Lazy Mountain and Matanuska Peak Trail

OutAndBack • 17 mi • 8800 ft

Half-day to overnight hikes to the high country and peaks of the Chugach Mountains “front range” outside Palmer. Lazy Mountain (3,720 feet) and Matanuska Peak (6,119 feet) are the prominent peaks east of Palmer. Lazy Mountain is the rounded peak nearer town, and Mat Peak is the tall, stately peak behind it. A trail leads to each summit, and it’s possible to connect the two trails for a very long high-country adventure just a stone’s throw from Palmer. These trails are a bit rough. Lazy Mountain is extremely steep in places and can be very slick when wet. The lower 2.5 miles of the Mat Peak Trail are thick with tall grasses and cow parsnip by late summer, and if the vegetation is wet even with dew, you’ll be soaked to the neck if you don’t have rain gear on. Watch for cow parsnip and stinging nettle on both trails; long pants are a good idea. Special features: High ridges and peaks, fine views, wildflower meadows.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Palmer
Length: 17 total miles
Elevation Gain: 8,800 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Strenuous
Season: Mid-June through mid-September
Trailhead Elevation: 750 feet
Top Elevation: 3,700 feet
Local Contacts: Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage C-6 (SE)
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Recent Trail Reviews

12/6/2001

I have been atop the 6,119 foot summit of Matanuska (Byers) peak a few times in the summer and it was great, but I recently completed a December ascent and it was amazing. We were on the mountain for four days, the weather went anywhere from +20F to -25F, and from overcast to bright white winter sunshine. It was a wonderful trip in amazing country. Get up there!

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