The trail passes through forest to alpine to talus field to pinnacle. The view atop Matanuska Peak is spectacular, especially since grandeur lays at your feet. You stand on rock overlooking countless snowy ridges of the Chugach Mountain Range. The tallest of them 39 miles in the distance, 13,176 foot Mount Marcus Baker, is one of the top 75 peaks in the world. Cook Inlet and the Knik and Matanuska rivers are visible below.
The climb is steep. In the fall, the ground covering of kinnikinnick carpets the sides of the trail in red before the grassy incline hardens into a steep slope of rock debris, which you must scramble up to reach the top. Gloves are a good idea to protect the hands of hikers. Be careful of dislodging loose large rock.
The trail climbs 5,670 feet in just over 4 miles. The hike can be done in a long day. Some prefer to camp overnight. This is a strenuous trail. Bring enough food, water, and clothing, and know your limits.