Some 50 miles north of Anchorage, this 1.5-mile trail makes for a fine family outing. From the picnic table at the uppermost end of the trail, you’ll find a satisfying panoramic view of the Matanuska River and Knik River valleys. It’s a view as good, or better, than that from many summits.
Why Take This Hike
Blueberry Knoll Trail begins on the Pioneer Loop ski trail at Government Hill Recreation Area on the south slope of the Talkeetna Mountains. It meanders through the woods of the ski area, bears right (east) across the base of Government Peak, then climbs steadily with few respites.
After crossing a wide gully, the trail bears left and begins to climb more steeply up the bench above the right (east) side of the creek. Here you’ll start to enjoy more open views of the Palmer-Wasilla Valley below. About 0.5 miles later, the trail climbs onto a narrow bench, where it intersects with an unmarked trail on the left (north).
You’ll then switchback over the buttress directly overhead to a trail junction (the third on this trail). The lesser-used trail on the left (north) begins the climb from Blueberry Knoll to the summit of Government Peak. Keep to the right and follow the more-traveled trail to the far end of the bench, where it climbs a short and steep embankment to a picnic table that marks the end of the trail.
The view from here stretches across the length and breadth of the Knik River Valley and Palmer Flats to the northern flank of the Chugach Mountains. After climbing some 1,500 feet to this viewpoint, you might feel satisfied with your day’s work. But if you have the energy, consider climbing the open ridge above, to the summit of Government Peak. The 2,200 feet of additional elevation gain offers a fine payoff: great views in all primary directions.
(For more, see Walk-About Guide to Alaska, Volume Three by Shawn R. Lyons)