Bodenburg Butte Trail

Matanuska Valley


The trail is in the Butte just around the corner from Palmer, so it is not remote. There are 2 trailheads where you can start this hike from - Butte Trailhead (Sandvik Family Trail) near the Reindeer Farm (which has a steeper but shorter climb) and the West Butte Trailhead on Mothershead Road (which is a bit more gradual of a climb, on more developed trails, including stairs on some steep sections).

The 360 degree view from the top is the reward for this hike, but it's a quick hike and it took less time to get up to the summit than it took to drive there from Anchorage. Anchorage residents looking for an all day excursion would be advised to drive further to Hatcher Pass.

Look for the faults and glacial scoured rocks at the top, and deep loess (angular grains of rock flour/dirt left by glaciers).

Once at the top, you get a great view of the Mat-Su Valley, Knik Glacier off in the distance, and probably the best view you can get of Pioneer Peak.

Warning: The trail is seriously eroded and I urge you to be careful going up and down. I would not do this hike in the rain as it would be very easy to slip and hurt yourself in muddy conditions.

Important Information

This trail would be ok for hardy children. Coming down is slow in spots because of the sandy trail and steep parts. This is a good short hike for short winter days. We explored about 2 hours on the Butte but can be done in a lot less time.


While you are there you may want to visit the Reindeer Farm or the Musk Ox Farm; check to see if they are open, especially during winter.

Good places to eat in Palmer are Colony Kitchen (Noisy Goose) and La Fiesta Restaurant.

This hike was rated 3 stars.
Somewhat easy
1.5 miles
Elevation Gain
700 feet
From Anchorage
29 miles
May to November
Submitted By
Linda Bee

Finding the Trailhead

Hike Map

Map of Bodenburg Butte Trail