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7-Day Highway Journey Itinerary to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley • Atypical Traveler

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The Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Alaska, also referred to as the Mat-Su, covers over 23,000 sq. miles of Alaskan wilderness and is well some of the lovely locations I’ve been to on the continent. Residence to surroundings comparable to mountains, glaciers, numerous wildlife, and tons of enjoyable actions, highway tripping to the Mat-Su is a should for adventurers, photographers, and nature-lovers alike.

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With a lot open house, it may be overwhelming to plan an itinerary by yourself. Fortunately, we’ve obtained you lined with this 7-day highway journey itinerary and we will personally vouch for the entire resorts and actions listed right here!

7-Day Road Trip Itinerary to Alaska's Mat-Su Valley

 

7-Day Highway Journey Itinerary to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley

 

Day 1: Fly Into Anchorage / Drive to Knik River

On the primary day of your Alaskan highway journey, arrive in Anchorage, choose up a rental automobile, and head out round Chugach State Park to Knik River. About an hour’s drive, Knik River is a secluded valley in Mat-Su and is residence to some picturesque websites.

For lodging tonight, I like to recommend staying at Knik River Lodge — a spot providing cute cabins with all of the facilities.

Knik River Lodge in Mat-Su Valley, Alaska

 

Day 2: Expertise the Knik River Space

In Knik River, make the most of the surroundings and go on some adventures. Exercise choices right here embody going Flightseeing with Knik River Glacier Tour (the place you’ll fly out of your lodge after which land on Knik Glacier), wildlife viewing (this place has moose round each nook), taking a tour with Alaska Backcountry Journey Tour (such because the ATV tour they provide), and going out on one of many many scenic mountain climbing trails within the space.

Learn extra: The Best Travel Cameras of 2018 (And How to Choose One)

 

Day 3: Drive Via Hatcher Cross

Positioned within the southwest Talkeetna Mountains, Hatcher Cross and the views you’ll get whereas driving by way of it are unbelievable. Hatcher Cross Highway (also referred to as Fishhook Highway) runs for roughly 60 miles between the cities of Palmer and Willow; winding its means by way of the mountains whereas supplying you with a considerable dose of Alaskan paradise.

Hatcher Pass in Mat-Su Valley, Alaska

Notice that whereas the Palmer-Fishhook highway is paved, solely the highway to Independence Bowl is open within the wintertime, and four-wheel drive automobiles are really useful. When the snow melts, the highway opens over Hatcher Cross, and automobiles can journey all the best way to Willow. Nonetheless, even with the snow melted, 22 miles of this highway is gravel and could be fairly treacherous at occasions.

7-Day Road Trip Itinerary to Alaska's Mat-Su Valley

For lodging tonight, I like to recommend staying at Alaska Knotty Pine B&B in Palmer.

7-Day Road Trip Itinerary to Alaska's Mat-Su Valley

 

Day 4: Tour the Matanuska Glacier

Seen from the Glenn Freeway Nationwide Scenic Byway, the Matanuska Glacier is the most important glacier in Alaska that may be reached by a car. Positioned between the cities of Palmer and Glennallen, you may entry the glacier by getting into the privately owned Matanuska Glacier Park the place you’ll pay a small entrance payment.

Except you understand your means round a glacier, I extremely advocate taking a tour, because the setting could be harmful and solely an skilled information will know the place to search out the very best views. After I visited the Matanuska Glacier, I took a tour with MICA Guides and so they have been superior.

Matanuska Glacier in Mat-Su Valley, Alaska

If touring a glacier isn’t your factor, another choice within the space consists of persevering with alongside Hatcher Cross.

For lodging tonight, keep at both the Sheep Mountain Lodge or Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge.

 

Day 5: Drive to Talkeetna

Roughly a three-hour drive from both lodge listed above, the highway to Talkeetna will take you alongside the Matanuska River, previous Palmer and Willow, after which up parallel to the Susitna River. The views alongside this drive are unreal so that you may wish to take your time!

For lodging tonight, keep on the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.

Roadhouse Inn - Talkeetna, Alaska

 

Day 6: Expertise Talkeetna

A cute little city on the base of the most important peak in North America, Mt. McKinley (Denali), Talkeetna is residence to superior panoramic views and loads of adventurous actions.

I like to recommend taking a Flightseeing Tour with K2 Aviation (features a glacier touchdown on Denali), taking a hike by way of the encircling nature, or take a river tour with Mahay’s Jet Boat Adventures.

Glacier Landing on Denali Mountain in Mat-Su Valley, Alaska

Learn extra: How to Take Great Travel Photos as a Solo Traveler

 

Day 7: Depart From Anchorage Airport

Provided that the drive from Talkeetna will take you a bit of over two hours, I like to recommend reserving both a day or night departure from Anchorage Airport. Giving your self a bit of wiggle room for time, particularly in Alaska, is so value it!

 

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