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Published on January 27, 2022

Mat-Su Winter Trail and Park Guide

Winter Trails and Parks Guide

This project was made possible thanks to a grant from the United Way of Mat-Su.

Parks and Recreation Areas

1. Talkeetna Lakes Park -

2. Nancy Lake State Recreation Area -

  • The Winter Trailhead, mile 2.2 on the Nancy Lake Parkway, is the focal point for all winter recreational activities in the area. A large parking lot is maintained, and a self-service fee station is located near the winter trail entrance where visitors will also find maps and posted current conditions of the park. Nearly 40 miles of trail are maintained throughout Nancy Lake State Recreation Area including 10 miles of trail only for skiers. With the exception of the ski trail, all trails are multi-use trails, which means that they must be shared by visitors snow machining, dog mushing, skiing, and snowshoeing.
    1. AK State Parks Parking Fee – A Parking fee of $5 per vehicle, or a $60 annual pass is required at the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. Parking passes can be purchased at trailhead or through this link:
    2. Google Map Directions
    3. AK State Parks Nancy Lake State Recreation Area Website
    4. Winter and Ski Maps of Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

    3. Settlers Bay Coastal Park

    4. Matanuska Greenbelt Trails –

    5. Government Peak Recreation Area

    6. Hatcher Pass Recreation Area

    Can’t Miss Winter Trails

    7. Lucky Shot Trail

    • The Lucky Shot Trail is popular, all-season trail within the Willow Creek State Recreation Area. Summer use is limited to non-motorized travel while winter use is used by snowmachines as well as non-motorized use such as dog mushers, skiers and fat tire bikers. The winter trail is approximately 3.5 miles long and terminates at the Susitna River. This trail is part of the Pat Newman Memorial Park Trails, all of which can be accessed by turning west on the Willow Creek Parkway (near mile 71 of the Parks Highway) and traveling approximately 1 mile before turning left on the driveway to the Newman Memorial Park.
    • Lucky Shot Trail Google Map Directions

    8. Gold Mint Trail

    9. Lazy Mountain Trails

    10. West Bodenburg

    • Bodenburg Butte is the Mat-Su valleys' most popular hike - for good reason. A moderately steep, well-constructed trail leads two miles to the top of Bodenburg Butte, where one can experience stunning 360 views of the Knik glacier, Pioneer Peak, Talkeetna Mountains and valley farms below. The trail begins a wide path through boreal forest with periodic benches and interpretive signs, then reaches sets of stairs that switchback uphill. A dusty path through rose bushes and small trees reaches the open, rocky top of the Butte. Great photo opportunities can be had from the summit. When descending, be sure to hike down the way you came up. A variety of unmaintained trails descend the opposite side. The trail can be hiked in winter or summer. Winter conditions can be icy - consider bringing ice cleats.
    • MSB Parking Fees - A parking fee of $5 per vehicle, or a $40 annual pass is required at West Bodenburg Butte Trailhead. Parking passes can be purchased at trailhead or through this link.
    • West Bodenburg Butte Google Map Directions
    • Mat-Su Borough West Butte Trail Website
    • West Bodenburg Butte Trail Map

    11. Kroto Creek Winter Trailhead

    Sledding Adventures for the Whole Family

    12. Wonderland Park, Wasilla (Mild)

    13. Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass (Spicy)

    14. Water Tower Hill, Trunk Rd (Extra Spicy)

    15. Crevasse Moraine, Matanuska Greenbelt (Extra Spicy)

    Winter Trail Conditions Can Change Quickly!

    • Research the area you're visiting
    • Bring the proper gear, clothing, navigation, & communication devices for your location & activities
    • Make a plan & share it with close friends & family
    • Be aware of past, current, & future weather conditions
    • Destination Trailhead - a great day ends safely back at the trailhead!

    Check for Recent Avalanche Forecasts & Observations for Hatcher Pass recreation area