Alaska Hiking Trails

Climbing The Butte

The Butte (Palmer Alaska)

Access: North out of Anchorage. Glenn Highway to Old Glenn Highway. Once in town of Butte, take left on Bodenburg Loop Rd. Trail head is at parking area, just before Reindeer Farm
Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Elevation Gain: 850 feet (259 m)
Special Features: Spectacular views of The Mat-Su Valley
Special Notes: Very popular hiking location. Can be steep in places. Having said that, our 5 year old, Ethan, made it okay. He only asked to carried once.
Difficulty: Hard


To get to The Butte, head to Palmer Alaska. Palmer is located 43 miles (69.2 km) north of Anchorage.

From Palmer take the Old Glenn Highway towards the little town of Butte. Butte is 7 miles (11.2 km) from Palmer. You will come to a flashing yellow light. It is here that you turn right. The road is Bodenburg Loop Rd. You will want to drive past the first Bodenburg Loop Rd sign that you see. That is the other end of the loop.

Shortly after turning right at the yellow light you will come to a dirt parking area, off to the right. It is located just before the road bends left. If you pass the Reindeer Farm, you have gone too far.

Of all of the Alaska hiking trails, The Butte near Palmer Alaska, is probably the most popular. Everybody, in this part of Alaska, climbs the Butte at one time or another.

While the Butte is only 850 feet, it pales in comparison to the nearby jagged Pioneer Peak. Despite this fact, The Butte sits in the middle of a lot of flat farmland. So it does stand in stark contrast to that and it can be seen from many miles away. It is a prominant landmark, in this part of Alaska.

While this hiking trail, at times, is steep and strenous...let me say this. Our 5 year old son Ethan made the climb. I think he only asked to be carried once. He had a great time, as did all of us.

Our family has been trying to explore a lot of Alaska hiking trails, this summer, and in July we decided on The Butte.

Many people can climb up and back down the Butte in and hour or so, but we weren't in that kind of rush. I had heard that the view was amazing...and it was. It made the climb worth it, for sure.

From the top one is rewarded with a 360 degree panormatic view of The Knik Glacier, The Talkeetna Mountains, The Chugach Range, The Matanuska River and, on a clear day, Mount Susitna.

The view exceeded my expectations. The climb and the view convinced me of the fact that there is more mountain there than "meets the eye" from the bottom.      

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Alaska Hiking Trails Pictures of The Butte

Right before you start up the hiking trail, you'll see this view while looking across Bodenburg Loop Rd. It caught my eye. It is a beautiful view of some of the farm land that surrounds the Palmer Alaska area.

Despite a short growing season, the over-abundance of Alaska summer sunlight, makes this part of Alaska famous for huge vegetables, of all kinds.

This picture is of the Reindeer Farm that is located at the base of The Butte. I didn't think of taking an actual picture of The Butte. I'll have to add one, when I get over there again. You can see part of The Butte, though, in the background.

The first two, of the three, pictures show my kids at the very start of the Butte hiking trail. As you can see it starts out pretty steep. We did this hike in the month of July and the start of the trail was very, very powdery and dusty. It doesn't stay that that steep, or that dusty...thankfully.

The third picture is of Alaskan Fireweed. It grows everywhere in this part of Alaska. You'll find it on just about all lower elevation Alaska hiking trails.

The terrain varies alot, for such a small hill. The beginning of this Alaska hiking trail finds you climbing through the trees. The middle, as you see here, is open, grassy and green. As you near the top the terrain turns rocky.  

This shot was taken at the top. In the picture is a couple that we briefly met.

Just a cool shot that I took. Pioneer Peak is obvious in the background, but here you can see the valley floor.

Certainly not the best picture of it, but in the background you can see the Knik Glacier. And in the foreground you can see part of the small town of Butte Alaska. This is my son Daniel, by the way!

...and here is a picture at the very top of the hiking trail! You can go no higher than this particular spot. Pictured is my wife Sheri and 5 of our six children.  

› Alaska Hiking Trails - Butte

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