Alaskan Pika Tour | Find One Of The Rarest Animals On Earth

Happy Jumping Hatcher Foraging
Happy Jumping Pika (Hatcher The Pika) Foraging | Photo – Phillip Flippo

Pika Tour Overview

Come along with one of our experienced Pika tour guides, on a magical trek up through beautiful alpine meadows, mountain streams, and to the famous Pika Township. Here you can catch a glimpse of one of planet Earth’s rarest and most adorable creatures, the Collared Pika!

This tour is exclusively offered by The Alaska Frontier and is available nowhere else.

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Hatcher Hike Interest Group

On this tour you will learn about the history of the Hatcher Pass area, discover the beautiful local alpine flora and fauna, and enjoy epic views most can only dream of.

  • Guided 3-4 hour hike up to the Pika Township (check out our great article about it here).
  • Overview of the area, its exciting history, and the local plants and animals.
  • Small group sizes of 4-6 people offer unparalleled focus and attention to group needs and questions.
  • See amazing high mountain views of the historic Independence Mine and Matanuska Valley.
  • A chance to see the Pikas bounding around collecting flowers, berries, and all manner of alpine treats.
  • Enjoy a carefully curated gift bag including a changing selection of premium Alaskan products such as Fireweed Honey and exclusive – “The Alaska Frontier” branded items to take home with you like a Hatcher The Pika Stuffie (when in stock)!

What’s Included In The Tour

Hatcher The Pika With Greens
Hatcher The Pika With Greens | Photo – Phillip Flippo
  • Local Guide
  • Premium -The Alaska Frontier- Gift Bag
  • (1) Bottle of Purified Drinking Water

What’s Not Included With Your Tour Ticket

  • Gratuity
  • Lunch/Snacks
  • Transportation

Tour Location and Meetup Time

Hatcher The Pika Jump Through Rocks
Hatcher The Pika Jump Through Rocks | Photo – Phillip Flippo

Before you head out, make sure you have some rubber/waterproof boots and a trekking pole on you (if you have one) as the first part of the hike will require you to cross a few small streams. There are also some moderately vertical elements with no switchbacks during the first part of the hike, so keep that in mind for footwear choices.

All tours begin at 10am and the tour is located approximately 1.5 hours North of Anchorage, so give yourself plenty of time to show up 10-15 minutes early. The address for the parking lot meetup area is Mi 175 & Fishhook Willow Rd Palmer AK 99645 but we will explain so you don’t get lost.

Alright lets get to the tour/meetup location! If you head 60 miles North of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway and take Palmer Fishhook Road (which turns into Hatcher Pass Road) you will eventually reach a fork in the road towards the top where if you went straight you would reach Independence Mine, or you could go left towards Summit Lake.

Pika Township Trail Bouquet
Pika Township Trail Bouquet | Photo – Phillip Flippo

You will want to head straight like you are going towards the mine, but instead of going all the way to the mine, turn into the large paved parking lot right after Hatcher Pass Lodge (the little red cabins on your right).

This is a paid parking area and you will either need to pay at the electronic kiosk or purchase a yearly park pass online (which is worth it if you plan on visiting or revisiting several parks around Alaska).

Once you are parked and paid, we definitely recommend using the provided bathrooms, there will be no other options to relieve yourself along this trail until you get back. Once you are ready, you will see one of our tour guides wearing a shirt or jacket with THE ALASKA FRONTIER in big obvious print on it waiting for you in the parking area.

Basic Tour Itinerary

Fireweed Dragging Pika In Township
Fireweed Dragging Pika In Township | Photo – Phillip Flippo
  1. The tour begins at 10am in the parking area where the group will gather for a basic orientation (10 minutes).
  2. We will walk out towards the first set of mountain streams and take our time to learn about the area and the flora and fauna in it as we head upwards (20 minutes).
  3. The group will make it past the first of two ridges and take a short break (10 minutes).
  4. Next we will hike past the high alpine meadows and into the boulder fields that mark the entrance to the Pika Township (15-20 minutes).
  5. Pika/Wildlife viewing! We will spend time carefully walking around boulders and exploring the different habitats where the Pika live and play (1.5-2 hours). Special Note: During the Pika viewing portion of the tour, we will all need to whisper and minimize talking to respect them and maximize viewing possibilities.
  6. After visiting with the Pikas it is time to return to the parking area (30 minutes).

Additional Info

Fall Scene Hatcher Pika Tall Grass
Fall Scene Hatcher Pika Tall Grass | Photo – Phillip Flippo
  • As this is primarily a wildlife viewing tour, know that wildlife can be unpredictable and sightings cannot be guaranteed (although best efforts will always be made).
  • This tour/hike requires moderate physical activity, will include traversing small streams/wet areas, and climbing in/around small boulders so please be advised. Not wheelchair accessible.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 participants, but minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough participants to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund.
  • The tour is subject to cancellation if poor weather or other factors present themselves that would impede the overall safety or enjoyment of the experience.
  • Confirmation will be provided upon booking.

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 2-weeks in advance of the tour/experience for a full refund for any reason.

  • If you cancel less than 2 weeks before the tour’s start time, we can work with you to reschedule for another date or refund you half the price.
  • Cancellation times are based on Alaska daylight time.
  • This tour requires good/fair weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of participants. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/tour or a full refund.

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Hatcher Hike Interest Group

Brand Ambassador at The Alaska Frontier | + posts

My name is Phillip Flippo and I am a professional nature and wildlife photographer based out of Wasilla Alaska. As a lifelong Alaskan, I have always been captivated by the incredible scenes and amazing sights that our great state has to offer. Sharing photos, films, and articles from the real wild Alaska is a passion of mine, and I work hard to deliver the best of best to audiences around the world! Whether I am climbing mountains, spending time at sea, or exploring the frozen unknown I want to help others unlock Alaska’s mysteries for themselves. I truly believe we are always better off united, sharing the beautiful destinations of our world, and helping each other discover the most amazing experiences; and that is exactly my mission, to share, to help mentor, and to find the best Alaska has to offer!

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