Our Top 10 Favorite, Must-visit Spots This Summer
Looking for ways to spend quality time with your family while trying out exciting new outdoor activities? Well, Valley Dental Clinic is in one of the best places for some great family fun – Wasilla. Keep reading to find out our top 10 favorite, must-visit spots this summer.
1. Take a walk through the Wasilla Creek Wetlands.
Now here’s a place guaranteed to capture the whole family’s attention and ignite your adventurous spirit. A boardwalk that seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings and takes you through the wetlands of Wasilla Creek. Since it’s almost a flat path, it’s an easy trail suitable for even young children. There are lots of great places to take photos on the boardwalk. And at the end of the trail, there’s a magnificent view of Pioneer Peak.
2. Ride the Alaska Live Steamers.
Shh! Can you hear that? It’s a bird. No, a plane. Why, it’s Alaska’s famous Live Steamer. A summer vacation in Wasilla, Anchorage, is incomplete without a ride on a miniature historic train car. For 25 minutes you’ll ooh and aah over small Alaskan landmarks, artistic creations, and historic places, like the Seward and Curry train stations. Talk about some wholesome family fun.
3. See the sites on the White Pass & Yukon Route.
While we’re on the topic of trains, Alaska Live Steamers isn’t the only one we have in the region. The White Pass Summit is another vintage train that takes passengers through the original route of the White Pass Summit, passing Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, and Dead Horse Gulch. So if you love breathtaking mountains, historic sites, and beautiful ice landscapes, this should definitely be on your list of must-visit places on your summer vacation.
4. Kayak on Newcomb Park’s Wasilla Lake.
For those days you’d like a peaceful and calm activity in Wasilla, check out Newcomb Park. It’s the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic, take the kids to play at the playground, locate bugs near the water’s edge, or clock in some “me time” kayaking on the serene lake. You’re even allowed to bank and boat fish on the lake as long as you have the proper permits and licenses.
5. Hike the trails at Hatcher Pass and explore Independence Mine.
Hatcher Pass is a 49-mile rugged scenic road that’s almost a three-hour round trip from Anchorage. The pass is accessible through Wasilla Fishhook Road and zigzags through the gorgeous alpine tundra synonymous with the region. It also follows the picturesque Little Susitna River, which bursts with wildflowers in the summer and is surrounded by easy hiking trails. And at the top of Hatcher Pass, visitors can expect to find amazing views of the Talkeetna Mountains, several blueberry bushes, and the famous abandoned gold mine, Independence Mine. You can explore the old building on your own or take an informal tour from one of the natural history interpreters.
6. Go fishing at the Nancy Lakes Recreation Area.
Want to hike, camp, fish, or canoe? About 90 minutes from Anchorage, you’ll find stretches of unspoiled forest at the expansive park of the Nancy Lake Recreation Area where you can do just that. It’s one of the few flat landscapes in Alaska that also has a lake. So heave your backpack over your shoulder and come explore this beautiful woodland area. You can make it a day trip, choose to pitch a tent, or class up your sleeping arrangements and opt for one of the cabins that dot the surrounding area. There are also several canoes available for hire and you can even join the locals for some fishing.
7. Watch the Iditarod race.
Are your kids aspiring mushers? Come check out the Iditarod Headquarters, home of the famous dog sled race of the same name. Learn about the history of the Iditarod and see the taxidermy of the famous sled dog Togo, who journeyed across the Norton Sound in 1925 to deliver diphtheria serum and inspired the race’s route. If you’re around in March, you can watch elite mushers race the 1100-mile route from Anchorage to Nome.
8. Dogsled on the Matanuska Glacier.
Winter isn’t the only time you can go dog sledding in Alaska. Yes, dogs can also wheel you around in carts through the forest, but that experience doesn’t even come close to the exhilarating sensation of mushing through the snow as you take in the magnificent views of the Matanuska Glacier below and the gorgeous hanging glaciers along the way. And the adventure doesn’t have to end there. You can take a jeep tour, go ziplining for a bird’s eye view of the region, or simply take a stroll and experience the thrill of walking on a glacier.
9. Take an ATV tour of the Mat-Su Valley.
We can’t think of a better way to explore the backcountry of the Mat-Su Valley than on an ATV. This all-terrain four-wheeler is the perfect vehicle to take you deep into Alaska’s wilderness, experiencing the thrill of splashing through water as you explore the Denali region. Once you get to the Nenana River, consider renting a raft so you can kick back and take in the serenity of your surroundings. Or choose one of the faster rushing rapids to get your heart pumping as you race down the glacial river.
10. Take home local produce from Friday Fling.
We have to admit that this list of the best places in Wasilla for outdoor adventures would be incomplete without at least one place where visitors can buy souvenirs. Friday Fling in Palmer is not only a farmer’s market, it’s also a showcase for local artisans. Every item is either locally made or locally sourced, so you can always find a one-of-a-kind item to give to your friends and family back home. The market is open every Friday from mid-May through mid-August, and on some days there’s also live music in the afternoons.
Our list has some great must-visit places in Wasilla for outdoor adventures. The team at Valley Dental Clinic looks forward to some summer fun as well and we hope to see your family’s beautiful smile as you hike the trails at Hatcher Pass or ride the Alaska Live Steamers. In case of any dental emergencies, feel free to book an appointment with us. Our office accepts new patients.