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“Quite a ride, incredible views”
Review of Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass
Ranked #33 of 835 things to do in Alaska
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Several hiking trails are located in this area.
Reviewed 6 July 2017

We drove up to Hatcher Pass one afternoon. It's a long (maybe 20 miles), windy, paved road to the top. But the Pass road itself was still closed in late June because of snow. (The Pass road is a gravel mountain road between here and the town of Willow which is north of Wasilla). It was quite breezy up here on the day we drove up. If you plan to explore, definitely bring a heavy fleece or a jacket. There is a huge parking lot at the top of the road. The main thing to see up here is the Independence Mine State Historic Park, a huge abandoned gold mine with many of the buildings still intact. There is a $5.00/car fee to get into the Independence Mine property. There also are trails that take you higher and higher up the mountainside. We hiked up one of the steep trails for about 45 minutes. You're above tree line so it's pretty rocky and wide open hiking. Great views! After returning to the parking lot, we strolled over to the Hatcher Pass Lodge and Cabins and walked down several of the short paths on the tundra-like landscape. Amazingly, even in this relatively harsh climate, we found little flowers blooming. The ride back down the mountain has a number of pull offs that offer some gorgeous views of the Mat-Su valley. We had the good fortune to have a sunny day to really take in the view. As you descend (or as you climb), the Little Susitna River hugs the roadside for a while adding to the pleasure of the trip. There are other hiking opportunities along the Hatcher Pass Road. A favorite of our B&B host was the Gold Mint Trail - but we didn't have enough time to give it a try.

Date of experience: June 2017
4  Thank Vermonters210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (156)
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"summit lake"
in 18 reviews
"beautiful drive"
in 16 reviews
"gold mine"
in 12 reviews
"paved road"
in 6 reviews
"berry picking"
in 5 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 4 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 5 reviews
"parks highway"
in 4 reviews
in 3 reviews
"fall colors"
in 3 reviews
"magnificent scenery"
in 2 reviews
"palmer area"
in 2 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 2 reviews
"trail head"
in 2 reviews
"glenn highway"
in 2 reviews
"sunny day"
in 3 reviews
"gold panning"
in 3 reviews

33 - 37 of 156 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2017 via mobile

Great views. Moderate hike in some places. Avoid walking on dirt paths if it's wet. The mud is extremely slick. With clear sky's your can see some of the mountain tops in the area. Park down below the red cabins and it's free otherwise you have to pay $5 to park in the lot.

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank CjW9905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017

Hatcher Pass is a beautiful ride and a very safe road to travel on for the ones that don't like those kind of roads. make sure you check out the mine at the top, All paths are paved and easy to walk, I am from Colorado and this ride was very beautiful. Please check it out.

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank Termite42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2017

My wife and I visited Hatcher Pass in May 2016 during our escorted ‘Natural Wonders of Alaska’ tour with Titan Travel. We were en route from Wasilla via Anchorage to Seward following our 1 night stay on a room only basis at the Grand View Inn and Suites, Wasilla. Our motor coach travelled along the Parks Highway until we reached the junction with Wasilla Fishhook Road which would take us up to Hatcher Pass. Stricker, our very competent and expereinced driver, had to use all his skills to navigate our motor coach along such a winding road and especially when other vehicles approached us from the opposite direction! We snaked our way past the commanding peaks of the Talkeetna Mountains such as Bald Mountain Ridge, Bullion and Skyscraper, passing creeks such as Shorley, Craigie and Upper Willow and the beautiful Summit Lake.

We also passed some of the historical mines such as Lucky Shot and War Baby which have been an important part of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley economy for the past century. One of the more famous mines is the Independence Gold Mine further up Hatcher Pass and now the centre piece of the Independence Mine State Historical Park. The excellent information panels near the parking area where our motor coach parked during our short visit explained more about Hatcher Pass and the Independence Mine State Historical Park. This 271 acre park was established in 1984 to preserve the abandoned buildings as well as the striking landscape surrounding the abandoned mine. There are apparently the remains of 16 buildings within the park, built during the 1930s by the Alaska-Pacific Mining Company, The mine was one of the leading hard rock gold mines in Alaska in its heyday but the Second World War took it's toll on the mine and it finally closed in 1951. I only had time to enjoy the beauty of this bowl-shaped valley and to walk a short section of the road closed to vehicles due to deep snow and ice. I saw a large snow plough further up the closed road section working hard to clear the snow and ice so that the road could be reopened to vehicles. Hatcher Pass is also apparently an improtant refuge for wildlife - I was entertained by a very playful Arctic ground squirrel which appeared from behind some rocks to feed, ignoring the presence of our tour group and the clicking of our cameras! Hatcher Pass is a stunning place and has so much to offer the visitor. It deserves a much longer visit than I had to really explore this wonderful part of the Talkeetna Mountains and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

Date of experience: June 2016
2  Thank 353rhysj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 May 2017

After visiting much of alaskan roads and searching for such type of greenery ....It is really a different and scenic drive than rest of Alaskan roads has to offer ...A must visit from Palmer area ...we really wanted to spend a lot of time here , had we known it will be so beautiful ...we loved this place so much apart from helicopter tours in alaska ...a green place with lovely views ...

Date of experience: July 2016
2  Thank Vimmy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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