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Hatcher Pass with Kids- Alaska

Hatcher Pass - PNW KIDS
Hatcher Pass by @breeleigh_mcc

This post is in collaboration with Bree, Alaskan explorer Mama of two, ( check her out here!). If you'd like to contribute to PNW Kids, contact us here


Hatcher Pass is located in the Talkeetna Mountains, sandwiched in-between Willow and Palmer, north of Anchorage, Alaska. The drive up to this area is beautiful and a perfect place to spend the day exploring if have kids in tow. There is an awesome mix of nature and history in this area, making the adventure worth your entire day. Plus there is something for everyone here, from the smallest of folks to older kids.

Things to do in Hatcher Pass, Alaska:

1. Explore Independence Mine State Historical Park.

Here you will find the remnants of an old gold mining camp! Learn how the early Alaskan settlers panned for gold and lived in this old mining area. There is no overnight camping in this spot and there is a parking fee of $5.00.

2. Visit the Summit Lake State Recreation Site.

Located about 2 miles past the Independence Mine Historical Park, this is a perfect spot for a short and wonderfully scenic walk with gorgeous lake views. Don't forget your camera.

3. Hike the Gold Cord Lake Trail

Located near the Independence Mine State Park, this is an easy and fun 1.5 mile hike that is perfect for kids. Plus, there is some fantastic marmots that also use the trail.

4. Go wild blueberry picking

Bring your bucket because blueberries are scattered all around the park in summer.

5. Explore the Gold Mint Trail.

Older kids or experienced hiking families will enjoy this moderate 8 mile hike that ends with a beautiful and picturesque red hut run by the Alaska Mountaineering Club.

6. Extend the adventure by camping.

There are a variety of different spots to camp at Hatcher Pass, in addition to cabins for rent. More information on the areas can be found at

Hatcher Pass - PNW KIDS
Hatcher Pass by @breeleigh_mcc

Alaskan Mama and PNW Kids contributor, Bryenna (@breeleigh_mcc ) , recently explored Hatcher Pass with her kids and here are her notes on the adventure. Make sure to check out her Instagram page for more Alaskan adventures.

Pros:  Tons of kid friendly trails  Beautiful drive  Small patches of blueberries for picking  Can explore Independence Mine  Camping areas  Cons: Many areas are no ATV/no camp fires  Food/Lodging limited and can be pricey (bring snacks)  Some trails are not so kid friendly  Road through Hatcher Pass only open during summer (dirt/gravel road) 

Hatcher Pass - PNW KIDS
Hatcher Pass by @breeleigh_mcc

Resources to Plan your Trip

Hatcher Pass - PNW KIDS
Blueberries at Hatcher Pass by @breeleigh_mcc

Have you explored Hatcher Pass? Add your thoughts on this adventure to help our community of adventurous PNW families! ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Hatcher Pass - PNW KIDS
Little Susitna River by @breeleigh_mcc

Hatcher Pass Alaska-PNW KIDS Travel Guide
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