View Map

Overview

Palmer (pop. 4,000) is 42 miles northeast of Anchorage, and just a few miles from Wasilla. The town originated in the 1930s, when Midwest farmers — displaced by hard times — came north to begin anew. A number of the farms they established still remain in the surrounding Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley. One of the most scenic roads heads north 17 miles from Palmer to the alpine of Hatcher Pass, home to historic gold mine buildings. The area receives heavy snow all winter, and is a favorite of snowmobilers and backcountry skiers. Be aware, however, that avalanche danger can sometimes be high on these mountain slopes. Safer are the six miles ...

Palmer (pop. 4,000) is 42 miles northeast of Anchorage, and just a few miles from Wasilla. The town originated in the 1930s, when Midwest farmers — displaced by hard times — came north to begin anew. A number of the farms they established still remain in the surrounding Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley. One of the most scenic roads heads north 17 miles from Palmer to the alpine of Hatcher Pass, home to historic gold mine buildings. The area receives heavy snow all winter, and is a favorite of snowmobilers and backcountry skiers. Be aware, however, that avalanche danger can sometimes be high on these mountain slopes. Safer are the six miles of groomed cross-country ski trails next to Hatcher Pass Lodge (a great place for food and lodging). Snowboarders often ride slopes along the road to Hatcher Pass, hitching a ride up the hill with friends before blasting down again. East of Palmer, the Glenn Highway follows the Matanuska River into the mountains. Approximately 70 miles out is Sheep Mountain Lodge, a classic log roadhouse and a primo location for cross-country skiing and relaxing in a hot tub beneath the stars.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

view full overview

Don Pitcher for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Palmer is 42 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It lies on the north shore of the Matanuska River, in a wide valley between the Talkeetna Mountains to the north and the Chugach Mountains to the south and east.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The best snow and sunlight are in February and March.