Lazy Mountain

Matanuska Valley
This hike was rated 3 stars.
Submitted By
Somewhat Difficult; the hike is short but steep. The first 20 - 30 minutes are difficult, but the last section is a lot easier and the trail isn't too long.
Connects With
Miles One Way
Miles from Anchorage
40; near the town of Palmer
May to October


Lazy mountain, near the city of Palmer, makes for a fine day hike. From the parking lot at the base, the trail ascends rapidly through dense foliage over a well-trod path. The trail continues straight up the mountain for a good length, with occasional steps built right into the path. A third or so of the way up, a bench is reached. After this, the trail becomes slightly less steep, and the landscape changes from forest to rocky tundra. Another bench is located just below the real top of Lazy mountain. From the final vantage point, one can see nearby Matanuska Peak, as well as Pioneer Peak and Twin Peaks to the west.

Important Information

Although the trail isn’t that long, I do recommend you be in shape. There aren’t any switchbacks that I can remember and the trail goes straight up the mountainside.


This is the closest day hike to Palmer that I know of.

Webmaster’s Note: I urge you to check out Dan’s website ( No two people are alike and if you are viewing this site for vacation planning purposes, Dan’s site can give you extra information and opinions that may not be on my site. Also, his site has great pics and his information is well organized. For other websites that cover hiking in Alaska, go here.

Topo Map

Lazy Mountain topo map

Comments on hiking Lazy Mountain

  1. Maria — July 24, 2017

    My family and I just hiked this trail (Husband, Wife, 7 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old) yestesrday. We were committed to making it to the top and we did. The youngest two got carried part of the way. We went up the Lazy Moose trail which has a a lot of switchbacks and is so, so much easier. The kids don’t have the greatest hiking shoes and had an extremely difficult time keeping their grip coming down. They slid and fell numerous times. Do not go if it is raining as the trail would be very slick.

    Next time we are going to go up the regular trail and down Lazy Moose as going down the regular trail.

  2. David McQueen — May 7, 2017

    we did this Friday, May 5th, 2017. It was muddy but other than that a good trail. It took us 1.5 hrs to get to the top so we kept going partway up Matanuska peak. When we came down we had a bit of confusion as we bush waked across a valley then met another trail thinking it would take us to the Lazy Mt. Trail head but it didn’t it took us to the end of Smith road then we had to walk 4 miles to the truck at Clark Wolverine road.

  3. Angel Cruz — November 26, 2016

    I moved to Alaska this past August and Lazy Mountain was my first attempt to climb a mountain. I agree with most posting here. The name is a misrepresentation of this hike, it was tougher than I expected; and definitely difficult and steep. You need to have some conditioning before attempting this hike or one strong will for sure. I am so glad that I kept going because the scenery from the top it was just breathtaking and mesmerizing. Take your time going up and coming down, take a bottle of water and a power bar for snack. Enjoy this beautiful state!!

    Texan-Puertoricans ;))

  4. Jeff — August 23, 2016

    My wife and I did this hike this August. We took the Lazy Moose Trail which is quite a bit longer but very easy compared to the regular Lazy Mountain Trail. The Lazy Moose is just over 3 miles to the picnic table; totaling to the peak about 4 1/2 miles. Its a good, well trodden trail through some dense trees and tall grasses. It has lots of switchbacks and great views over Palmer and Pioneer and Matanuska Peaks. There are 2 benches with great views at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the trail as well. Lazy Moose is a great trail and fun to do, but be ready to get beaten up once you meet up with the Lazy Mountain Trail. It is very steep and slippery, whether its the rocks or dirt. The views at the peak and blowing the “victory” horn at the top made up for it though. On the way down though the steepness plays a factor. My wife slid a few times and needed to be caught before falling. Just take your time and be careful until you meet back up with the Lazy Moose again.

  5. Val — August 1, 2016

    This is one of my favorite hikes, and I do it quite often. The old Lazy trail takes me just under an hour to get up to the first picnic table where there are spectacular views of the valley, Pioneer peak and Matanuska Peak. It is quite steep and I do believe you should be in fairly good shape. After that, there is about 15-20 more minutes of steep climbing and then it gets a bit easier. From the first picnic table, It takes me about 50-60 minutes to reach the summit. There is a second picnic table right before the summit, and a spring there where my dog likes to cool off and have a drink. The very top is rather rocky and steep, and caution should be used up there. The descent takes me about an hour or so, depending on how often I stop to rest or pick berries. 🙂
    The Lazy Moose trail is a much more forgiving trail, since the incline is more gradual and it has switchbacks. It is longer and takes me an hour and a half to get to the junction where it meets the old Lazy trail, which is just above the first picnic table. It is a beautiful hike and well worth doing.

  6. Steve — November 25, 2015

    This has got to be one of the worst named mountains: it is not ‘lazy’! I took the traditional trip up the mountain and the hike is unrelenting, with only a few places to rest on level ground before reaching the summit. I talked to a small group who had taken the Lazy Moose trail and they said it was okay, but they had not done the traditional route and couldn’t compare the two.

    It’s a relatively short hike, but it is demanding; I witnessed several people turning around at different stages, some before reaching the first picniq table; however, I saw many people continue to the flag at the top, too.

    I had plenty of water with two 2-litre water bottles; there are a few places to refill the bottles if one has the ability to safely filter water. There are some awesome places to pick berries in the bowl between Lazy Mountain and Matanuska Peak; I found blueberries & black berries (Crow berries), both were in season and delicious.

    I loved this climb and would recommend it to those who want a quick adventure close to the valley.

  7. Kimberly — May 11, 2015

    My husband and I attempted to hike Lazy Mountain trail last week and found it very steep and difficult. We noticed another trailhead, Lazy Moose, when we started up Lazy Mountian. When we came down after our failed attempt we looked up Lazy Moose and discovered it’s another trail up Lazy Mountain but an easier one with switchbacks. We came back on Saturday after recovering from our failed attempt up Lazy Mountain trail to try this one out. We made it to the top and it was breathtaking. So glad that put an alternative trail for us out of shape to hike.

  8. Dave — May 3, 2015

    Went up today (5/3/2015). a little muddy and slippery, but a beautiful day and a great hike. Both picnic tables are still there, the first one about a third of the way up and the second just below the summit…
    Thanks for this wonderful resource.

  9. The following was submitted by Lori:

    My kids (9, 7 & 4) and I hiked up Lazy Mountain Trail yesterday. By golly it was tougher than Flattop. It was steep and straight up the mountain. There is only 1 bench now that sits about 600 ft from the very top. Once you got out the dense foliage, the views were spectacular. This is a trail you need good knees for.

    I really appreciate your site. Thank you.

Have you done this hike? Please share your experience below: