Pioneer Ridge

Anchorage, Alaska

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A strenuous hike climbing to the highest point accessible by a trail with stunning views of Knik Glacier, Matanuska Valley, and the Chugach Mountains. A long, steady, uphill hike, the Pioneer Ridge Trail climbs to a spectacular view of Knik Glacier, and higher up, of the Matanuska Valley, Pioneer Peak, and the Chugach Range. The 5,300-foot shoulder of Pioneer Peak is the highest point hikers can reach on a trail in Southcentral Alaska. The peak is nearly vertical on the north, or Palmer, side, but this hike follows the seldom seen east side of the mountain, where a steep but passable feeder ridge leads up to the peak’s shoulder.

Pioneer Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"A strenuous hike climbing to the highest point accessible by a trail with stunning views of Knik Glacier, Matanuska Valley, and the Chugach Mountains. A long, steady, uphill hike, the Pioneer Ridge Trail climbs to a spectacular view of Knik Glacier, and higher up, of the Matanuska Valley, Pioneer Peak, and the Chugach Range.

The 5,300-foot shoulder of Pioneer Peak is the highest point hikers can reach on a trail in Southcentral Alaska. The peak is nearly vertical on the north, or Palmer, side, but this hike follows the seldom seen east side of the mountain, where a steep but passable feeder ridge leads up to the peak’s shoulder."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Anchorage
Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gain: 5,100 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Best late-June through September
Local Contacts: Matanuska-Susitna Borough, 350 East Dahlia Ave., Palmer, AK 99645; (907) 745-9690; www.matsugov.us
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage C-6 (SE) and B-6; Imus Geographics Chugach State Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Pioneer Ridge

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May 2018