Chickaloon to Sheep Mountain
Chickaloon Village is a tiny community of roughly 200 people. Ahtna Athabascan Indians have occupied this area for centuries, and the rich history of the native culture remains strong here.
1. Matanuska Glacier
The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by car in the state, as well as one of the oldest.
2. Sheep Mountain Lodge (Mile 113.5)
Sheep Mountain Lodge has 10 guest cabins, a dining room and lounge and numerous activities, including flightseeing tours with rates either per-person or hourly.
3. Trailhead Access Road/Raptor Viewing Site (Mile 118.5)
A great spot to stretch your legs and see some of Alaska's many raptor varieties. Local birders frequent this spot and are happy to share their knowledge
This is one of the most panoramic sections of the Byway, with amazing views of the Matanuska Glacier and of the geological formations created by glacier movement. Chickaloon Village starts at Mile 70.6 of the Glenn. Chickaloon has been home to Athabascan Indians for hundreds of years, and is a great spot for camping, fishing and hiking. A campground and rest facilities are available at the state recreation site at the base of King Mountain (Mile 76).
There are excellent views of the Talkeetna Mountains through this area, and at Mile 91 you will catch your first glimpse of the Matanuska Glacier. The flow of this glacier created the wonders that you will see along the Byway. Just past Mile 91 on the left hand side is the rare view of a rock glacier. (Rock glaciers are formed by combinations of cold and rock debris, with large amounts of ice deep within, causing them to move in the same way ice glaciers do. )
The Glenn makes its way along the corridor, with more interesting rock formations along the way, and sightings of the Matanuska River at intervals. The Matanuska Glacier is always in the background, making these pictorial views truly majestic and stunning.
Mile 102 provides access to the Matanuska Glacier at Glacier Park. Visitors can pay a fee to go into the park, which is privately owned and operated, and actually walk on the glacier itself.
There are continued views of the glacier as the Byway climbs on to Sheep Mountain. You will be able to see Lion's Head, once an ancient volcano and the subject of Native folklore. At Mile 106, the highway winds down into Caribou Creek, which is a natural recreation area and gold panning spot. The Chugach Mountains are still in sight, and Sheep Mountain looms in the distance. Heavy vegetation still encompasses some areas, yet begins to thin as Black Spruce start popping up.
Sitting at Mile 113, Sheep Mountain creates a vista that emphasizes the entire landscape. Sheep and other wildlife are often spotted throughout this region, and the rustic Sheep Mountain Lodge sits at the base of the mountain itself, where travelers can overnight or eat a meal.
The ancient history of the glaciers is fully apparent in this dazzling section of the Byway. As the Glenn begins to depart the Matanuska River Canyon, it continues on into the Copper River Basin and beyond.