The Talkeetna Mountains offer numerous hikes of various levels of difficulty. Local trails may be hiked without guided services: Gunsight Mountain, Squaw Creek, Caribou Creek, and Majestic Valley Ski trails. Lodge staff will be happy to point guests in the right direction for daily hikes.
Gunsight Mountain is one of our guests’ favorites. Groups can view dall sheep grazing in the mountain pastures. The summit is 3000 feet above the lodge, although many guests enjoy the 1000 foot climb to the plateau below the summit.
A favorite for children and those seeking a less enthusiastic hike is the Ski trail hike, also infamous for its blueberry bushes. This trail meanders through spruce forests, frequented by moose, to the scenic canyon outlook (about 50 minutes from the lodge). For those who are more energetic, they may hike down into the canyon on a steep, switchback trail. Once at the bottom you may hike along the East Fork of the Matanuska River. Its about 15 minutes down, but about 50 minutes back up.
Rafting trips down the glacial fed Matanuska River delight visitors as they float class III and IV rapids with experienced guides. NOVA River Runners have been offering rafting trips for over 27 years. They provide all the gear, guide, and safety instructions. Lodge staff would be happy to provide a sack lunch.
The geologically interesting and enormously beautiful Matanuska Glacier is just 6 miles south along the Glenn Hwy. Explore the well marked tails independently, or partake in a guided excursion with either MICA Guides or NOVA.
Take a “leap of faith” off a 250 foot cliff on the 2,200 foot G2 dual zipline or try the Nitro 1500 zipline. Both boast exhilaration and awesome views of the Matanuska river, glacier and Chugach mountains. Contact MICA Guides for more information.
Meekin’s Air Service flies from the airstrip about 50 feet away from the lodge. Guests often enjoy sitting on the porch watching the bush airplanes land and take off. Those that fly with Mike Meekin enjoy learning about his knowledge of the area and seeing wildlife, glaciers, and alpine setings. A recent family from Florida saw a herd of 50 caribou and were quite ecstatic about their experience.
Four wheel excursions with companies that provide the guide, 4-wheeler, and gear may be arranged in advance with Alaska ATV Adventures or Alaska All Terrain Tours.
On any of the hikes or simply sitting on the front porch, be sure to have cameras available for pictures of wildlife and the ever-changing sun light illuminating different peaks and foliage as you look out across the canyon to the Chugach mountains. Moose, lynx, ptarmigan, owl, eagle, hawk, Dall sheep, coyote, wolf, and bear may be spotted in the habitat surrounding the lodge.
Every year in mid April, the Anchorage Audubon hosts an informal hawk watch about 3 miles up the road from Majestic Valley. Experienced birders are available to help identify hawks during this peak migration time: Sharp-Shinned hawks, Rough-legged hawks, Northern harriers, Red- tailed hawks, and Golden eagles may be spotted. Ptarmigan, owl and Spruce hen, may be spotted throughout the year.