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Hatcher Pass Road and The Independence Mine

August 19, 2011

As we headed South instead of taking the Parks Highway down to the Glen highway we took a “shortcut” across the Hatcher Pass Road. The scenery along this road is absolutely stunning but the road is very badly potholed and we could only crawl along at 5- 10 mph for large stretches.

At the top of the pass is a small lake called Summit Lake where we stopped for lunch and we watched some paragliders. One guy was out for his first time – and it showed – while another guy was clearly very experienced and made it look easy.

Just after Hatcher Pass the road becomes paved – Hurrah – and there is an old abandoned gold mine called Independence Mine which we decided to take a look at.

This is partly restored and partly in original condition and made an absorbing couple of hours hike. Particularly the higher portions where you could get away from the madding crowd. We often find this – most people are happy to walk around on the flat but give them a hill to walk up and they choose not too. This is great because even at the most crowded places you only have to walk for a few minutes to find peace.

After the Independence mine we drove down to Palmer and onto the Glen Highway going past the Matanuska Glacier before stopping for the night in a rest area which we had to ourselves. This was very quiet and even had toilets but these were unusual in that they didn’t have any doors – so not that appealing really.


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