Photo Credit: Go Hike Alaska

Palmer Wasilla Guided Hiking

Just 45 minutes from Anchorage, the towns of Palmer and Wasilla offer access to two mountain ranges, glacially fed rivers, and stunning views of the Knik Arm, Matanuska River, and Knik Glacier. This area of Alaska, referred to as “The Valley,” offers a range of hiking trails and backcountry trip options, making it a great destination for families and adventure seekers alike.

Hikers in Palmer and Wasilla can expect to find generally well-marked trails, opportunities for either river strolling or steep elevation climbs, and a variety of flora and fauna. Moose sightings are not uncommon, especially in lower elevation areas. Read these tips to help ensure safe encounters with wildlife.

Check trailheads for parking fee information and any wildlife updates. Some trails in this area do not have cell reception, so make sure someone knows your whereabouts and anticipated return time.

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Guided Hiking

Season: May 20 to Sep 16 $64+ 2.5 to 4.5 hrs

Explore Alas­ka on foot — take a scenic day hike into the South Denali area. Choose one of 3 great hikes; from an easy, 2‑mile stroll to a mod­er­ate­ly stren­u­ous 5½-hour hike. You’ll get spec­tac­u­lar views and see plen­ty of wildlife as you trek with your expe­ri­enced nat­u­ral­ist guide. Depend­ing on the hike you may pass pris­tine lakes, see an old pioneer’s cab­in, catch a glimpse of Mt. McKin­ley, and even have the chance to spot for­ag­ing bears. These  ...more

Season: Mid-May to Mid-September $89+ 3 hrs to full day excursions

There’s climb­ing a moun­tain – and then there’s climb­ing an ICE moun­tain. Regard­less of your climb­ing abil­i­ty or expe­ri­ence, you’ll end the day feel­ing ful­filled and inspired. MICA also offers short, guid­ed hikes and longer treks if you pre­fer a more leisure­ly explore of the glac­i­er and its grandeur.

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 16 $443 3.5 hrs

Go hik­ing in the Alaskan wilder­ness, but book­end your hike with a spec­tac­u­lar heli­copter ride. Lift off from Tal­keet­na for a short, scenic flight into the bore­al for­est around town. Then get ready to start hik­ing with your expe­ri­enced nat­u­ral­ist guide. You’ll get great views of Denali, the Alas­ka Range, and count­less moun­tain peaks as you walk through the alpine tun­dra of the South Denali area — it’s a hiker’s par­adise only acces­si­ble by chopper.  ...more

Season: June 1 - Sept 15 $125+ Half-Day to Multi-Day Options

Set off with a small group and an expe­ri­enced guide for an unfor­get­table explo­ration of the Mat-Su Val­ley area on foot. Nes­tled between the Chugach Moun­tains to the south and the Tal­keet­na Moun­tains to the north, there are crag­gy, snow-capped peaks and rush­ing rivers every­where you turn: a clas­sic Alaskan set­ting that comes packed with a rich his­to­ry. Opt for a half-day or full day hike, or choose a hike & brew or a town tour to learn the  ...more

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 10 $95+ 3 to 6 hrs

Expe­ri­ence the thrill of walk­ing or climb­ing on a glac­i­er. The Matanus­ka is Alaska’s largest road-acces­si­ble glac­i­er, and it’s just 90 min­utes from Anchor­age, so it’s an easy way to get up close and per­son­al with these amaz­ing nat­ur­al won­ders. You don’t need to be expe­ri­enced in either activ­i­ty — just be in good shape and up for adven­ture. You’ll either walk around on the glac­i­er with cram­pons or learn how to use an ice axe and safe­ly work your  ...more

Season: Jul 02 to Sep 10 $1,295 per person 4 days

Get a unique view of the Alaskan wilder­ness on a four- or sev­en-day back­pack­ing trip through the back­coun­try. You’ll be trekking on Kesu­gi Ridge in Denali State Park, with mag­nif­i­cent views of Mt. McKin­ley and of course plen­ty of wildlife to spot along the way. Your expe­ri­enced nat­u­ral­ist guide will be with you the whole way, cook­ing up great meals at your camp­sites. You should be fit enough to car­ry a pack up mod­er­ate hills, though you’ll  ...more

Season: Year Round $99+ 2 hrs - Multi-Day

Get out there on one or more of these super-acces­si­ble trips, which range from easy nature walks to stren­u­ous alpine mul­ti-day treks. You’ll not only get a healthy dose of scenery, you’ll also exer­cise your body, mind, and soul. In win­ter, mar­vel at frozen water­falls, snow­shoe treks and even heli-snowshoeing!

Season: Winter: Feb - Mar | Summer: Jun - Sep $400+ Overnight | $370+ Fly-in Day Hike

This fly-in lodge on a pri­vate lake in the Tal­keet­na Moun­tains is a great place to unplug. It is also an ide­al des­ti­na­tion to escape the crowds as the lodge only accom­mo­dates small groups of 10 or less. Take guid­ed hikes to look for wildlife and enjoy nature, kayak, go fish­ing, pick wild berries, or just relax and enjoy the peace and bliss­ful views. 

Season: Year Round $329+ 1.5+ hrs

Glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, and oth­er activ­i­ties are even more spe­cial when com­bined with a spec­tac­u­lar heli­copter ride through Alaska’s dra­mat­ic scenery. Thanks to key part­ner­ships with oth­er expe­ri­enced Alaskan tour oper­a­tors, Palmer based Out­bound Heli Adven­tures is able to coor­di­nate seam­less out­ings of a life­time! And, they pride them­selves on offer­ing the most amount of flight time with their excursions.

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