Author: ouralaskandream

Up Up and Away

We are at the beginning of a new adventure season here in Alaska, travel has opened up and people are getting out. Breakup is happening all around and we are up about 15 hours of daylight.

With all that being said, Mr. and Mrs. have been out and about trying to find more fun things for you to know about a do while visiting us and staying here at @ouralaskandream. Here are a few of the fun things we have found as the dark time sipped away.

Williams Reindeer Farm @williamsreindeerfarm, was such a fun day, walking about the farm and meeting the Reindeer, feeding and posing with them, not to mention Rocky the moose. We highly recommend you take a few hours on one of your days here and visit. They reopen May 1st, they close in April for all the new babies to arrive, take a look at their website and learn all about them

What is Alaska Known for, besides the cold, and dark, Fishing, we are coming out of the dark time and fishing is on everyone’s mind. Did you know that the Matanuska Valley has great fishing? So many people head to the Kenai for fishing, but you pass by our little secret. There is amazing lake, river and drift fishing here in the valley just a short drive (Alaska style) from Our Alaska Dream. We had the honor of meeting Sonia and Dan from Drill Team 6, @dt6fishingexcursions and team up with them, with their help you can fish 365 days a year. Both Retired Veterans and such delightful people. I tell you when you stay with us, ask us to help you get hooked up and off for an adventure with them you won’t be sorry at all. Then back to the property and cook up your fish on the grill.

Glaciers, and sled dogs, how could the two things possibly go together? Take a flight with Alaska Helicopter tours @alaskaheiloptertoursand find out. We went out with them this month for an early morning sunrise ride, and landing on the Knik Glacier, and I can say it was one of the best adventures I have had here in Alaska. Now I mentioned sled dogs, do you know who won the Iditarod in 2021? If you are from Alaska you do Dallas Seavey, Now the fun part, when you stay at Our Alaskan Dream, we can help you book a flight or even better a trip to see the mushing training camp for the wonderful dogs that help Dallas Seavey win the Iditarod 5 times. I really encourage you to take advantage of this adventure just minutes from the property


Those are a few of the wonderful adventures we have found out about and recommend to you, Keep in mind we can help you get these booked.

Iditarod, What it takes


One of the many things Alaska is known for is the Iditarod race, I want to share a bit of different view of the race, but first a bit of history. Dog mushers and dog teams have been part of Alaska’s history since it became a US territory. Early on patrolling and keeping the vast wilderness known as Alaska safe during WWII, this changed with the introduction of the “Iron Dog” snowmobile, which lead to the loss of the dog teams and mushing in general. In 1950’s at the centennial anniversary of Alaska being a US territory, the concept of a dog race sprung to life, hoping to keep the history of the gold rush and mail routes alive. In 1967 the first race occured being a two heat 56 mile race around Big Lake, interest was lost again after 1969. Until 1973 when a long distance race was envisioned one from Seward to Nome, all to safe dog sled history and Alaskan Husky’s the race taking almost three weeks to complete.

Nearly 100 years ago, the famous mission to deliver lifesaving serum from Nenana to Nome led by Leonhard Seppala, saved an entire community. Since March 2020, communities throughout Alaska have been faced with the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic. Today, Iditarod (the race) and the 1925  Serum Run have many things in common. Now, more than ever, it’s important to channel the grit and determination that allowed teams of mushers to complete this herculean effort and deliver diphtheria serum that saved countless children’s’ lives. That spirit lives on in Alaska today, and should be celebrated! 

The race is really a reconstruction of the freight route to Nome and commemorates the part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska. The mushers travel from checkpoint to checkpoint much as the early freight mushers did. Although some modern dog drivers move at a pace that would have been incomprehensible to their old-time counterparts, making the trip to Nome in under ten days.

But to get to the race a musher and his team has, many hurdles to overcome and qualifications to make. Not unlike any other monumental event you may want to undertake be it run in the Boston Marathon or Climb Mt Everest, you have to show your worth and in the case of the Iditarod your dog’s worth. Mushers and teams start years in advance and have to put in their application a year in advance to even bid for the race.

Mushers must:

The Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race shall be a race for dog mushers meeting the entry qualifications as set forth by the Board of Directors of the Iditarod Trail Committee.

Recognizing the aptitude and experience necessary and the varying degrees of monetary support and residence locations of mushers, with due regard to the safety of mushers, the humane care and treatment of dogs and the orderly conduct of the race, the Iditarod Trail Committee shall encourage and maintain the philosophy that the race be constructed to permit as many qualified mushers as possible who wish to enter and contest the race to do so.

The object of the race is to determine which musher and dogs can cover the race in the shortest time under their own power and without aid of others. That is determined by the nose of the first dog to cross the finish line. To that end, the Iditarod Trail Committee has established these rules and policies to govern the race.

A musher is qualified to submit an entry to the Iditarod if:
• Any Iditarod or Yukon Quest Veteran with three or more consecutive scratches or withdrawals must re-qualify to the same standards as a rookie before entry will be accepted. This shall include completion of required finish standards in approved qualifier races within the past three years and a new musher reference. The musher may only use one Iditarod or Yukon Quest attempt counting as a qualifier race”
• he/she is 18 years of age as of the starting date of the Race;
• he/she has completed a prior Iditarod Race; or
• he/she has completed the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race prior to signing up for the Iditarod Race,or;
• he/she must complete two (2) 300-mile qualifiers and another approved qualifier for a total of 750 miles to be qualified. The completion requirements are that a musher must finish either within the top 75% of the field or in an elapsed time of no more than twice the time of the winner;and
• he/she during such approved qualifying races demonstrated the necessary physical and mental aptitude and preparedness, as well as the necessary wilderness and mushing skills.
• If a rookie musher completed the Iditarod as far as the Yukon River within the top 75% of the field or in an elapsed time of no more than twice the elapsed time of the lead musher at the time, he/she will be considered to have completed a 300 mile qualifier.
• Mushers must exemplify the spirit and principles of the Iditarod Trail Committee asset forth in the rules, policies, bylaws and mission statement.
Proof of Qualification:
• Except for a prior Iditarod, it is the musher’s responsibility to provide written proof of completion of qualifiers to the Iditarod prior to submitting an entry.
• Rookie mushers are also required to furnish a reference, on the form furnished by the ITC, at the time of submitting an entry. The reference must be from an Iditarod musher who is familiar with the rookie, must certify that the rookie has been informed about and
understands the physical and mental aspects of the Iditarod, as well as the wilderness and mushing skills necessary for contesting the race. The reference must be available for candid consultation by race officials and the qualifying board.

This is a partial list, (only the first page of an 18 page list of requirements and expectations, as you can see the Iditarod is for dedicated mushers and athletes, it is no wonder that it draws teams and persons from all over the world to participate and watch the race. The teams train year round and put countless hours and dedication into the race.

Our Alaskan dream is blessed to count a musher as friend and can say he has the dedication to be able to run in this race. He was a judge at a recent qualifying race and shared this video

It has been fun getting to know him, see his dedication and watch him follow his dream of racing, as well as his love for his team. One of the perks in staying with us, is we can arrange for you to meet up with Matt and his team and you can go home saying that you met a real mushing team and perhaps even go mushing.

Six Months

New year, here at Our Alaskan Dream we survived 2020, it was our first full year open, and what a year it was. We are excited to start our second year here in Alaska, even with the crazy that 2020 was we were able to make a lot of positive changes.

Our Alaskan Dream stepped up and have met all the new safety and cleanliness and requirements, we have opened up room service for our guests who do not feel comfortable in dining in the dining room. We have embraced the mask and hand sanitizer concepts, as well and extra cleaning between guests. Several of our rooms can be contact free with their own entrances, based on bookings we may close rooms to accommodate space and safety.

On the funner side of things, the Dream has added many new activities here on the property, including an Archery target, as well as an Axe throwing target. We have horseshoes and the firepit, as well as many lounge areas for guest to enjoy. Add that with the decks all around the house, giving guest quiet time to reflect, or just sit and chat while the kids play in the yard. In the evening you can watch the animals as they stroll through the property.

From Our Alaskan Dream you have so much to choose from that is just minutes away from the Dream. You have Government Peak with all its activities including bike ridding, skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, hiking. There is Hatcher Pass, with skiing, hiking, the scenic drive, trails including Reed Lakes, if you are really adventurous this is the jumping off point for the extensive hike to the Bomber Glacier There is always a relaxing ride on the Alaskan Railroad, that always promises adventure and fun Our Alaskan Dream has most of why you will need to take these adventures. We would love to give you information if you want to add any of these to your Alaskan holiday.

We would love to direct you to any on the wonderful activities. We work closely with which offer both summer and winter adventures. We highly recommend K2 Aviation for all things flight and Denali,, For local fishing excursions and such we recommend Drill Team Six,, we look forward to using them ourselves in the near future. Fishing on the great expanse of the ocean we suggest you use Black Magic Tours.

So as you can see there have been so much growth and learning here at the Dream, we cannot wait to see what 2021 brings for us, and hope to see you all soon. Remember Peak vacation time is just 6 months away and now is the time to book.

Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis is defined in the dictionary as a natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, usually near the northern or southern magnetic pole.

When we set our dream on Alaska we have been hopeful to see the Aurora (Northern Lights), all of last winter when we would see a glow in the night sky, (there is a lot of night sky to watch) we would eagerly look for the Aurora. Some mornings as I drove home from my normal job, at the hospital I would watch the horizon and wonder is that glow the lights or just city glow.

This month we were able to catch the beauty of the Aurora just a few miles from the house, and can honestly say now that when you visit us in the winter months, (dark time) you can see the Aurora, from one of decks here at Our Alaskan Dream, when the night is dark enough and the sky is clear.

With the excitement of finally being able to see the Aurora myself, I thought I would share a bit of history related to the Aurora:

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south..
Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common.

The connection between the Northern Lights and sunspot activity has been suspected since about 1880. Thanks to research conducted since the 1950’s, we now know that electrons and protons from the sun are blown towards the earth on the ‘solar wind’. (Note: 1957-58 was International Geophysical Year and the atmosphere was studied extensively with balloons, radar, rockets and satellites. Rocket research is still conducted by scientists at Poker Flats, a facility under the direction of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks – see web page

Aurora borealis’, the lights of the northern hemisphere, means ‘dawn of the north’. ‘Aurora australis’ means ‘dawn of the south’. In Roman myths, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn. \par Many cultural groups have legends about the lights. In medieval times, the occurrences of auroral displays were seen as harbingers of war or famine. The Maori of New Zealand shared a belief with many northern people of Europe and North America that the lights were reflections from torches or campfires.

The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights indicated the location of manabai’wok (giants) who were the spirits of great hunters and fishermen. The Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights were the spirits of the animals they hunted: the seals, salmon, deer and beluga whales. Other aboriginal peoples believed that the lights were the spirits of their people.

During the dark time, here in Alaska I often seen a soft hue of green in the wee hours of night, I am glad to understand the history of the beauty that I see now. We will continue to try to catch the Aurora while it is dancing across that norther sky, in all its glory, until then when I look up as I drive home in the middle of the night will follow the lead of the Inuit and smile as the spirits of the animals are smiling down on me, guiding me home to Our Alaskan Dream

Total Darkness

When we moved to Alaska, there were many questions from friends and family, we still get many questions, about weather, but usually about how do you handle it being dark all the time. We try to explain that only a small part of Alaska experiences the total darkness, and total daylight, Based on the season.

We have both worked shift work and were not concerned about the long dark hours, that we were sure to experience, as with many people there was uncertainty about what it would be like to live through it. As it stands right now sunrise is just after 8am and sunset about 5 pm, we lose about 5 minutes a day.

This week we marked the end of daylight in the most northern part of Alaska, for the next 65 days, for the town of UtqiaÄ¡vik, (Barrow). According to an update by the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, Alaska, one of the largest states in the US, is renowned as strange and mysterious as it now enters into 24-hour darkness throughout the winters. Alaska’s north and south poles are geographically located as such that the arctic community had their last sunset at 1:29 pm AKST (5:29 pm ET) on November 15 and will now see the sunrise at 1:16 pm AKST (5:16 pm ET) straight on January 22.

On the flip side, what is it like to have 24 hours of daylight, as with the darkness, to land of the midnight sun exists in the far reaching parts of Alaska, not the entire state, although it is an odd experience to be able to hike and explore at 1am during the summer.

According to a report by The Weather Channel, the Alaskans in UtqiaÄ¡vik (Barrow) experience two months of prolonged daylights during the summer solstice. The sun in the mysterious town is overhead for 24 hours, all through the day, including in the nights. This happens due to the location of the Arctic region on the globe towards the extreme northern pole, which sets the sun at only 6 degrees below the horizon. This gives rise to a civil twilight, the phenomenon that gives the impression of daytime in the town round the clock.

The adventures of Alaska are unending, and with each season we experience here, we continue to find things that astound us and give cause to believe that Alaska has something for everyone. Be it during the never ending night, or the days of the midnight sun. Plan your visit soon, #OurAlaskanDream @ouralaskandream would love to direct you in a perfect adventure to meet your needs.

Alaska Day

October 18 is considered Alaska Day. Alaska was only considered a territory of the United States after the United States purchased it from the Russian Empire in 1867. It was not recognized as a state until 1959, remaining in the territorial status all along. Alaska was officially recognized as a state on January 3, 1959 after long struggles that lasted for decades.

When thinking of Alaska you have many thoughts, 24 hour darkness, 24 hours sunshine, Snow Snow and more snow, freezing temperatures, are among all of the thoughts. I wanted to share some fun facts about Alaska, in honor of Alaska Day.

  • Alaska’s coastline, 6,640 miles, is longer than all the other states’ coastlines combined. It is the United State’s largest state, measuring 1,400 miles long and 2,700 miles wide; Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Alaska has more inland water than any other state, 20,171 square miles.
  • Alaska’s most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
  • State of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Prudhoe Bay, on the northern Alaskan coast, is North America’s largest oil field.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • The fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private industry employer.
  • Most of America’s salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
  • The term Alaska native refers to Alaska’s original inhabitants including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.
  • The state motto is North to the Future.
  • Alaska has been called America’s Last Frontier.
  • Every four years Alaskans elect a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor to four-year terms.
  • The Alaska State Legislature is made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
  • Twenty senators are elected to four-year terms; forty representatives serve two-year terms.
  • Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
  • Alaska Highway was originally built as a military supply road during World War II.
  • State boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
  • Alaska is a geographical marvel. When a scale map of Alaska is superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends from coast to coast.
  • The state’s coastline extends over 6,600 miles.
  • Alaska is the United State’s largest state and is over twice the size of Texas. Measuring from north to south the state is approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west it is 2,700 miles wide.
  • Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
  • Oil is the state’s most valuable natural resource. The area includes what is thought to be the largest oil field in North America.
  • Alaska’s geographic center is 60 miles northwest of Mount McKinley.
  • Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States.
  • 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.
  • At 20,320 feet above sea level, Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska’s interior, is the highest point in North America.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane.
  • The state’s largest city is Anchorage; the second largest is Fairbanks.
  • Alaska Range is the largest mountain chain in the state. It covers from the Alaska Peninsula to the Yukon Territory.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest US city covering 3,108 square miles. Los Angeles covers only 458.2 square miles.
  • More bald eagles gather along the Chilkat River than at any other place in the world.
  • There are more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska and about 75% of all the fresh water in the state is stored as glacial ice.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States. Daily average yield of an oil well at full production in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay is 10,000 barrels. In the other 48 states, the average is only 11 barrels.
  • Alaska has the 16 highest peaks in the United States. Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in all of North America.
  • Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on a 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • Alaska’s name comes from the Eskimo word Alakshak, meaning great lands or peninsula.
  • There are over three million lakes in Alaska. The largest, Lake Iliamna, is the size of Connecticut.
  • Of the 20 highest mountains in the United States, 17 are in Alaska. Mount McKinley, North America’s largest mountain at 6194 m (20,320 ft), is a highlight of Denali National Park and Preserve.
  • Malaspina Glacier, at the foot of Mount Saint Elias, covers an area larger than Rhoade Island

Termination Dust

If you search for the term, you wont find a definition in any of the normal places. Termination dust is an Alaskan term, that came about in the 1940, during the building boom in Alaska, The construction workers called the snowfall each year “termination dust” because it meant the end of their jobs would be terminated for the season. Now, it is used to refer to the first snowfall signaling the end of the summer season.

by September our fall is in full swing, and the average high temperature is about 55°F/12°C, and it will drop down to an average of 42°F/5.5°C in the evenings. It is rare, but occasionally we will get some snow in September, but it usually melts quickly. The earliest recorded snow in Anchorage happened on September 20th. Most of the time we get our first main snowfall around the middle of October, and the kids expect to Trick or Treating in several inches of snow.

The snow will continue to fall and accumulate until late March or early April, and you can usually depend on it being gone by mid to late April. Over the course of our winters, we will see an average of 74.6 inches of snowfall, and we can have anywhere from 3 to 10 plus inches. In fact, out of 365 days of the year, we will have at least 3 inches of snow for 128.5 days, and for 149 days of the year, we have at least 1 inch of snow!. So for five months, Anchorage has on average at least 1 inch of snow on the ground! Most of the accumulation happens between January and early March.

Don’t let the termination dust, stop you from visiting Alaska, and #ouralaskandream, there is still so much to do in winter season. From Skiing at, Skeetawk. Ice Skate on Rabbit Slough and Wasilla, Sled in Hatcher Pass, just 10 minutes from Our Alaskan Dream, Take a ride on the Alaska Railroad. You don’t want to miss the Iditarod (and Running of the Reindeer), the Oosik classic ski race.

Book with us now, you don’t want to miss out

Blueberries and Such

Adding berry picking to your fall visit to Alaska, will give you stories to take home as well as a sweet treat to enjoy. During your stay with Our Alaskan Dream, you will find that there are many, sweet treats made from the local berries. Which include fresh made Jams and Jellies added to your breakfast choices, as well as made from scratch breads for an afternoon pick me up.

Alaska berry picking is akin to beach combing. It is very addictive. If you’ve ever had a blueberry pie made with fresh blueberries than you know what I mean. Blueberries, Salmonberries, Raspberries and many other berries are all over Alaska. With nearly 50 types of berries in Alaska, most of which are edible, it is no wonder that the fruit has been a mainstay of the Alaska Native  diet for centuries. Alaska berry picking brings out Alaskans in droves to their favorite spots. In Alaska there are plenty of berries to go around and you can go picking all you want. Remember, bears also love berries and they have the right-of-way. Sing, make noise or wear bear bells so they hear you coming!

The edibility of some depends upon the maturity of the plant. Highbush cranberries are tastier before maturity, while others, like northern red currant, are tastier afterward.

Crowberries and alpine bearberries are among the berries that look tasty all the time, but, in fact, never are — at least not off the plant. Keep in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t good to eat.

Crowberries, for instance, are good for pies and jellies, and bearberries can be mixed with other berries as an ‘extender’ in pies. This is worth noting because crowberries, which grow on a low, green, shrub-like plant, are often plentiful and untouched in the Anchorage area. They are also said to be best when picked after a good frost.

The Alaska berry picking season is anywhere from late August to late September. Very sweet in taste they are far superior to their cultivated cousins. Wild blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, niacin, manganese, carbohydrates, and dietary fibre. They also contain little sodium or fat. Generally higher elevation produce sweeter berries. Blueberries get very dark (near black) when they are ripe and about to fall. That is the best time to pick due to taste and sweetness.

Salmonberries ripen in early August. On moist, sunny slopes in Alaska, the Salmonberry plants can form impenetrable thickets. They are a close cousin of the raspberry. The juicy fruit, which looks like a yellow or orange blackberry, is a welcome trailside snack, though too bland for some tastes. Native Alaskans ate not only the berries but also the tender young shoots. Numerous birds and animals also feast on the fruits, which may be abundant in good years. The deep pink flowers are distinctive and may occur along with the fruits

The Raspberry is a plant that produces a tart, sweet, red composite fruit in late summer or early autumn. The fruit is not a true berry but a cluster of drupelets around a central core. Very small, but very tasty. An Alaska Berry Picking favorite.

Crowberries are common in bogs and alpine meadows. Very bland raw, but sweetened in a pie, incredible! The crowberry is similar in appearance to a blueberry. It is a light green, mat forming shrub which grows in areas similar to that of the partridgeberry. The Inuit, of which these berries are a staple, call them, “Fruit of the North”. Their flowers, male, female, or both sexes are purple-crimson, inconspicuous, and appear May to June. The season usually begins in July and lasts until the first snow. They are almost completely devoid of natural acid and their sweet flavor generally peaks after frost. Crowberries are extremely high in vitamin C, approximately twice that of blueberries.

If berry picking is on your agenda, ask us, we can direct you to some places to find the berries, (as well as beautiful hike), the books needed to make safe choices of berries, as the bells, so announce your intention while out sharing the mountain side with what is there.

Unique Activities

When you think of Alaska, you think of mountains, hiking, hunting, fishing and remote wilderness. There is so much more to Alaska than common believes.

One of the activities few realize is Alaskan, is Skiing, Skeetawk is a newly renovated winter activity mecca as it butts up to Government Peak Ski area, and Hatcher Pass. Skeetawk has just completed their chair lift, and are uniquely handicapped accessible.

Skeetawk as a whole

Skiing the meadows

In 2015, a group of local volunteers and ski enthusiasts formed the nonprofit Hatcher Alpine Xperience (HAX). We want to develop and maintain a small community alpine ski area in Hatcher Pass as a way to promote safe outdoor recreation, healthy lifestyles and bring lift-access skiing and snowboarding to one of the great mountain passes of all time – Hatcher Pass.

Small child skiing with parent

A downhill ski area at Hatcher Pass (Government Peak area) has been a dream for the valley for over 30 years. There’s been infrastructure development, impact reports and development plans invested in this venture but no successful development due to the size and scale of the proposed ski area and the lack of private investors.


We are located at mile 10.6 of Hatcher Pass Road (coming from Palmer).  There is a 1/4 mile access road that you take on the left hand side of the road to get up into our parking lot.  We are a few miles before Gold mint Parking lot/trail-head.


We are located at mile 10.6 of Hatcher Pass Road (coming from Palmer).  There is a 1/4 mile access road that you take on the left hand side of the road to get up into our parking lot.  We are a few miles before Goldmint Parking lot/trailhead.

As you plan your adventures in Alaska, Our Alaskan Dream B&B has unique covered in as much we are handicapped accessible, no need to stay at a hotel, or in Anchorage, you can stay right here at the base of Hatcher Pass, just 10 minutes away from all the snow and winter fun, weather you are fully able bodied, or have some uniqueness that might make you question the adventures you could have here in Alaska, no need to set limits on adventure.

Adventure Awaits

At its peak, the Independence hard-rock gold mine was home to 206 workers and 16 families who lived high above tree line. Digging and blasting, these workers recovered 140,000 ounces of gold before the mine shut down in the wake of World War II. Designated a state historical site in 1982, the state has worked to preserve the 22 buildings that remain. Learn about government gold-price policies in the 1930s, visit a room in the bunkhouse and hear about life at the mine, and see the difference between placer and hard-rock gold mining.

There are 1.5 miles of paved walkways throughout the site, with informational placards for a self-guided tour. Standing in the rugged environment near 4,000 feet, the mine is surrounded by rocky peaks and alpine tundra. It’s a spectacular setting, so bring your camera and warm clothes. (It’s only one hour from Palmer, but the temperature here can be much colder). Several hiking trails from the mine lead to alpine lakes and panoramic views. Between the scenic drive and time at the mine, it’s easy to pass an entire day, but plan at least 4 hours, including the drive from Palmer

Hatcher Pass is a hidden gem tucked away in the Talkeetna Mountains. It’s an awesome recreation area in Alaska with a ton of trails for hiking, biking and skiing. The drive itself is beautiful! Lace up your hiking boots for these hiking trails in Hatcher Pass.

  1. Independence Mine Trail
  2. April Bowl Loop via Hatch Peak
  3. Skyscraper Mountain
  4. Marmot Mountain
  5. Reed Lakes Trail
  6. Gold Mint Trail to Mint Hut
  7. Bomber Traverse