Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U. S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area; as of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937. The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans, they moved throughout the area, trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer; the town was named after Palmer. In the late 19th century, the U. S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904; the advent of World War I created a need for high quality coal to fuel U.
S. battleships, by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U. S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers and homesteaders began to populate the area; the Palmer Post Office was opened July 1917 under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley. In one year, Palmer transformed from a mere whistle stop rail siding to a planned community with modern utilities and community services. Eleven million dollars from Federal Emergency Relief Administration was spent to create the town of Palmer and relocate 203 families from the hard hit Iron Range region of Michigan and Wisconsin. Families traveled by train and ship to Palmer, arriving in May 1935. Upon their arrival they were housed in a tent city during their first Alaskan summer; each family drew lots for 40-acre tracts and their farming adventure began in earnest.
The failure rate was high, but many of their descendants still live in the area and there are still many operating farms in the Palmer area, including the Vanderwheele and Wolverine farms. In 1971, the National Outdoor Leadership School started operating wilderness education courses in the nearby Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges from a local historic farmhouse, the Berry House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to an agrarian heritage, the colony families brought with them Midwest America's small-town values, institutional structures, a well-planned city center reminiscent of their old hometowns in Minnesota. Many of the structures built are now in a nationally recognized historic district. Construction of the statewide road system and the rapid development of Anchorage has fueled growth around Palmer. Many Palmer residents commute 45 minutes to work in Anchorage. There is an honorary consulate of the Republic of Latvia at Palmer. Palmer is located at 61°36′7″N 149°7′2″W.
Palmer is 42 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It lies on the north shore of the Matanuska River, not far above tidewater, in a wide valley between the Talkeetna Mountains to the north and the Chugach Mountains to the south and east. Pioneer Peak rises over 6,000 feet above the town, just a few miles south. East of Palmer is Lazy Mountain, standing behind, Matanuska Peak. Lazy Mountain, Matanuska Peak, Pioneer Peak are all a part of the Chugach Range. North of Palmer are the Talkeetna Mountains. Hatcher Pass, a local favorite for hiking, is located in this mountain range about 22 mi from Palmer. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles, all of it land. Palmer and Wasilla are the two major old-town cores of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Population of the area has grown in the past decade. Palmer has a climate similar to that of Anchorage, although with low temperatures that are on average 1.4 °F cooler and highs 0.8 °F warmer. August is the wettest month both by total precipitation and number of days with precipitation, April is the driest.
On average, over the course of a year, there are 28–29 days of sub-0 °F lows, 22–23 days of 70 °F + highs, 0.8 days of 80 °F + highs. The town straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4b and 5a, indicating the coldest temperature of the year is around −20 °F. Palmer is flanked by two glaciers, the Matanuska Glacier and the Knik Glacier. Wind blows off of these funnels into the town with terrible consistency. If there is a substantial snowfall, it will sit for several days before most of it is blown away; as of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,937 people, 1,472 households, 1,058 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,206.3 people per square mile. There were 1,555 housing units at an average density of 413.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 80.94% White, 2.05% Black or African American, 8.18% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.33% Pacific Islander, 1.15% from other races, 6.29% from two or more races. 3.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
14.9% were of German, 10.5% United States or American, 8.9% Irish and 8.7% English ancestry according to Census 2000. There were 1,472 households out of which 47.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.1% were non-f
2010 United States Census
The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010; the census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired; the population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000; as required by the United States Constitution, the U. S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U. S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U. S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code. On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.
More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U. S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010; the number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today." The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up". In December 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau delivered population information to the U. S. President for apportionment, in March 2011, complete redistricting data was delivered to states. Identifiable information will be available in 2082; the Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information.
The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – What is your telephone number? What is Person 1's name? What is Person 1's sex? What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth? Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? What is Person 1's race? Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? The form included space to repeat all of these questions for up to twelve residents total. In contrast to the 2000 census, an Internet response option was not offered, nor was the form available for download. Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey; the survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years.
A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, no household will receive it more than once every five years. In June 2009, the U. S. Census Bureau announced. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option; when noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples; the 2010 census cost $13 billion $42 per capita. Operational costs were $5.4 billion under the $7 billion budget. In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office noted that the cost of conducting the census has doubled each decade since 1970. In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, at that time, had estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion. In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the census operational costs came in under budget.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U. S. househol
Alaska State Fair
The Alaska State Fair is an annual state fair held in Palmer, United States. The fairgrounds are located one hour north of Anchorage and draw visitors from the entire Municipality of Anchorage and beyond for the popular 1 and ½ week event beginning at the end of August; the fair is famous for its record setting giant vegetables and picturesque location at the foot of the Chugach Mountains in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. The event features amusement rides, food concessions, competitive exhibits, carnival games, live performances and more; the first Alaska State Fair was held September 4–7, 1936. It was organized by members of the Northland Pioneer Grange No. 1, an agricultural fraternal organization, organized in the Matanuska Valley in 1933. Planning for the Fair began in 1935 and coincided with establishment of the Matanuska Colony, a New Deal resettlement community designed to assist out of work Midwestern families. In establishing a colony in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley it was the U. S. government's intent to decrease Alaska's reliance on imported food, increase the Territory's population, give Midwestern families on public assistance a new start.
That first year’s Fair was held in the community center of the newly established Matanuska Colony and included the crowning of the Fair queen, a baby show, boxing matches, horse races, dances, a rodeo and baseball games. There were agricultural entries, including giant cabbages, carrots, celery and other vegetables. During World War II, the Fair took a five-year hiatus from 1942 to 1946, but the Fair was back in operation in 1947. 1950 saw the first carnival rides at the Fair. In 1956, the Fair Board petitioned the Alaska Legislature for official designation as the Alaska State Fair. In 1960, the Fair celebrated its 25th anniversary and was paid a visit by President John F. Kennedy.1967 was the Fair’s first year in its present 300-acre location at 2075 Glenn Highway in Palmer. The total attendance that year reached 72,000. Over the years, Fair attendance has continued its upward trend. During the 18-day Fair in 1998, a record 361,804 people participated in the event; that same year, the Fair accepted 10,890 exhibit entries – the highest on record.
The Fair set another record in 2003, with 312,419 visitors attending the Fair over a 12-day period. Fairground facilities have continued to grow. In 1975, the Fair became home to Colony Village, which preserves some of the historic buildings from the Valley’s early days. In 1997, the construction of Pioneer Plaza and Raven Hall was completed. In 2004, the Fair opened Railroad Depot. In 2010, it was estimated a total of 290,119 people attended the Fair, which featured 8,081 exhibit entries and 450 vendors. In 2010, Valley resident and protester Sidney Hill was arrested for fourth-degree assault, disorderly conduct and trespassing after he caused a disturbance on the fairgrounds while carrying a large political sign; the incident was addressed on the Fair blog, subsequent articles regarding Mr. Hill’s activities were published in the Anchorage Daily News and The Frontiersman. Taken from internal Alaska State Fair financials. Situated in the heart of the fertile Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the Fair features giant vegetable exhibits, like 2010’s pending world record-breaking 46-foot, 8-inch gourd vine, the state record-breaking 39-inch bean, 83-inch gourd and 1,101-pound pumpkin.
The Fair’s giant cabbage contest tradition began in 1941, when a $25 prize was offered for the largest cabbage and Max Sherrod of the Valley took the prize with a 23 pounder. The official Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off was established in 1995. In 2012, grower Scott Robb entered a 138.25 pound cabbage, which not only took first place, but set a new world record. In 2007, the Fair’s flowers and gardens received some national recognition, when the makers of the Public Broadcasting Service program GardenSMART visited the Fair to film a 30-minute segment. Topping the list of fairgoer favorites is Fair food. Nearly 70 food vendors are scheduled to attend the 2011 Fair, offering staples like hot dogs, pizza and nachos, to more exotic selections including gyros, Alaska seafood and all kinds of food on a stick, to desserts like ice cream, cream puffs and more. More than 400 non-food vendors are present at the Fair each year; the Fair features thousands of exhibits, in categories including art, baked goods, clay arts, crops and fleece, flowers and needlework, homebrew and bee products, photography, quilts, sewing, spirited beverages and soda pop, woodworking.
The Fair features free entertainment around the grounds, events and contests like the rodeo, Diaper Derby, Alaska Grown Games. The Fair hosts a midway with carnival rides and games, presents big name concerts each year as part of the AT&T Borealis Concert Series; the AT&T Concert Series is a big draw for the Fair, which has played host to dozens of bands and performers over the last 75 years. Previous performers have included Ted Nugent, David Archuleta, Hinder, Boyz II Men, Darryl Worley, Collective Soul, Bucky Covington, Beach Boys, Bill Engvall, Rodney Atkins, Gin Blossoms, The Rembrandts, Emerson Drive, Charlie Daniels Band, Craig Morgan, Terri Clark, Cheap Trick, Terry Fator, Uncle Kracker, Los Lobos, Toby Mac, Tanya Tucker, Tracy Byrd, Kenny Rogers, Howie Mandel, Chris Cagle, Chris LeDoux, REO Speedwagon, Sean Kingston, Tracy Lawrence, Three Days Grace, Iggy Azalea, Richie Havens and Micky Dolenz. Matanuska Valley Colony Raymond Rebarchek Colony Farm, the adjoining property, which the fair has owned portions of since the late 20th century Tanana Valley State Fair Official web
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve is an American national park and preserve located in Interior Alaska, centered on Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The park and contiguous preserve encompass 6,045,153 acres, larger than the state of New Hampshire. On December 2, 1980, 2,146,580-acre Denali Wilderness was established within the park. Denali's landscape is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga, with tundra at middle elevations, glaciers and bare rock at the highest elevations; the longest glacier is the Kahiltna Glacier. Wintertime activities include dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling; the park received 594,660 recreational visitors in 2018. Human habitation in the Denali Region extends to more than 11,000 years before the present, with documented sites just outside park boundaries dated to more than 8,000 years before present; however few archaeological sites have been documented within the park boundaries, owing to the region's high elevation, with harsh winter conditions and scarce resources compared to lower elevations in the area.
The oldest site within park boundaries is the Teklanika River site, dated to about 7130 BC. More than 84 archaeological sites have been documented within the park; the sites are characterized as hunting camps rather than settlements, provide little cultural context. The presence of Athabaskan peoples in the region is dated to 1,500 - 1,000 years before present on linguistic and archaeological evidence, while researchers have proposed that Athabaskans may have inhabited the area for thousands of years before then; the principal groups in the park area in the last 500 years include the Koyukon and Dena'ina people. Other prehistoric finds include Mesozoic fossils from the Denali Region. Studies of fossil plants from the same formation indicate the area was wet, with marshes and ponds throughout the region. In 1906, conservationist Charles Alexander Sheldon conceived the idea of preserving the Denali region as a national park, he presented the plan to his co-members of the Crockett Club. They decided that the political climate at the time was unfavorable for congressional action, that the best hope of success rested on the approval and support from the Alaskans themselves.
Sheldon wrote, "The first step was to secure the approval and cooperation of the delegate who represented Alaska in Congress."In October 1915, Sheldon took up the matter with Dr. E. W. Nelson of the Biological Survey at Washington, D. C. and with George Bird Grinnell, with a purpose to introduce a suitable bill in the coming session of Congress. The matter was taken to the Game Committee of the Boone and Crockett Club and, after a full discussion, it received the committee's full endorsement. On December 3, 1915, the plan was presented to Alaska's delegate, James Wickersham, who after some deliberation gave his approval; the plan went to the Executive Committee of the Boone and Crockett Club and, on December 15, 1915, it was unanimously accepted. The plan was thereupon endorsed by the Club and presented to Stephen Mather, Assistant Secretary of the Interior in Washington, D. C. who approved it. The bill was introduced in April, 1916, by Delegate Wickersham in the House and by Senator Key Pittman of Nevada in the Senate.
Much lobbying took place over the following year, on February 19, 1917, the bill passed. On February 26, 1917, 11 years from its conception, the bill was signed in legislation by the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, thereby creating Mount McKinley National Park. A portion of Denali, excluding the summit, was included the original park boundary. On Thanksgiving Day in 1921, the Mount McKinley Park Hotel opened. In July 1923, President Warren Harding stopped at the hotel, on a tour of the length of the Alaska Railroad, during which he drove a golden spike signaling its completion at Nenana; the hotel was the first thing. The flat-roofed, two-story log building featured exposed balconies, glass windows, electric lights. Inside were two dozen guest rooms, a shop, lunch counter and storeroom. By the 1930s, there were reports of lice, dirty linen, drafty rooms, marginal food, which led to the hotel's closing. In 1947, the park boundaries expanded to include the area of the railroad. After being abandoned for many years, the hotel was destroyed in 1950 by a fire.
There was no road access to the park entrance until 1957. Now with a highway connection to Anchorage and Fairbanks, park attendance expanded: there were 5,000 visitors in 1956 and 25,000 visitors by 1958; the park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1976. A separate Denali National Monument was proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978; the name of Mount McKinley National Park was subject to local criticism from the beginning of the park. The word Denali means "the high one" in the native Athabaskan language and refers to the mountain itself; the mountain was named after newly elected US president William McKinley in 1897 by local prospector William A. Dickey; the United States government formally adopted the name Mount McKinley after President Wilson signed the bill creating Mount McKinley National Park into effect in 1917. In 1980, Mount McKinley National Park was combined with Denali National Monument, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act named the combined unit the Denali National Park and Preserve.
At that time the Alaska state Board of Geographic Names changed
Denali Borough, Alaska
The Denali Borough is a borough located in the U. S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census the population of the borough was 1,826; the borough seat is Healy, its only incorporated place is Anderson. The borough was incorporated in 1990; the area was a part of the Unorganized Borough, with the Upper Railbelt School District serving as the region's rural education attendance area. The borough has a total area of 12,777 square miles, of which 12,751 square miles is land and 26 square miles is water; the borough contains North America's highest point: Denali, from which it derives its name, at 6190.5 m. Denali National Park and Preserve Denali Wilderness Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area - west/north Fairbanks North Star Borough - northeast Southeast Fairbanks Census Area - east Matanuska-Susitna Borough - south As of the census of 2000, there were 1,893 people, 785 households, 452 families residing in the borough; the population density was 0.148 people per square mile. There were 1,351 housing units at an average density of 0.106 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the borough was 85.74% White, 1.43% Black or African American, 4.75% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.37% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, 5.23% from two or more races. 2.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 785 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.40% were married couples living together, 4.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 42.30% were non-families. 35.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.03. In the borough the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 36.80% from 25 to 44, 29.70% from 45 to 64, 3.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 139.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 147.10 males. Denali Borough is the 63rd highest-income county in the United States, highest-income county in Alaska, by personal per capita income as of 2009.
Anderson Clear Clear AFS Cantwell Denali Park Ferry Healy Kantishna Suntrana Usibelli Diamond In the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, the Denali vampire coven lives in Denali because of the lack of sunlight. List of airports in the Denali Borough National Register of Historic Places listings in Denali Borough, Alaska Media related to Denali Borough, Alaska at Wikimedia Commons Official website
The Matanuska River is a 75-mile long stream in Southcentral Alaska, United States. The river drains a broad valley south of the Alaska Range eponymously known as the Matanuska Valley. Formed by the confluence of its east and south forks, the Matanuska River flows southwest to the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet. Downstream of its source, the river is joined by meltwater from Matanuska Glacier in the northern Chugach Mountains. From there it continues through the Matanuska Valley, between the Chugach Mountains to the south and the Talkeetna Mountains to the north. Population centers along its course include Chickaloon, Sutton and Butte, it enters the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet about 9.5 miles southwest of Palmer and about 25 miles northeast of Anchorage. The Glenn Highway runs parallel to the river for much of its length. Highway bridges over the river, listed from source to mouth, include Glacier Park Bridge, Chickaloon River Bridge, King River Bridge, Old Glenn Highway Bridge, Glenn Highway Bridge. An Alaska Railroad bridge crosses the river parallel to the Glenn Highway Bridge at Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge.
Mantanuska Glacier State Recreation Site is along the highway. In addition to the glacier and unnamed streams that drain the Talkeetna and Chugach ranges feed into the river; these include Glacier, Purinton and Coal creeks, the Chickaloon and King rivers, many others. The main stem is silty with glacial run-off from spring through fall but at lower flows beneath winter ice, it runs clear; the Mat-Su Valley is one of the most settled regions of Alaska and one of the few areas in the state to support agriculture. Erosion by the glacial braided river has damaged roads, farms and houses for decades; the United States Geological Survey operates a stream gauge near Palmer. Mean monthly discharge at this gauge varies from 500 cubic feet per second in March to 13,000 cubic feet per second in July; the maximum recorded flow was 82,100 cubic feet per second on August 10, 1971, after the break-out of a natural reservoir on Granite Creek. The minimum recorded flow of 234 cubic feet per second occurred on April 25, 1956.
The river is a popular destination for whitewater enthusiasts who float in rafts or kayaks. Accessible at several bridges and other points along the Glenn Highway, the Matanuska varies from Class II to III on the International Scale of River Difficulty. Expert paddlers sometimes run a tributary, Caribou Creek, that flows past Matanuska Glacier and is rated Class II to IV. Hazards along the main stem include cold water; the indigenous Dena'ina Athabascan name for the river is Ch'atanhtnu, based on the root -tanh "trail extends out", meaning "trail comes out river". The English place name Matanuska derives from a Russian term spelled in various ways, including "Matanooski" and "Mednoviska", meaning "copper river people" referring to an implied route from Cook Inlet to the Copper River. List of rivers of Alaska Matanuska Formation Kari, James M. et al.. Shem Pete's Alaska: The Territory of the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina, 2nd ed. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Press. Media related to Matanuska River at Wikimedia Commons