Hatcher Pass is considered to be one of the top ten scenic drives in Alaska. Situated in the Talkeetna Mountains there is a tremendous amount of mining history that includes the Independence Mine and dozens of other mines, some still active today. If you are looking for a gnarly offroad trail this is not what you are looking for but it might get you to Purches Trail, Craigie Creek Road, a winter snowmachine playground, a summer hiking trail, an off-grid camping spot (more details in camping section), ski, snowboard, biking, sledding, or other adventure. This road is very tame and a scenic route. If you are just visiting Alaska and left your rig at home, this road is suitable for any rental car.
Head towards Wasilla and take the first exit for Trunk Road, bear north. Turn northwest (left) on Fishhook-Willow Road/N Palmer-Fishhook Road. Continue on Fishhook-Willow Road/Hatcher Pass Road as you gain elevation and navigate the tight corners until you reach the trailhead. The road begins across from the Hatcher Pass Lodge before the road turns into Gold Cord Road. The gate is typically closed and locked from September 15-July 1 by DNR.
The pass is open, the pass is open!! The snow clearing crews put in some work and opened the pass ahead of typical timing. We took the opportunity to hike Gold Mint Trail and drive the pass. A great time was had.
I drove up to see some snow and I wasn't disappointed! The gate is locked and back-country skiers were trudging up the road to get a few turns in on the way down again. The pass (and gate) will typically open late June or early July. Cross country skiers have been skiing just up the road at the lower parking lot skiing up and around the old Independence Mine as well.
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.