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Hatcher Pass Road Professional Review and Guide
"Improved gravel road from Palmer to Willow; 49 miles (79 kilometers). This gravel road (also known as the Fishhook-Willow Road) climbs over a high tundra pass in the Talkeetna Mountains, linking the Glenn and Parks highways. It travels through the Willow Creek Mining District, site of the Independence Mine State Historical Park and other abandoned structures from the hard-rock gold-mining days of the early 1900s. One of the first roads in the original Alaska Territory ran between the town of Knik and the Grubstake Gulch placer fields on Willow Creek. Another road was later built from Palmer to the Independence Mine. The alpine scenery along this road is fantastic, including brilliant wildflower displays and possibly some of the wildlife that lives above the timberline. The road is closed in the winter and opens when the snow has melted, usually by late June or early July. It is quite narrow and steep in sections and has no guardrails. It is not recommended for wide vehicles or trailers. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more."
--Erik Molvar, Scenic Driving Alaska and the Yukon (Falcon Guides).
This road provides access to an easily accessible gold mine and a deep blue lake nestled at the top of the pass. This road is a little more rugged than other dirt roads I travelled in Alaska, so warrants a little more care near the top of the pass. Rating: 3.75 out of 5.
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