Palmer/Valley Life

 Palmer, where your Glenn Highway excursion begins, is only about an hour away from Anchorage and the town maintains much of the rustic charm of a traditional farming community. Palmer's history includes settlers who were part of a relocation program for farmers back in 1935, during the Great Depression. With a city center that keeps a small-town feel, and plenty of activities and areas to explore, a day trip to Palmer is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Palmer is located along the Glenn Highway at Mile 40.5. Driving from Anchorage, you will pass the Eagle River and Chugiak areas and continue on through the Eklutna and Palmer Flats. Stay on the main highway and follow the "Palmer North" signs.

Kepler-Bradley State Recreation Area

 At Mile 36 you will see Kepler-Bradley State Recreation Area. The lakes offer great fishing and are stocked by the state with rainbow trout, grayling and silver salmon. There is a small campground here, with easy lake access and hiking.

Continuing on the Glenn, you'll see the Alaska State Fairgrounds. Be sure to stop at the South Palmer Railroad Stations to read interpretive panels regarding the Glenn Highway. Then follow the signs into downtown Palmer, and stop in at one of the many restaurants for a bite before you continue exploring the area.

Palmer Visitor's Center & Palmer Museum of History and Art

Located on 723 S. Valley Way, this museum showcases Palmer's history, art, agriculture and development. You can also stroll through the center's beautiful showcase garden.

Colony House Museum

Located in the heart of Palmer at 316 E. Elmwood Avenue (just past the visitor center) is the Colony House Museum. This is an original colony farm house built back in 1935 for the New Deal Resettlement project. Descendents of the original settlers serve as tour guides.

Friday Flings Market

Beginning in May, every Friday brings the Friday Flings Market. You will enjoy colorful arts and crafts, live entertainment, and fresh produce right in downtown Palmer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Friday through August.

Musk Ox Farm

Just outside Palmer at Mile 50 of the Glenn, take a left on Archie Road. This will lead you to the Musk Ox Farm. This is a non-profit organization, which began in 1954 and is dedicated to the development of the musk ox. Take a guided tour, see new babies, and learn about the uses of qiviut (the under-wool of musk ox). The farm is open to the general public from May through October, with tours by appointment at other times of the year. Fees range from $6 to $8.50 per person.

As you get back on the Glenn Highway and make your way back to Anchorage, watch for moose or other wildlife, and enjoy the scenic mountain views surrounding you.

America's Byways