Palmer - Nestled between Denali National Park and Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley covers the heart of Southcentral Alaska. Located within a hour’s drive of Anchorage, this 23,000 square mile wonderland features a treasure chest of scenery, activities and attractions encompassing the communities of Wasilla, Palmer, Big Lake, Houston, Willow, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Sutton, Chickaloon, Eureka, Lake Louise, and Skwentna.
Here you’ll find ancient glaciers, majestic snowcapped mountains (including Mt. McKinley), crystal clear streams, mighty rivers, fine fishing lakes, gold mining history, colonist farms, and a wealth of wildlife and domestic livestock. This is Alaska as you imagined it to be.
Outstanding attractions in the area include the headquarters of the world-famous Iditarod Trail sled dog race; the Musk Ox Farm where Alaska’s only herd of domesticated musk ox are raised; and Hatcher Pass, a breathtaking mountain corridor offering year-round recreational opportunities including a chance to explore remnants of a gold mining operation from the 1940s. The Alaska State Fair, held in late August, is the state’s largest celebration, while a slate of colorful small town festivals are scheduled throughout the year. Activities in the area abound. Fish the area’s five species of salmon, Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, grayling, and northern pike in 3,000 lakes, rivers and streams. For water sports, the area’s thousands of lakes provide visitors with ample opportunities to swim, waterski, boat or rent a variety of watercraft. For whitewater thrills, try rafting through rapids on a rushing, rock-filled river.