Solstice Light

Katie Eberhart - Writing & Observations

 

The Butte - June 13, 2001
In the Matanuska Valley, new Palmer, Alaska

It takes about 10 minutes to drive to The Butte from Palmer. The climb is steep and strenuous. I walk to the top of The Butte and back in an hour. People run it much faster. There is some steep rock scrambling so care is needed in a couple of places.

The reward for climbing The Butte is a terrific 360 degree view -- the Talkeetna Mountains, Chugach Range, Knik Glacier, Matanuska River and, on a clear day, Mount Susitna.

click on an image to see a larger view...
(driving directions)

Much of the climb up The Butte is steep and strenuous, depending on how fast you go. The Butte is 881 feet above sea level.
Wild Roses and Aspen Forest on South Side of Butte
The first part of the trail is steep and dusty, we climb through a grove of small Aspens. There are many wild Serviceberry bushes and wild roses (Prickly Rose).
 
We climbed through rose-perfumed air, marveling at the abundance of these delicate wildflowers.
Wild Roses on South Side of Butte
Wild Roses on South Side of Butte
The profusion of blossoms are delicate shades of pink.
 
After passing through the Rose/Aspen regime, the south slope becomes more desert-like with some small sagebrush, Oxytrope, and grasses. There are one or two stretches of steep rock scrambling, depending on the exact route taken. As we neared the top, the clouds began to break up and it turned into a warm, sunny day. Still plenty of snow on Pioneer Peak, visible to the south of The Butte.
View Towards South From North Side of The Butte
Top of The Butte, Looking South Towards Pioneer Peak
The summit of The Butte is dry and rocky.
 

More Flowers Seen on The Butte

Bluebells
Mouse Ear Chickweed
Oxytrope
Serviceberry

View to the southwest overlooking the Matanuska River.
View Southwest Towards Matanuska River
Driving Directions: From Palmer, drive south on the Old Glenn Highway. From Anchorage, take the Old Glenn Highway exit towards Palmer. There is a flashing traffic light at the Old Glenn Highway and the south end of Bodenburg Loop. Turn on Bodenburg Loop. There is parking on the right just before the first bend in Bodenburg Loop. There is a fee of $5.00 for vans, $3.00 for cars, more for buses. There's a portable toilet across the road from the parking area.
View towards Matanuska River and Fields South of The Butte
And slightly more south of southwest, overlooking the farm fields south of The Butte.
Looking northeast towards the Knik Glacier from just north of the top of The Butte. Blooming Mouse Ear Chickweed, a relative of the domestic plant Snow-In-Summer.
Mouse Ear Chickweed and View Towards Knik Glacier

 

This page last updated June 22, 2011

 

 

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