The Mat-Su or The Valley, as it's known by locals, is just 45 minutes from Anchorage en route to Denali National Park. The region was carved by glaciers and is bounded by the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains as well as the Alaska Range. The towns of Palmer and Wasilla are two of the fastest growing regions of Alaska, due to their proximity to Anchorage's airport and country lifestyle.
The fertile farmland in the Palmer area of Alaska was first colonized in the 1930s under a U.S. Government "New Deal" agricultural experiment. Today, the area is known as Alaska "breadbasket" as rich soil and long daylight hours allow local farmers to grow record setting vegetables, including 100 pound cabbages and 40 pound beets! These impressive giants are on display at the Alaska State Fair in August. Nearby Wasilla is the home of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, known as the Last Great Race on Earth. Many Iditarod mushers call this area their home. Other attractions include Independence Mine State Historical Park, as well as a reindeer and musk ox farm.
Many small towns dot the Glenn Highway, including Palmer. The highway is a designated National Scenic Byway, and follows the winding Matanuska River to the lengthy Matanuska Glacier. The glacier is one of the easiest to access in the state. We also recommend a drive to Hatcher's Pass, home of Independence Mine State Historical Park. There are interpretive trails at the mine and guided tours throughout the summer. The views from Hatcher's Pass are extraordinary. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about touring in the Mat-Su Valley!