The biggest, baddest, raddest traverse of the Matanuska Valley with equal doses of ⛰️ + 👯 + 🐉
The MTF was born when two friends, bred on the peaks, ridges, and rivers of The Valley and the wildness of Alaska, were having beers and looking at maps - as one tends to do in Palmer on a Friday night. Looking at the skyline around they wondered:
What if we could do the whole damn thing? All the way around!
And thus, the route was born in 2021, taking over a year to compile and complete on foot for the first time, in 2022. WIth much help from friends and family.
Logically, the route traces a giant clockwise traverse across the ridge lines of the Talkeetna Mountains, touches the Matanuska River near the glacier at Moose Creek, then heads towards Palmer on the "Palmer Rail Trail", before climbing again into the Chugach Mountains past Matanuska Peak and then descends towards Jim Lake to cross the Knik River basin, before climbing a final time to the shoulder of Pioneer Peak, finally finishing at the tourquoise blue waters of Eklunta Lake.
One can get a good feel for it by looking at the Map and, if really wanna get after it right now let us know and we can provide you with detailed GPS tracks and lots of other information as soon as we've verified the safety of all river crossings after break-up, approximately May 15th, 2023.
The route is physical and a "real" Alaskan trek, requiring some off trail navigation, some scrambling, some bush "schwacking", a healthy respect for 🐻 s, and lots of getting wet and muddy. But the entire route is non-technical, requiring little more that good hiking gear and, in a few places, perhaps a 🚲 to take a break from the steep tundra and glacial moraines for a day and ride into town for a cold 🍺.
By the numbers, it's a solid 99 miles of human power, with over 33,333 feet of vertical gain, and about 50% of the route above tree-line navigating faint lines on the tundra, screen, and moraines.
So, this is not your GrandPa's route and you certainly won't find it on 'All-Trails', or anywhere else, for that matter. To our knowledge, 2022 is the first time such a route has been completed, to our great satisfaction and enjoyment. Real adventure does exist in Alaska, the last frontier, even 42 miles and a mere hour's drive from its biggest city, Anchorage.
The route is divided into 5 sections, with a rhythm 🎵 of "Hard, Easy, Hard, Easy, Very Hard". We love saving the best for last!
This new, and adventurous route was designed to be doable by anyone with decent fitness, some bravery, and an enjoyment of wet feet. We expect most people, weather permitting, could complete it in 7 - 10 days for the whole shebang but many of the sections are, in and of themselves, fantastic weekend trips. Plus, the is nothing wrong with just taking your time and enjoying the scenery. If you happen to be named "Killian" we invite you to reach out for our plans for 2024. And all dirtbags 🤎 should read this.