Hotels | Camping
Due north of
Anchorage lies the Matanuska Valley, a fertile farming
area settled by 200 Scandinavian-American farm families
who were drawn to the valley from the Mid West states
during the 1930s depression and FDR's New Deal. The story
is well-told in James Michener's novel Alaska.
Living first in cabins with tent-tops, the colonists
cleared the land, built their houses and farm buildings,
and planted vegetables. Within five years, large harvests
were realized and Palmer had become a growing town. Best
known are the incredibly large vegetables grown in the
almost constant summer sunlight, including 75-pound
cabbages, ten-pound onions and 125-pound pumpkins.
Roadside stands have fresh produce in season.
To reach Palmer, take the Glenn Highway which runs
north from Anchorage to Tok. The Palmer Information
Center provides all the information you need to see the
valley, including a listing of farms, other attractions,
and tours of the Matanuska Valley.
The Agricultural Research Station, in Palmer,
has greenhouses and an arboretum. A mile south of town is
the Alaska State Fairgrounds. The annual fair
started as a harvest celebration during the early years
of valley farming. It's now a major event, held during
the last week of August through Labor Day.
Thrill-rides take visitors on air boats traveling up
the Knik River to Knik Glacier. Two companies offer
3-hour tours. The local visitors center, across the
railroad tracks at South Valley Way and East Fireweed
Avenue, has information on all local attractions and
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Homestead RV Park, P.O. Box 354, Palmer AK
99645, (907) 745-6005
This woodsy campground is six miles south of Palmer on
the Glenn Highway, offering water and electrical hookups,
tent sites, showers, laundry, and dump station. Look for
the rustic log cabin office, at the junction of the Glenn
and Parks highways.
Mountain View RV Park, P.O. Box 2521, Palmer AK
99645, (907) 745-5747 or 800-264-4582
Located off the Old Glenn Highway, on Smith Road, this
large operation provides full hookups, pull-through
sites, modern rest rooms, showers, dump station, and a
laundry. The park offers fine views of the Matanuska
Where to Stay