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.
Majestic Valley grooms over 20 kilometers of designated cross country skiing trails. Groomed 8-10 feet wide, the trails are ideal for skate skiing. A track is also set for skate skiers. Maps are available at the front desk and bright blue signs designate the many trails that meander through spruce forests and along the 500 foot East Fork Canyon. Rental are available from Majestic Heli Ski from February to April during the helicopter skiing season at the Lodge.
Joyce Weaver Johnson wrote in the Alaska Nordic Skier, “ We were very impressed with the terrain for ski trails, the vistas which the trails offered, and the design and grooming of the trails.” Many of the lodge winter clients come back every year for a weekend getaway of serene ski trails and great food.
Majestic Valley also offers access to terrain for snowmobile enthusiasts. The varied terrain and trails make this area a popular destination for local Alaskans. Riders enjoy traveling on nearby Nelchina glacier, the deep snow in the tree laden areas, and the high terrain of both the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains. Please inquire if you need to rent snow mobiles. Two weeks notice is required.
Majestic Heli Ski
Experience the ultimate powder skiing and snowboarding adventure with Majestic Heli Ski in the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. Untracked powder, abundant snowfall, spectacular mountains, a luxurious lodge, exquisite dining and epic terrain lures skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. The heli ski season runs from February to late April every year. The helicopter departs right out of the lodge front door!
Limitless snowshoeing opportunities allow exploration of the winter habitat surrounding the lodge. Guests have reported spotting ptarmigan in their white winter feathers, lynx, numerous moose, and river otter. Coyote are often heard, and wolf tracks have been spotted on the ski trails. Guests enjoy snowshoeing or skiing during a full moon to appreciate the luminous reflections on the white snow. It is so bright that it seems like it could be day.
Northern Lights Viewing
Many guests have viewed the Aurora Borealis while staying at Majestic Valley during the winter months. The awe inspiring colors and movement are mesmerizing. Often guests view the borealis from the covered porch of the lodge so they can run in, warm up, and have a sip of hot mulled wine. Peak viewing times are published in the Anchorage Daily News.
Majestic Valley staff updates the weather and snow report on Thursday of each week. Click here to see the latest Trail Report.