vertical feet.
Alcantra Loop is an easy loop of just over a mile long. It's near Larson Elementary School near Wasilla. There is a great disc golf course adjacent to the park, which also includes soccer fields and softball fields.
Wasilla Creek Trail is an easy, kid-friendly trail. This out-and-back trail is less than a mile long and has a wide boardwalk. It is accessible by those who require mobility assistance.
Reed Lakes Trail is a picturesque trail in Hatcher Pass. The first part is easy and it turns into a moderately difficult hike the farther you go. It's an out-and-back hike that is popular among locals.
Summit Lake in Hatcher Pass is short, but the drive to it is worth it alone. At the top of Hatcher Pass, there are amazing views. The trail is just .6 miles and is ideal for families and dog walking.
April Bowl Trail in Hatcher Pass has spectacular views! It's a moderately challenging hike of just more than two miles. In late summer, the area has great berry picking opportunities.
Government Peak Recreation Area is a gem of a trail system with several loops. It totals four miles, and the trails are wide and well maintained. In the winter, the Nordic skiing at Government Peak is among the best in the state. In the summer, watch for wildlife.
The hike to Mint Hut is via Gold Mint Trail and is a challenging hike to an iconic hut in the Talkeetna Mountains. Be prepared for bugs and wildlife along the route, and plan accordingly for the 18-mile roundtrip hike.
Talkeetna Lake Trail is an easy loop close to Talkeetna. It's a very popular trail for birding and walking. It's a local favorite. In the winter it's popular for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing.
This 4.8 mile loop in Denali State Park is great for backpacking and camping, and there are public-use cabins along the route. It circles Byers Lake in Denali State Park and is easily accessible via the Parks Highway (Highway 3).
This 30-mile trail is in Denali State Park and offers spectacular views of the Alaska Range and Denali. It is more an expedition-style backpacking trip, however, you don't have to hike the entire length. There are several access points, including Byers Lake Trail, Little Coal...