Winding through the southwest part of the Talkeetna Mountains, Hatcher Pass in Alaska attracts adventurous travelers from around the world. It’s a haven for outdoor recreation and features a wide range of activities year-round! Hike in alpine tundra dotted with wildflowers, or ski fresh powder. You can even pan for gold at Independence Mine State Park. Whatever you choose, we promise a trip to Hatcher Pass will be the highlight of your vacation. Here are some of our favorite things to do there.
Top 4 Activities at Hatcher Pass in Alaska
1. Hiking & Mountain Biking
If you’re visiting Alaska in the summer, hiking Hatcher Pass is a must. Visitors can explore a number of routes including the Gold Mint Trail, Gold Cord Lake Trail, and the Reed Lakes Trail. Look for paragliders launching off the hillsides and keep an eye out for whistling marmots, falcons, and golden eagles. Don’t forget to bring a bucket – in August, the mountains are dotted with people picking blueberries!
For mountain bikers, the Gold Mint Trail provides miles of technical, rocky riding alongside the Little Susitna River. This downhill trail features a 1,000-foot drop that was built in 2013 in between switchbacks of Hatcher Pass road. You can also enjoy four miles of singletrack at the Government Peak Recreation Area, located just a few miles south of Hatcher Pass.
2. Skiing & Snowboarding
Hatcher Pass is one of the most popular backcountry ski destinations in the state. It’s also usually the first to get skiable snow in the fall. The ski season generally extends from late September to late April, and there are plenty of groomed trails to discover. Experienced skiers and riders can visit the Government Peak area for hearty backcountry and lighted trails. Or traverse cross-country ski trails like Archangel Road and the road to Independence Mine State Park. Skiing and snowshoeing are also available in the open alpine meadows directly east of Independence Mine.
3. Gold Mining
At its peak, the Independence Gold Mine in Wasilla, AK was home to 206 workers and 16 families. 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, Independence Mine State Historical Park features 22 buildings and offers guided and self-guided tours each day. Visitors can learn about gold prices in the 1930s, visit a room in the bunkhouse, and see the difference between placer and hard rock gold mining.
Local Tip: Search for some gold of your own! Alaska Garden Gate is happy to supply guests with pans for their trip to Independence Mine.
4. See the Northern Lights
There aren’t many places that are better to be than Hatcher Pass during an Aurora show. Dan from Lifetime Adventures provides fabulous Northern Lights tours in the winter that include a bonfire and warm drinks. We even offer a Northern Lights special for guests! Click here to learn more.
Book Your Stay at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
After an unforgettable trip to Hatcher Pass in Alaska, come back to Alaska Garden Gate and unwind! Our comfortable cottages, apartments, and bed and breakfast rooms are just 35 minutes away and have everything you need to relax and restore. We also offer a delicious breakfast each morning! Visit our accommodations page to see what’s available and contact us today to make your reservations. We look forward to having you!
Looking for more great places to explore?
Read our blog about Denali Base Camp!
Photo Credit: RobsonAbbott | Getty Images