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Government Peak (Talkeetna Mountains)
Mountain/Rock

Government Peak (Talkeetna Mountains)

 
Government Peak (Talkeetna Mountains)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Alaska, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 61.73283°N / 149.29939°W

Object Title: Government Peak (Talkeetna Mountains)

Activities: Hiking, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 4781 ft / 1457 m

 

Page By: chugach mtn boy

Created/Edited: Aug 6, 2011 / Dec 15, 2013

Object ID: 735569

Hits: 4933 

Page Score: 85.87%  - 21 Votes 

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Overview

Most Alaskans, if they have ever heard of Government Peak, remember it vaguely as the focus of occasional dreams for a downhill ski area in the Mat Su Valley. But as those ambitions fade, this massive but gentle peak has begun to emerge as one of the finest mountain hikes around. With good drainage and a southern exposure, it's often the first trail to a high summit to be snow-free in the spring. The views north into the endless waves of the Talkeetnas, and south across the Knik River basin to the huge northern front of the Chugach Mountains, are unsurpassed.






Getting There

From Palmer, take the Palmer-Fishhook Road as though you were heading for Hatcher Pass. At milepost 7.0, turn left onto Edgerton Parks Road. After about two miles this paved road makes a right angle bend to the right, then back to the left; at the right angle back to the left, proceed straight ahead onto Moose Lick Circle, signposted for Mountain Streams Bed and Breakfast. Follow this to the B&B. Behind the main house is the well-marked trailhead, with designated parking for several vehicles on the left.

This trailhead is on private land, provided courtesy of the Strabel family. Obviously, it's important to be courteous of them--parking with consideration, keeping the noise down, etc. Often, when you park, you'll see Ed Strabel doing some project or tending to his incredible woodpile. Say hi, and be thankful this pre-baby-boom gentleman will not be setting the pace for your hike. It takes him about an hour and ten minutes to reach the top.

Government Peak Trail

There's a map of this trail at the bottom of this page. Begin at the arch behind the bed and breakfast. You're at 870 feet elevation, and you have 3911 to go. The first mile or so ascends gently, then a little more steeply, through open forest and meadow, with pretty views across the Mat-Su Valley.
Lower Slopes
In the vicinity of the Chace picnic table, less than a mile into the Government Peak trail

There are three picnic tables along this hike. The first is in the gentle meadows. The second, at about one mile and a thousand feet above the start, is your warning that the hike is about to steepen dramatically, becoming about as steep as a trail can get. Another five hundred vertical feet brings you to a signed turnoff for a waterfall, where you'll find the third table:

Third Picnic Table
Government Peak waterfall, May


After the waterfall junction, another five hundred feet of extremely steep trail brings you onto a wide-open tundra ridge, where the angle relents a bit:

Views on Ascent
 


The ridge continues upward for another couple of thousand feet:

Upper Ridge
 



It's a long way up this ridge to the summit, but persevere, because it is only at the very top that you'll get the full reward--the view northward across the vast wilderness of the Talkeetnas.







Winter Use

In winter, the Mat-Su Ski Club grooms 2.5 kilometers of track for classic and skate skiing, using the lower portion of the trail and nearby terrain. The trails are open only when the temperature is below freezing. They are occupied by high school ski teams on weekday afternoons. Call the B&B (907-745-4190) for more information on using the ski trails.

The upper part of the Government Peak Trail is usually not a good winter route due to avalanche danger.

Other Routes

 
Contentment
Relaxing on the summit, May

Government Peak is class 2 from the lower part of the Hatcher Pass Road, as described here. This involves some bushwhacking, and doesn't benefit from the southern exposure and wide open views that favor an ascent of the new trail.

A class 2 ridge walk to or from Hatcher Pass is possible (about 3 miles, with climbs totaling about 1500 feet northbound, 2500 southbound).

Race

Alaska Mountain Runners organizes an annual race to summit in early June. It's an uphill-only race, finishing at the top.

Camping

Backpack camping is not really practical on this peak. Car camping is available on the east side of the peak (7 miles from the trailhead) at the Government Peak Campground.

Alternate Name

Government Peak was called K'eda Beq'e Nay'uni by the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina.

Land Status

Although the trailhead is on private land, most of Government Peak is on state and Mat-Su Borough land. It is designated year-round for non-motorized use.

This page has been posted with express permission of the private landowner at the trailhead.

Lodging

Mountain Streams Bed and Breakfast certainly looks like a wonderful place to stay. It doesn't have a regualar website, but here they are on Facebook. It isn't always open. Call to inquire: 907-745-4190.

Map


Mat Su Borough Trail Map for Government Peak



Links

Mat Su Borough trail brochures

Topo of area

View of the peak from the southeast


Government Peak in the Talkeetna Mountains floats above the Knik River floodplain on a December afternoon



Images

From Knik RiverGovernment PeakTalkeetnasThe Stormy TalkeetnasViews on AscentViews on AscentContentment
Upper RidgeLower SlopesThird Picnic TableSummit ViewTrail Map