Armed with a fuzzy map without details and some verbal discriptions from friends, we eagerly set forth one morning for our first climb on the Matanuska Peak Trail, Palmer, Alaska. We knew it would be tough, it was 4 miles to the summit and a 5670 feet climb, but we planned to go at least part of the way and test ourselves. I was looking forward to photographing new scenery for use in future original paintings.
After some steep switchbacks the road leveled out and followed the McRoberts creek canyon, ending at a concrete storage unit and we could not see much of a trail beyond this point, if it was there it was very overgrown and not something we were prepared for. We reluctantly headed back down the road. Part way down the mountain we were startled by a young moose as he jumped from the bushes onto the road no more than 20 feet ahead and darted into the undergrowth on the other side.
As we hiked down the last section of road near the parking area I noticed a small brown post in the ground off to my right next to a narrow footpath. On closer inspection we saw tiny lettering identifying “Matanuska Peak” with an arrow pointing up the path! Is this the Matanuska Peak trail, or were we on the real trail? Later, we were told that we were on the right trail and should have crossed the creek. We will have to try again soon.
Gail Niebrugge, Alaska Artist