Cycling Independence Mine, Palmer, Alaska, USA
Ride 11.6 miles gaining 2,788’ at 4.5% average grade.
Photo: Bryant Robbins, Palmer, AK, USA
Note - the first 10.4 miles of the Indepence Mine ride overlap Hatcher Pass (turn right to Independence Mine or stay straight on Hatcher Pass Road for another 1.5 miles at 11.7% to get to the Pass).
Photos of or along the climb to Independence Mine -
Except lower right which is up the road towards Hatcher Pass.
Climb summary by Bryant Robbins.
This climb is identical to the Hatcher Pass ride for most of its distance. The climb can begin from several locations. The true bottom of the climb would be to start in Palmer.
After a short sharp climb from town on the usually busy Glenn Hwy, turn left on Palmer Fishhook Rd. From here there are 6.8 miles of mild grades until you reach the Wasilla Fishhook intersection where the climb begins in earnest. A store at this intersection makes a good place to park (and get an ice cream cone) if you only want to do the main part of the climb. This is where the mapped route starts. From here it is 11.6 miles to the top. Another alternative starting point is the parking lot just across the Little Susitna River bridge, 1.7 miles further up the road. There are two possible summits for this climb. The ride to the end of the road at the Independence Mine State Park is completely paved, while the road to the top of Hatcher Pass is gravel for the last 1.5 miles. The route and profile shown on this climb page are for Independence Mine. If you prefer to go to Hatcher Pass on the gravel route turn left at mile 10.43 rather than continuing straight on the pavement. The entire second half of this climb is a nice challenge with steep ramps. The gravel section to the top of the pass has ramps above 16%.
Visit the Palmer Museum of History and Art while you are in town.
Photo from Roadtrippers.com
PJAMM’s Palmer contributors Bryant and Jill Robbins advise that the Collections Manager at the museum, Richard Estelle, is a wonderful storyteller and it is worth the time to visit the museum if you are visiting the Palmer area.
723-799 S. Valley Way, Palmer, AK; (907 746-7668 (located at the same address as the museum)
As with any climb in Alaska, beware the weather:
June and the first half of July are typically the best times to ride in Alaska. An added bonus is that it never gets dark during that time of the year (for example in mid-July in Anchorage sunrise is around 3 a.m. and sunset around 11 p.m.).