Two trails with different appeal are here. The newer Lazy Moose Trail is a gentle ascent. The steep Lazy Mountain Trail reshapes you. It stretches tendons going up. If you are not a regular climber, going down can make quads so sore that the pain has its own catch phrase: Lazy Legs.
The climb is 3,000 feet in less than two miles. The first half moves through cottonwoods, aspen, spruce, birch, and tall fireweed. At about 1,500 feet in elevation the trail crosses into alpine tundra and offers sweeping views of the Knik and Matanuska Rivers. A picnic table awaits here at the halfway mark. Scrappy mountain runners train on Lazy slopes. Lazy Mountain has become a hiking highway recently. In icy winter, hikers wear microspikes. Summiting Lazy at 3,720 feet gives magnificent views of the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains.
The longer, less steep, Lazy Moose Trail, zigzags up the hill for three miles. Access this gentler trail at the beginning to the right. Lazy Moose reconnects with Lazy Mountain Trail above the first picnic table.