Local Activities


Friday Flings was established in 2002 to promote downtown Palmer as a shopping destination for locals, visitors and tourists to gather and to promote community and economic development within downtown Palmer. It is held every Friday from 10:00AM - 6:00PM during the summer in the heart of downtown Palmer across the street from the Palmer Museum of History and Art.  It provides the public with quality produce, crafts and entertainment in one of the most beautiful surroundings Alaska has to offer. This year's Friday Fling will operate beginning in May 2017.


The Musk Ox Farm, located about five minutes north of downtown Palmer along the Glenn Highway, is home to a unique domestication project that began in 1954 with a vision to provide an economic supplement to remote Alaskan communities.  Today, the farm is owned and operated by an Alaskan 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation that continues to care for and educate the public on these survivors from the last ice age.  On the farm, visitors can take up-close tours of the herd and explore their interpretive and interactive museum during the summer months from Mother's Day through mid-September.

Palmer reindeer farm

The Reindeer Farm, located about ten minutes southeast of downtown Palmer, offers visitors the rare opportunity to visit these rare mythical creatures by feeding, petting and interacting with over 100 reindeer on a guided tour.  The farm is also home to Dolly the Bison, Zeus the Elk and his herd, and was the former home of Palmer's beloved Denali the Moose.  Visitors can take tours during the summer months from May 1st through mid-September.


In 1974, Independence Mine, a hard rock gold mine from the early 1900's, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places and 271 acres were subsequently donated to the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to establish Independence Mine State Historical Park.  Title to the acreage was transferred to the State of Alaska on January 16, 1980.  Today, you can visit the mine's historic buildings.  Each building has interpretive panels outside that provide details about the history and main functions.  During the summer months of June through late August, tours of the interior of the buildings are offered by a park ranger on a limited basis.  Visitors can also hike the park's beautiful alpine trails which are in abundance.

matanuska glacier

The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in Alaska accessible by vehicle.  It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide at its terminus.  It is classified as a valley glacier - a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley.  The glacier is located north of the city of Palmer; a brief two hour scenic drive.  Along the way, drivers can also view the Alpine Historical Park in Sutton or take advantage of the many pullouts/photo points along the roadside.  When visiting the glacier, be sure to fuel up before leaving the Palmer area since the closest available gas station is located about an hour and a half away in Sutton.  During the summer season, visitors can enjoy guided glacier treks and/or zip lining with MICA Tours (located just past the glacier road turnoff next to the Long Rifle Lodge) and a scenic lunch or dinner at Sheep Mountain Lodge (located approximately 5 to 10 minutes north of the glacier along the Glenn Highway).  Glacier visitors are encouraged to pack snacks and additional warm clothing as temperatures are slightly lower in the glacier vicinity.

Palmer Trail Hikes

Dig your sturdiest shoes out of the closet, because summer is the season for spectacular hiking in and around Palmer! Prefer playing in the snow?  Don't worry, most of our local trails can be accessed during the winter as well (please check the associated trail maps for more information) Drop by the Palmer Museum and Visitor Center to learn more about all the fantastic trails in the area, or click here to visit the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation with further links and information regarding outdoor recreational activities.  Below, is a small sample of some of the trails available in the Palmer region.