Hatcher Pass // Alaska | Caravan Sonnet

Hatcher Pass // Alaska

August 10, 2018

Happy Friday friends! I hope that you have had a wonderful week! Today I am excited to share with y'all more pictures from my recent trip to Alaska. Hatcher Pass, which I am sharing about today, was definitely one of my favorite places that we went to. 
After exploring and spending time at Little Susitna River (you can read more about that HERE), we continued the drive to Hatcher Pass. 
If you are driving from Anchorage it is about a 3 hour round trip road trip. I decided that we would stop on the way to Denali (where we were heading that day). This scenic detour does add a couple of hours (or more if you are like us and stop often to admire the beauty and explore!) to your trip north (if you choose to do the same thing) but it is an absolutely priceless couple of hours and I can't recommend taking the time to do it enough. 
Hatcher Pass is located in the Talkeetna Mountains between Willow and Palmer. It is a favorite among locals for recreation or just for a beautiful scenic drive. 
It honestly took less than a minute to understand why this beautiful area is a favorite. The mountains were absolutely stunning and the views (despite it being a somewhat cloudy day) were beyond compare. I felt like I was in Switzerland in the Alps all over again and yet in a different world at the same time. The beauty was so overwhelming that as we walked and explored I had tears.
If you are wanting to visit Hatcher Pass (and you definitely should - even if a local says it's not worth it *smiles*!) even for just the scenic drive then you can get there by Fishhook Road (Hatcher Pass Road). It beautifully winds through the mountains for approximately 60 miles between the towns of Palmer and Willow.
The beauty surrounding this place was simply breathtaking. I shared this on instagram, but really the words are indescribable because the beauty was so amazing. 
Just to note- if you are traveling during the winter the state does maintain the road to Independence Bowl. An interesting fact that I learned in my research before the trip, was that this area has a very rich ski history.
Some early photos (dating back to the 1930s) show that skiers from Anchorage used to be bused up to an inn that had a rope tow at it. This inn was one of only a few places to offer this and it was used for several decades, although now it is not. 
Interestingly, this area also used to be the training grounds for the Junior Olympic ski team. 
In the summer months the road does open over the pass. As a note (as with several roads in Alaska *smiles*) the road is gravel for about 20 miles and can be rough at certain points with ruts. If you are renting a car (like I did for this road trip) you will want to make sure that you check with your car rental company about which roads you can take your car on and which ones you can't (as there are restrictions). 
Due to time constraints more than anything we only drove along the pass road for about 5 miles before we needed to turn around to head to our destination for the night. 
It is definitely a road that I plan to go back and explore the entire thing in a future trip because it is so incredibly beautiful. 
If you don't want to brave the road (or you can't in your rental car) then definitely travel to the top of the pass. From there (as you can see in some of the pictures in this post) you will be able to see beautiful ranges, including the Chugach Range, Alaska Range, and Palmer's Pioneer Peak. 
In the summer at the top of the pass is also lots of different hiking trails, Independence Mine, and beautiful spots for a picnic. (Along with lots of flowers, that y'all know I love. *smiles*)
This area was just breathtaking to me and quite the introduction to the Alaska road trip we were taking. 
In many ways I realized just how big Alaska really is in these first few hours in the state. With exploring Little Susitna River and Hatcher Pass I walked away wanting to see more of these areas, instead of feeling like I had seen everything there was to see.
I quickly realized that we were only seeing the smallest percentage of what was around us. As I slowly stood and turned to look at everything surrounding me I suddenly felt incredibly small in the midst of this beautiful and vast world we were in.
I think it took less than 5 minutes of driving this first day to make the decision that I would need to come back and come back often to explore this area of the world... and there would still not be enough time. This was a gift actually to realize at the beginning of the trip because it made me treasure every single moment of what I was seeing and viewing along the way. 
And then I realized in a deep and profound way how important this lesson is for life in general. To grab hold of the beautiful gift and of the sacred "now". To grab hold of the moments before us and in the day that we are in. To treasure the time in deeper ways. 

I could keep going, but suffice it to say that I fell quickly in love with Alaska in these first few hours of the trip. Hatcher Pass was absolutely stunning and I hope that y'all can plan a trip there someday soon! Happy Friday friends, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend with loved ones and friends... treasuring the beautiful gift of "now". 

PS- If you are curious about the specific details of the road trip that we took throughout Alaska or if you are planning a similar road trip (or just want to see and dream about visiting the beauty!) I hope the information below is helpful. You can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below:

Anchorage: // Anchorage Travel Guide//

Chugach Mountains (Alaska 1-South Drive): // Scenic Seward Highway Drive (Turnagain Arm Drive)//

Chugach Mountains: // Eklutna Lake//

Cooper Landing (Kenai Peninsula): // Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge Nature Trail//

Girdwood: // Winner Creek Trail //

For those with questions about my outfit:
Shop the Look:
Torrid Premium Mauve T-Shirt (there are other colors available)


  1. Replies
    1. *happy happy sigh* OH friend. I loved it. It was SIMPLY gorgeous. :) :) I already long to go back!

  2. Did you try fireweed? It's pretty tasty.

    1. NO! I didn't know you could eat it?!? Oh my goodness. NEXT time! :)

      Blessings, Rebecca :)