5 Scenic Trails and Parks to Explore and Discover Fall Foliage

Discover Alaska's fall foliage.

Local Fall Fun for All Ages

Fall foliage in Alaska is truly something to behold. You and your family can make the most of this fall in Wasilla by taking in our fall foliage up close and personal. These five scenic trails and parks are all within just half an hour of Wasilla, providing a variety of opportunities for fun and invigorating outdoor activities for all ages.

1. Kepler-Bradley Lakes State Recreation Area

You can find many excellent outdoor opportunities around Kepler and Bradley Lakes. Located just 15 minutes outside Wasilla, you can make it a day trip or enjoy the many camping accommodations.

The lakes themselves are the star attraction here and are stocked annually with trout to provide exceptional fishing. You’ll also find boat rentals available to enjoy the open water.

The region features a variety of other outdoor attractions as well. You can visit both musk ox and reindeer farms in the area, providing a unique opportunity to see those animals up close and personal.

2. Government Peak Recreation Area

Just 20 minutes away from Wasilla, you’ll find Government Peak, which offers some of the best hiking opportunities in Alaska. This peak in the Talkeetna Mountains features miles of hiking and mountain bike trails open through spring, summer, and fall. There are even maintained winter trails.

Government Peak is well known for its three-and-a-half-mile race trail. You’ll have an exceptional view of the foliage the state trails and parks are known for. This can be a challenging trail, as it climbs 3,700 feet up the peak. While a major challenge of endurance, the trail is very safe.

There are a variety of easier trails throughout the area as well. You’ll also find picnic areas that will provide a welcome rest. The view from the peak is truly stunning and well worth the hike if you’re up for it.

3. Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area

Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area covers six acres of pristine forest. They offer RV and tent camping, along with picnic sites and shelters. Various lakes are spread throughout the trails and parks, offering plenty of outdoor activities.

Matanuska and Canoe Lakes are both exceptional fishing spots and are popular throughout the area. These lakes were formed approximately 30,000 years ago by the movement of glaciers between mountain ridges.

Many trails wind around the lakes, offering hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities. This densely wooded area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and take in the beautiful changing foliage, and it’s just 25 minutes from Wasilla.

4. Matanuska River Park

The Matanuska River runs for 75 miles through Matanuska Valley, flowing to the Cook Inlet. It’s steadily fed by meltwater from Matanuska Glacier, high in the Chugach Mountains.

The scenic river is surrounded by beautiful forests that are perfect for excellent outdoor activities and can be found at Matanuska River Park, just 25 minutes from Wasilla.

You’ll find many exciting outdoor amenities in this park. Both tent and RV camping sites are available. Picnic stations with grills and park pavilions can make for a wonderful outdoor gathering or event. You’ll also find playground equipment and a sand volleyball court.

A 1.6-mile trail forms a loop from the parking area to the river and back. This is a relatively gentle trail that provides scenic views of a variety of local trees. The Palmer Bike Park is also nearby for both experienced and novice riders.

5. Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass is just half an hour from Wasilla and offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities. There are miles of trails suitable for hikers of all experience levels, meaning you can find outdoor activities for children of all ages.

One of the most popular trails at Hatcher Pass is Reed Lakes. This trail gradually progresses from flat and easy to steeper, so you can choose to try just the first half or include the more challenging second half as well.

Gold Mint Trail is another welcoming option for hikers of all experience levels. You’ll also find picnic areas and fire pits available. The entire trail runs for 13.4 miles if you’re up for it and runs alongside the Little Susitna River, offering amazing views.

Don’t forget to visit your Wasilla dental clinic.

While there are so many fun things to do in Wasilla, Alaska, this fall, it’s important not to forget about your and your family’s oral health. You can visit the best dentist in Wasilla for all of your family’s dental care needs at Valley Dental Clinic. Schedule your next appointment today for preventive care and effective treatment options.

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