Located just north of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley is fertile farmland that was settled by families who came from the Midwest as part of a New Deal relief program in 1935. Because of the fertile farmland and the immense amount of summer sunlight, vegetables grow to incredible sizes. The Alaska record cabbage is 138 pounds! However, huge vegetables are just one of the attractions at the Alaska State Fair held in Palmer in late August/early September.
Farm tours and Alaska history are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adventures in the Mat-Su Valley. Freshwater fishing, boating, hiking, camping, dog sledding, cross country skiing, flightseeing, and glacier viewing are some of the adventures that await visitors to the Mat-Su. Join a guided glacier trek on Matanuska Glacier or take a tour out to Knik Glacier near the town of Palmer. Explore Alaska’s gold rush history at Independence Mine State Historical Park and explore the hiking trails in the Hatcher Pass area and Summit Lake State Recreation Site.
Take in some of the best views of North America’s tallest peak, Denali, from the hiking trails at Denali State Park and then hop on a flightseeing trip from the quirky town of Talkeetna to view the mountain from the air – and even land on one of its glaciers. For those that like to be out on the water, the area’s rivers and lakes provide endless opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, including Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, Lake Louise State Recreation Area, and Big Lake. With easy road access from Anchorage and plenty of lodging and camping options, visitor services, and activities, the Mat-Su Valley offers endless Alaska adventures for both locals and visitors alike.
MAT-SU VALLEY: CITIES & TOWNS
MAT-SU VALLEY: PARKS
Local Climate & Weather
For Alaska's day-to-day weather, it’s best to plan for a bit of everything. Learn more about weather in this area.