For years the Mat-Su Borough has been making noise about developing Hatcher Pass. At least two large resort developers have pulled out of the deal after exploring the project. People living at the end of Palmer and Wasilla Fishhook Roads often speculate on how much their land will be worth when the big resort goes in.
But a lot of valley residents aren’t waiting. People young and old have been using Hatcher Pass for many years. Downhill skiers, snowboarders, and sledders have been using the 16 mile hill for a long time. This is a pull-off that is a little more than 1/2 way between the Motherlode and Hatcher Pass Lodge. There is a sign there regarding sledding but no one seems to pay attention to it.
On a good weekend dozens of pickups and SUVs shuttle people from the bottom to the top of the hill. Some are with their party and many are just hitching rides. This has been a valley secret for years and years. Why spend the big bucks on the ski lifts when you can ski all day for free at Hatcher Pass? Palmer and Wasilla high school kids are still keeping the ancient tradition of playing hookey on great snow days to sneak off to Hatcher Pass for a day on the slopes.
This is just one more benefit of living in the Mat-Su Valley. Email me for more great ideas on how to recreate without spending lots of money or going far from home.