Knik Sand Dunes

Butte, Alaska (Matanuska-Susitna County)

Last Updated: 08/29/2020
4.5 / 5 ( 8 reviews )
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Highlights

Highlight: Knik Sand Dunes
The Knik trails offer beautiful Alaskan scenery! You have sand dunes, a beautiful river and views of the Knik glacier all at the base of Pioneer Peak. These trails are probably the most popular offroad destinations in south-central Alaska. They are often filmed by out of state crews when they offroad in Alaska; parts of Expedition Overland (Season 1, Episode 5), Dirt Every Day (Episode 57), and Nitto's 2016 JK-Experience all have been filmed along these 4x4 trails. Viewing the Knik Glacier, gazing into a display of the northern lights in the winter months, and salmon fishing are all highly recommended activities of the area. Often small planes fly overhead and occasionally land on gravel bars. Great place for a quick picnic or an overnight stay. Northern lights viewing is best further away from the dunes as the aurora often appears low on the horizon in the darker months.

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Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
This is the main entrance into the Knik trails. There are other trails heading into the woods but beware, most are very tight and not recommended for vehicles. These smaller trails are great for ATVs, side-by-sides, and motorcycles.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Anchorage

From Anchorage, take the Old Glenn Highway exit and continue for several miles. After you cross the Knik River, turn right onto E Sullivan Avenue. The parking lot and entrance to the trail is the large dirt staging area to the right after the Alaska Raceway Park and just before S Butte Airman Road. The main trail entrance is in the first dirt lot, the second lot is larger and better for trucks with trailers or RVs. There are other trails heading into the woods but beware, most are very tight and not recommended for vehicles. These smaller trails are great for ATVs, side-by-sides, and motorcycles. Parking is now available at the trailhead for $5 per vehicle or $40 for a year-long pass per vehicle. The payment drop box is located on the far side of the latrines that are open year-round.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (10)

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Kyle Todd

Mapping Crew - Alaska

Kyle has been into off-roading since getting his license at 16 and wheeling the family SUV (possibly without informing his parents of these wheeling trips in their vehicles). He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with an Electrical Engineering degree. He lives in south-central Alaska and is raising his two young kids. Kyle stays busy year-round by working full-time as an Electrical Engineer who spends his weekends wheeling, hunting, fishing the local lakes, and raising his family. He is eager to share his love of the outdoors with others, especially when it involves a 4WD. His goal is to create an amazing resource for locals and travelers alike to enjoy the endless beauty Alaska has to offer while respecting the trails and keeping them open for years and generations to come.
For individual use only, not to be shared.