Lazy Mountain and Matanuska Peak Trail

Palmer, Alaska

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Lazy Mountain is a steep hike with a nice summit that lets hikers know they are finished. The Matanuska Peak Trail in the adjacent McRoberts Creek valley is somewhat easier but has a less distinct hiking goal. These primitive trails, with variations on the same fine views, are close enough to connect, and a loop trip is possible. Looming beyond both is Matanuska Peak, a summit for the truly hardy. The trails are suitable for children, although kids will take more time. The views are principally of the Matanuska Valley farming district, the silver waters of Cook Inlet, and Pioneer Peak jutting above the Knik River. The lower portions of both trails wind through tall grass, which, even on a clear day, may be wet with dew, so take rain pants. Wildflowers abound; new species introduce themselves with every hundred feet of elevation gained, culminating on the Lazy Mountain ridge crest and at the upper end of McRoberts Creek in minute lichens, with brilliant pinhead-sized sporangia, clinging to the rocks. Three hike variations and the Matanuska Peak climbing routes are described here. Lazy Mountain Recreation Area also offers winter skiing and hiking opportunities.
55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska

DESCRIPTION FROM:

55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska

by Helen D. Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr. (The Mountaineers Books)

Lazy Mountain is a steep hike with a nice summit that lets hikers know they are finished. The Matanuska Peak Trail in the adjacent McRoberts Creek valley is somewhat easier but has a less distinct hiking goal. These primitive trails, with variations on the same fine views, are close enough to connect, and a loop trip is possible. Looming beyond both is Matanuska Peak, a summit for the truly hardy.

The trails are suitable for children, although kids will take more time. The views are principally of the Matanuska Valley farming district, the silver waters of Cook Inlet, and Pioneer Peak jutting above the Knik River. The lower portions of both trails wind through tall grass, which, even on a clear day, may be wet with dew, so take rain pants. Wildflowers abound; new species introduce themselves with every hundred feet of elevation gained, culminating on the Lazy Mountain ridge crest and at the upper end of McRoberts Creek in minute lichens, with brilliant pinhead-sized sporangia, clinging to the rocks. Three hike variations and the Matanuska Peak climbing routes are described here. Lazy Mountain Recreation Area also offers winter skiing and hiking opportunities.

©  Helen D. Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr./The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Palmer
Distance: 7
Elevation Gain: 3,120 feet
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 6 hours
Season: May-Oct
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Alaska Division of Mining, Land, & Water
Local Maps: USGS Anchorage C6 NE, SE
Driving Directions: Directions to Lazy Mountain and Matanuska Peak Trail

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May 2018