PALMER, Alaska — First, know this: Lazy Mountain is misnamed. There’s nothing lazy about this steep, strenuous hike into some beautiful and accessible country above Palmer.
Lazy Mountain is, in fact, a really tough hike of unrelenting elevation gain: About 3,000 feet in 2.5 miles. But don’t let that deter you – the route offers bits of leafy birch forest, sweeping views of the valley and a chance to stare even bigger mountains, like nearby Matanuska Peak, in the eye.
About four miles east of Palmer, rounded Lazy Mountain is tiny when compared with the jagged peaks behind it. It doesn’t feel tiny when you’re slogging up a primitive trail with steep grades turned soft by mud.
However, on a recent Saturday hikers included a family of six, including four elementary school-aged kids, along with a couple carrying a seven-week-old puppy. If puppies and third-graders can make it, so can you.