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Welcome to palmer!



Palmer is the gateway to Alaska's foremost recreation area with campgrounds, lakes, glaciers and rivers—a fact long recognized and little publicized by local Alaskans. On a typical weekend, Anchorage residents desert that bustling "metropolis" in droves to converge on the mountains, streams and lakes of the nearby Palmer- area. Below are attractions and activities. To learn about all that Palmer's Great Outdoors offers click here.



The Palmer Visitor Center & Museum of History and Art is located in the rustic log cabin downtown, and is open daily. The staff is of great help with advice and information on day-to-day events in Palmer and the Matanuska Valley, and is most willing to share Palmer’s best kept secrets with you. They will gladly assist you in planning your itinerary so you won’t miss any of the sights and special activities that Palmer and its environs offer. The Palmer Museum offers visitors a chance to view artifacts from Palmer's history, historical places to see, activities to do now and learn of the projects for its future. While visiting the museum and information center you can’t help but admire the adjoining “Agricultural Showcase,” a colorful garden of beautiful flowers and vegetables, including our oversized cabbages. (Please note that theses cabbages won’t reach their full size of fifty pounds or more until the first part of September.)
For more information visit or call 746-7668



"Wish that you could come over and see our house," wrote colonists Irene and Oscar Beylund to friends in Wisconsin after their first Christmas in Alaska. Today the Palmer Historical Society issues the same invitation to you
 In 1994, a group of individuals in Palmer organized the Colony House Preservation Project Committee. Its goal - to restore a colony house to its 1936 -1945 appearance. Located at 316 E. Elmwood Ave, near the Visitors Center and within Palmer's Historic District, the house and outbuildings display rural life in the Matanuska Valley during the heyday of the Colony. While originally the home of Oscar and Irene Beylund on tract 94, this house, one of five styles available, reflect an average colonist family's home.



The United Protestant Church (Presbyterian), called the church of a thousand Logs, was built by the colonists in 1938 and ’37 and is still is regular use today. The pews were made by the community and the pulpit was constructed of scraps of wood overlaid birch bark. Visitors are warmly invited to take pictures during the week. The church is Elmwood Street, two blocks east from the Visitor Center.


About one-half mile from downtown on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, the Observatory records seismic and tidal information, and is headquarters of the Tsunami Warning System of Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Tours for the public are held through out the year on Friday’s at 1pm, 2pm and 3 p.m. Large groups are asked to make reservations at 907-745-4212


A herd of these shaggy beasts lives on a farm just outside Palmer. You can find the prehistoric musk-oxen at Mile 50.1 of the Glenn Highway, just north of the Fishhook Road turn-off. This is the only commercial domestic musk-ox herd in the world. On the guided tour of the farm, you can observe and photograph the animals, learn about their history and behavior, and find out how they contribute to the subsistence lifestyle of the Eskimo. Open daily from May through September, 10-6. Admission charged. For more information visit or call 907-745-4151.



Seven miles out of Palmer, on the south Bodenburg Loop off the Old Glenn Highway, a small herd of domesticated reindeer rests up on the Williams Farm during the summer. They wanted to be in top shape for the rigors of Christmas time, when Rudolph and the other reindeer on Santa’s team need some extra help. Admission Charged. Visit or call 907-745-4000.



The Palmer Golf Course is the world’s northernmost championship course. The golf course features 18 holes and is known for its scenery of the Chugach Mountains and Knik Glacier. In addition, the Matanuska River flows alongside the course and comes into play on seven holes.  You won’t want to forget your camera! The signature hole is #6, a 350-yard, par 4, and offers an unparalleled view of the Knik Glacier from off its green. The golf course offers a  brand new fleet of carts. More than enough for all, yet walking is welcome and is an easy task.. Yardages from 5813 to over 7300.  An easy 40-minutes from downtown. You’ll enjoy the less congested atmosphere than at Anchorage courses. Call 745-GOLF(4653) or visit



Alaska’s home to the IHRA! Nestled at the base of Pioneer Peak in Palmer, ARP has been Alaska’s drag racing hot spot for over 45 years! Races start on Mother’s Day  and run until Labor Day and most weekends in between. From Junior Dragsters, Snowmachines, and Motorcycles to Top Fuel Funny Cars and Nitro Altered, we have something for every race fan! See you at the Races! for more information visit or call 907-746-7223


Links to Local Attractions

Follow any of these links to websites for additional information on some of our exciting local attractions:


Knik Glacier and Matanuska Glacier
All Difficulty Level Hiking Trails 

Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway
Independence Mine State Historical Park and Hatcher Pass

The Musk-Ox Farm 
The Reindeer Farm
Tsunami Warning Center