Welcome to Palmer, Alaska!
The City of Palmer is a vibrant, growing community located within the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Surrounded by majestic mountains, residents enjoy a beautiful view of the Knik Glacier. Located on the nationally recognized scenic Glenn Highway, Palmer is within easy driving distance of the popular Matanuska Glacier and city of Anchorage. We, at the City of Palmer encourage your contact and welcome your visit to our community.
The Matanuska-Susitna Valley
The Matanuska-Susitna Valley is nestled between the Chugach and the Talkeetna Mountains. Covering over 23,000 square miles of scenic South-central Alaska, the Valley is at the convergence of the George Parks and Glenn Highways, the two major arteries of Alaska travel. Palmer and Wasilla are the main population centers for Mat-Su, but comprise just the tip of the glacier. The Valley boasts many colorful communities, including Big Lake, Chickaloon, Houston, Eureka, Lake Louise, Skwentna, Sutton, Talkeetna, and Trapper Creek all bursting with Mat-Su Valley charm.
Just 40 miles north of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway is a small, quiet place, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. This is Palmer. While enjoying the scenery--the many waterways, mountains, glaciers, the abundance of wildlife--with its unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities, you can count on keeping dominant Pioneer Peak in your view most of the time. Besides having the unique opportunity to observe a herd of musk oxen, there's a reindeer farm close by. More conventional four-legged animals, such as horses or llamas, can take you on trail rides or on pack trips into the mountains. Sled dog rides and races are just one way to enjoy winter. Cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice-fishing on our frozen lakes, and a variety of social events are also popular. Alpine skiing is one hour's drive from Palmer.
Wasilla-Home of the Iditarod
Wasilla derives its name from a respected local Denaina Athabascan Indian, Chief Wasilla. The Wasilla area has been inhabited by the Denaina Athabascan Indian people for thousands of years. From little more than a wide spot on the Carle Trail that runs from the gold mines of Hatcher Pass to the seaport of Knik, Wasilla has become a magnet for growth in the Mat-Su Valley. In 1917, Wasilla was established as the result of a government land auction at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and the Willow Creek Mining Districts supply route.
It also served as a staging area for mining around the town of Talkeetna and the Kantishna Gold Mining area near Mount McKinley. Wasilla prospered from its inception until 1940 when its growth slowed, but continued until 1950 as the Gateway to the Willow Creek Mining District. Close to $18 million dollars of gold valued at $20-35 per ounce was mined during this time. Mining in the area continues as an avocation for many and as a vocation for a few.
For the history buffs, the Wasilla area has many historic sites and museums, including the Alaska Transportation Museum, the Dorothy Page Museum, the Iditarod Headquarters and the Knik Museum, which houses a history of the Iditarod, dog mushers, sled dogs, and native culture. Mid-summer, Wasilla hosts the Wasilla Water Festival. This annual event features a water-ski competition, raft racing, an Independence Day Parade, 10K run, biathlon, and a community picnic and games. Wasilla boasts the amenities of a big city with the charm of a small community.
Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry
Located between the towns of Houston and Wasilla, 3/4 mile off the Parks Highway, you can find this rare gem. A non-profit corporation devoted to the preservation, restoration, exhibition, collection, and interpretation of artifacts relating to Alaska's transportation and industrial history, the museum has many exhibits to showcase our artifacts. In the Don Sheldon Building, displays include the following:
Bush Pilot Hall of Fame
Radio and Communications equipment
There are numerous outdoor exhibits to see: trains, boats, cars, trucks, snow machines, construction equipment, farm equipment, and aircraft. All are displayed on ten acres and open to the public year-round.
Musk Ox Farm
Colony Junction Antiques
Big Lake Elementary School
University of Alaska-Anchorage
Alaska Realty And Investments
Statistics / Economy
Palmer Community Profile