Palmer / Wasilla Area Points of Interest
Points of Interest
In the Talkeetna Mountains between the towns of Willow and Palmer, Hatcher Pass is a local favorite for recreation or a scenic drive. Hike in alpine tundra dotted with wildflowers and ptarmigan, ski fresh, deep powder, or visit Independence Mine Historical State Park.
Visible outside the windows of the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau, this state wildlife refuge is the result of the 1964 earthquake. Literally overnight, the land dropped by 6 to 20 feet; hay fields and pastureland became salt flats and marshland. Once home to cows and grains, the land is now prime habitat for moose, birds, and fish. Some 20,000 acres are protected in the refuge, which is a popular recreation and wildlife-viewing… ...more
In Summer (May — September), The Denali Star Train services Anchorage, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks. In Winter (October — April) the Aurora Winter Train operates as a flag top train between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It stops here heading North on Saturday, and South on Sunday.
Palmer may look like it grew organically, like any other town. But it was actually designed by the government as a planned agricultural community. In fact, Palmer was part of FDR’s New Deal Resettlement Projects during the Great Depression: More than 200 families volunteered to move to Alaska to try farming in the Last Frontier!
The Knik Glacier snakes out of the Chugach Mountains, tumbling into an iceberg-studded lake that feeds the Knik River. Experience the glacier up close on an ATV tour from Palmer, or a flightseeing trip (with optional landings on or near the glacier) from Anchorage or Palmer. Flights are as short as 90 minutes round-trip, making it one of the most accessible and impressive glaciers from Anchorage.
At Mile 11 on the Old Glenn Highway, turn onto Bodenburg Loop Road. Pyrahs Pioneer Peak U‑Pick Farm sits at mile three of Bodenburg Loop. With up to 35 different kinds of produce to pick (weather dependent) this is a great way to get some fresh veggies for home. Prices are by the pound, and hours of operation vary by season. The first farm in this area was homesteaded by John Bodenburg. It remains a rural area today, and farming and farm… ...more
What was it like to be an Alaskan scientist back in the 1940s? This site, on the south side of Palmer’s downtown, near Gulkana and E. Fireweed streets, will give you a pretty good idea. Back then, this two-story cement building, the eight simple cottages, and the arboretum were built by the University of Fairbanks and used by researchers studying how to increase productivity in cold-weather crops.