Matanuska Peak

Matanuska Valley
This hike was rated 4 stars.
Submitted By
Matt Lux
Somewhat Difficult
Connects With
Miles One Way
Miles from Anchorage
40; near the town of Palmer
June through October


Began this hike at the McRoberts Creek Trailhead, then take the left fork and follow the trail up to Lazy Mountain. From Lazy Mtn, I traversed the ridgeline to Matanuska Peak. The trail becomes faint as the approach up Mat Peak begins but the route is straight forward. I came out on the McRoberts trail, which follows the valley floor.

Important Information

There is a lot of scree on this hike, I would recommend wearing gaiters.

Topo Map

Matanuska Peak topo map

Comments on hiking Matanuska Peak

  1. Rollin dalPiaz (anonymous writer of the 1971 comments) — June 12, 2016

    Near the top “go right” applies only to approach up from Lazy Mountain.

    I’ve shown others the peak from the Anchorage Coastal Trail and N end of the Anchorage International Airport. Driving up the Glenn Highway, they agree it beckons. From the summit, looking East they see a high count of pointy, sharp, rock and snow/ice peaks on peaks after peaks. Reason enough to plan another walk up to the top of Matanuska Peak. Go while the days are long; go with others. I continue to recall, across 45 years, the benefit of this experience.

  2. The following was submitted anonymously:

    No Rating (“Rating is a relative term, anyway. It only has meaning to the person who rates it.”)

    Bears have been spotted in the bowl more frequently in the past year. On 8/29 I tried to hike over the south col to camp in the adjacent valley, but because of my late start I ended up making camp in the bowl at about midnight. The next morning I noticed a sheep kill about 200 yards from where I slept. On the way back down the trail I flushed a black bear out of the alders before I even knew it was there. It was quite unnerving, though the bear was obviously more terrified of me. I only got two good pictures before it disappeared over the hill. Anyway, just be smart up there.

  3. The following was submitted anonymously:

    Rating: 5 moose hooves
    Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult

    In 1971, a group of four laid down on the ridge while coming down and wished we could call the Rescue Coordination Center for aerovac. It was almost dark and we were really tired. Leave early, take it slow, and enjoy the spectacular visual panorama at the top.

    This accessible mountain walk ends in a mountain ascent, that while difficult, is doable for most people given time, determination and good sense. The reward is unforgettable in my opinion.

    Very near the summit go to the right while ascending and avoid the obvious steep cliff where it blocks the ridge and appears impassible. Huge boulders at the summit; be careful.

    This mountain walk takes plenty of time and determination to accomplish. At 24 I was in good shape but found this climb difficult. The reward is the privilege of standing in downtown Palmer or out at the Alaska State Fairgrounds and looking to the ragged line of mountains to the East. I see the highest, Matanuska Peak (ex Beyer’s Peak and Mt. Vigor) and remember standing on top. I recall the day I walked up 6110′ to the top of the highest mountain I’ve ever climbed. It is a good feeling.

  4. The following was submitted by Jordan Laughlin:

    Hello, I have been looking at your site and I was looking on adding/fixing some information. On the Matanuska Peak hike, the Miles One Way is 4.1 if you use the Matanuska Peak Trail. As well as to add some comment too that it is a great hike, it will probably take 7-8 hrs round trip. It is steep at first then it is flat, then it is steep. Also, be careful with the scree a little bit of the way up the second steep part.

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