Points of Interest
Some 15,000 years ago, this glacier reached another 50 miles west to the Palmer area. It now has a four-mile wide towering face that you can walk right up to and touch. Keep an eye out for summertime ice-climbers at this most impressive roadside glacier. Directions: Head north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. At mile 102, you can drive down to Glacier Park and pay a day fee (888−253−4480), then hike 15 – 20 minutes to the face of ...more
It’s only a small pull-out on the side of the highway, but this is the closest viewpoint of the Matanuska Glacier. If you don’t have a powerful zoom on your camera, or just want to get a great look at the ice, this is the spot. There’s only room for about six cars and the feel is a bit more rustic than the official state rec site a mile to the west, but you’ll be perched on a bluff overlooking the glacier. Distance 103.3 miles north of… ...more
This is the Glacier View School, where roughly 40 students are enrolled in K‑12. These students have an awesome view of the glacier and their playground makes for a great spot for the family to get out and run around. What’s it like to be a student here? There are five teachers, so there’s one teacher for every 8 students! But sports are limited — a co-ed volleyball team and cross country running and skiing. Go Wolverines! Distance 104 miles… ...more
Keep your eyes open for rocks on the road above Long Lake. Alaska Department of Transportation clears boulders off the highway in this slide area every day of the year, but you could still collide with one if you come around a corner too fast. On the other hand, don’t linger under this crumbling bank!
Be careful, it’s easy to miss this turn-off as you drop down the hill, but look out for the sign “Caribou Creek Recreational Area.” This seldom-used campground is a quiet place to camp, away from highway noise. It has fire rings and picnic tables, and there’s a trail to the creek. It’s a one-mile walk to the water. It’s a nice stream and it’s part of the State Recreational Gold Mining Area. So bring a pan and try your luck!
The Matanuska State Park is the best place for a free view of the Matanuska Glacier. You won’t be able to walk up to the glacier (that’s at Mile 102 and is $30 per person), but this well-developed site (wihch is also connected to the nearby RV Park) offers plenty of parking, public restrooms, and excellent glacier views and photo opportunities. You’ll also find: A half-dozen interpretive signs about glaciers, ice creatures, spruce bark… ...more
A good dirt road, with plenty of pull-outs, leaves the main highway on the south side of the road. The “Alascom Road” runs four miles across the valley floor. There are several lakes, stocked with trout and grayling, for fishermen, and plenty of camping spots. It’s quiet, and there’s great canoeing and bird watching on the lakes. It’s a popular weekend destination for Anchorage folks, so you might not be alone. And in the fall, you’ll see… ...more
People love to pull off here and shoot a photo beside this classic sign. A local theory on the creek name is that the crusty, old sourdough who lived down near the creek used mules for guiding hunts. These mules purportedly escaped a lot, so the asses were always by the creek. Who knows? But it’s a classic photo for the friends back home.
In the 1950s, an Anchorage family worked tirelessly at their dream of building a ski resort here at the base of Gunsight Mountain. They built a small chalet and erected a rope tow. But financing was always a problem. Business did not boom. Today, the chalet is all that’s left of their efforts.